SDG
UNLEASH

Solution catalogue

CHAKU

Children of Migrants between the ages of 9 and 15 in the area of Osh in Kyrgyzstan need coding skills because without these skills, there will continue to be an economic need to migrate for work and families will continue to be separated.

So we built CHAKU!

Chaku is the Duolingo of coding for kids. It’s a gamified, Android-based platform built to teach children coding skills in an accessible, free, and, most importantly., fun way!

Problem

In Kyrgyzstan, 300K kids are abandoned by their parents who have fled the country because they cant support their families locally. As a result, children are forced to grow up without their parents leading to feelings of isolation and lack of opportunity. These children have been left alone without the potential for a better life because they lack access to the skills well-paying jobs demand.  And thus the cycle continues.

This isn’t just a problem in Kyrgyzstan. This is a global issue. Around the world, families are separated due to migration directly related to a lack of local opportunity. In the Philippines 9 million children are left behind, in China it’s a staggering 61 million, and the list goes on.

But why this specific problem? Global trends support that digital literacy is a foundational skill for accessing job opportunities in the 21st Century that improve incomes and overall wellbeing. Instead of migrating for low paying jobs, they can stay at home and earn a higher income, while developing a local business ecosystem. But this vulnerable population is unable to access these skills required for 21st century jobs.

Solution

CHAKU provides a training program that incorporates a specifically created app, mentorship, and on the job training that overcomes the barriers that these children had to access 21st century  ICT skills.

Our app works on older android devices and is localized to suit the user and is in their language.

It’s a gamified, Android-based platform built to teach children coding skills in an accessible, free, and, most importantly, fun way!

It’s the Duolingo of coding for kids.

Here’s how it works.

First we access the vulnerable children on the ground via their schools, local NGOS, and marketing. We introduce them to our training program and the incentives that they could earn by completing it.

The training program:

First, Kids go through a set of challenges built to teach ICT and coding basics using a specially designed app.

Then once they complete the series of challenges, they are provided with a laptop so they can work on their own projects and are matched with local business who lack the resources to build their own websites.

With this combination, we are not only giving kids hands-on coding experience locally by the age of 15, but we are also ensuring the development of local agriculture and tourism micro-businesses in Kyrgyzstan.

Innovation

Around the world, coding academies like Code.org and Techrocks have made coding cool and available. But, they were built for and by the developed world and haven’t been designed with vulnerable populations who need it the most at heart. They lack a fully gamified, all Android accessible, and Russian language specific experience.

Our app is unique because it is built with vulnerable populations at heart, on the platforms they can access, with a story they can relate to. We also have a team with extensive experience in ICT assessment and web development to ensure the solution is teaching them essential skills in a way that can be clearly defined.

Competition:
• Online Coding Course – paid
– EdX,, Udemy,
– Courses are expensive, standard and limited, but most important they are not in Russian.
• Online Coding Courses – unpaid
– Coursera, Codeacademy, Bitdegree
– Courses are standard and limited, but most important they are not in Russian. .
• Russian Online Coding Courses
– Paid Online Coding Courses
• HTML Academy.ru
• Cost: 27,000 ($391/course)
– Expensive and thus inex
– Techrocks.ru
– Online youtube videos
• No community aspect, not gamified, not built for children.
• Mobile Games
– Run Marco!
– Code Carts – made for preschoolers
– Code Warriors
– CodeInGame

Impact

At the user level, we aim to create a digital user who is able to participate meaningfully in a global world and earn an income using the skills that they acquire. The change that the user will go through will also create a long term socio- economic impact within their community that will enrich their communities and spur on innovation and investment at a larger scale.

Digital skills enable their users to gain meaningful employment beyond the barriers of their locality and are proven to help those who have them get out of poverty. The impact of this initiative on the users can be measured by comparing the change in employment and income in the target population between those who have gone through the training compared with those who haven’t. We will also measure the long term impact of this on the community and its ability to contribute to the economic and social ecosystems, as well as our program’s ability to gain trust on the ground.

Next Steps

After Unleash our first steps will be solidifying our partnerships on the ground and globally and transferring our vision to them. This would include partnering on the ground with those who can assist us with reaching our target users. As well as global partners who could assist with providing hardware and consultation. We would also look into local or global stakeholders who we could partner with to employ our graduates.

We will then look towards optimising our model and officially registering it.
We will outline our initial target group and access them for any further information that we may need to refine and incorporate in our model.  We will then start putting together and designing our training curriculum that will incorporate 21st century skills for our users. We aim for this curriculum to be cutting edge and effective. Once we have secured funding that enables us to move to the creation of the app we will start with a beta version and trial it on sample group from our target population. We will then update our app and program as needed and release to the larger target group. At this stage we will be in contact with mentors and provide them with training. These mentors will be able to work with the users at the later stages of the program.

Immediate Requests

From our funding partners we require 50 thousand US dollars in funding to cover the costs of App and curriculum development. From our implementing partners we require local access to the user group. Assistance with spreading the word and possible future job opportunities for our graduates.