Partners for Possibility (PfP), a South African social enterprise, was presented with a prestigious World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Award on 22 September in New York. The 2018 WISE Awards recognize six winning projects from five different countries. Every year, the Qatar Foundation, which established WISE, evaluates hundreds of innovative projects that tackle education challenges and selects the six most creative and effective among them. Along with the international recognition, the winners each receive $20,000 in prize money.
The six award winners were announced in July and, in addition to PfP, include: Safe Space Clubs for Girls (Nigeria), One Village One Preschool (China), Generation (USA), Technology-Based Deaf Education (Pakistan) and 1001 Nights Life Skills and Citizenship Education Program (Canada). Issues tackled by these winning projects include: education for girls and refugee children, early childhood education, youth unemployment, and education for deaf and marginalized children.
Partners for Possibility was founded in 2010 as a leadership development and principal support programme that brings together principals from under-resourced schools with business leaders in a year-long developmental partnership. Both leaders participate in an accredited leadership development programme while simultaneously working together to tackle challenges in their specific school. To date, the programme has launched over 850 partnerships across South Africa.
“We are delighted and very proud to receive this WISE Award in recognition of the transformational impact that PfP is having in under-resourced South African school. I would like to encourage business to consider supporting this programme in order for us to reach more schools. Our goal is to reach 20 000 schools by 2030, “ said van Rhyn.
Since the inception of the WISE Awards in 2009, the adjudicators have evaluated over 3,200 applications from over 150 countries and awarded 54 prizes to education projects in countries that include Finland, the USA, Spain, Morocco and India. This year, the 15 shortlisted projects from eleven countries were selected from a pool of 413 projects and evaluated according to strict criteria including their impact on individuals and wider society, financial stability, scalability and replicability.
In addition to attending the 2018 WISE Awards presentation, over 350 innovators, education experts, and thought leaders, made use of the WISE@NY Forum as a platform to help shape the future of global education. Under the theme ‘Learning Revolutions: Creating Educational Environments for Empowerment and Inclusion, the Forum’s format encouraged a truly open, global conversation about education through sessions that offered multiple opportunities to voice opinions, share solutions, and build new connections.
The event coincided with Global Goals Week, a series of events that took place during the United Nations General Assembly under the auspices of the UN Foundation.