Campaign successfully funded on: 28 Sep,2015
Research shows that the Levant's youth have some of the region's most sought-after talents, due to the high quality of education and hard-working attitude. However, despite this, a gap exists between companies and graduates who have studied STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) subjects at university.
Many regional employers put this down to education's focus on wrought bookwork and memorisation, and the lack of practical skills amongst applicants. This is where the Cambridge Tabadol Initiative comes in.
Tabadol means 'exchange' or 'partnership' in Arabic, and so the ultimate aim of the Cambridge Tabadol initiative, an Arab Innovation Network project, is to bridge this gap by partnering with university students in the region to establish a youth-led STEM outreach programme for schools.
Through the spirit of friendly exchange, we are building a network of motivated university students who are developing and delivering these workshops in local schools, thereby imparting the necessary practical, creative and critical thinking skills; as well as building two-way inspiration channels and placing positive role models for the next generation of leaders.
It has been a challenging year, with lots of work being done on refining our model to ensure it is sustainable and has the greatest impact with minimum resources. Our notable achievements to date are:
1. We selected the initial cohort of students, the Tabadol Ambassadors, from Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon. There were over 300 applicants for 18 places!
2. We have been looking to organise training programmes in collaboration with partner organisations to improve the Tabadol Ambassadors' fundraising, communication, leadership, creative thinking and other skills. Training programs organised so far include: the community research training from New Meanings, a UK-based community development organisation; insights from founder of Think Unlimited, an education NGO in Jordan; week-long 'Training the trainers for creative thinking' course by Integrated Methodologies for Development (IMD), a professional training company for NGOs.
3. Partnered with and learnt from the Google Student Ambassador Programme, STEM Team East UK, Engineering Without Borders Lebanon, Al Nayzak in Palestine, Jordan Children Museum and Amman Hackerspace.
4. The Ambassadors have been undertaking community research to better tailor the workshops to the local needs with support from the team in Cambridge. We coordinate this through regular video conferences to discuss our, and the Ambassadors', progress and to keep everyone engaged with regular updates.
5. We are currently working with the Tabadol Ambassadors to create and adapt workshops to be run in their local schools.
6. Alongside this we are developing the Tabadol Platform, an online area to publish material from our lectures, online seminars and workshops we develop for others to use.
7. We launched the 'Tabadol Talks' programme! Our latest one featured Dr. Rana Dajani (the 12th most powerful woman in the Arab World) and Dr Shima Barakat (a prominent Entrepreneur and a Cambridge academic).
8. To support our efforts financially, we were successful in gaining sponsorship from The Happold Trust who provided us with £ 1050 and access to their vast network of engineers across the world. The Happold Trust is a charity registered for the promotion of Education, Research and Training in fields applicable to the Construction, Engineering, Design, Technology and Architecture industries. Visit Www.happoldtrust.org for more information about The Happold Trust.
Our Tabadol Ambassadors are new to the project and many have never undertaken anything like this before. For some, this is their first extracurricular activity! Being able to go and run workshops in secondary schools requires not only strong determination, but also the necessary skills to make sure the workshops are successful, and most importantly, sustainable.
In order to ensure that all our ambassadors have the necessary skill-set, we have been hosting many online training workshops via Google Hangouts - the details of the workshops we have hosted thus far are mentioned in the section above. These have all been run with the sole aim of preparing the ambassadors to run the workshops in the coming academic year.
We are now looking to host in-person training sessions! We feel as though there is only so much to gain from online interaction, and that face-to-face training would build upon our current efforts.
In order to run these workshops in-person, we incur additional costs of having to provide the ambassadors with food and accommodation, as well as paying for travel to the training session as they are from different universities across Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. All of our ambassadors are volunteers, just like the Cambridge Team, and it would be a shame if their hard work up until now is not realised. For this, we are looking to raise $2600 which is broken down as follows:
$ 1600 will cover the travel expenses of the ambassadors, where they will be traveling by bus, taxi, coach and plane (whichever is most economical)
$ 1000 will cover the border fees for those traveling from Palestine to Jordan.
And the $1600 given to us by the Happold Trust will be used to pay for accommodation and food for the ambassadors traveling from outside of Amman.
The Cambridge Tabadol Initiative is all about taking a human-centered approach to filling the gap in practical skills evident in the Middle East and empowering young people to use science & technology in bringing about positive change to their communities, countries and maybe even the world!
Our long-term aim is to establish the idea of youth-led and community-based STEM outreach in the developing world - starting with the Middle East, and, specifically, with Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. Your support will help us set the foundation for this initiative and all those involved with the Cambridge Tabadol Initiative will be very grateful to a donation of any size!
We have a website (www.camtabadol.org) with further details. In the spirit of friendly exchange, we aim to make all the material we develop open-source, so that anyone can use the material we produce and for others to replicate the curricula we are building for the workshops that will be run by those involved.
We understand that some people may be excited about the project, but do not have the means to contribute financially to the project. This is understandable, but funding is not the only way you can get on board with the project! Sharing and spreading the word about the project will boost our chances of not only raising funds for the training week, but also for ensuring the sustainability of the project!
Once again, we thank you for taking your time to look through our crowdfunding campaign. If you have any queries, then please do not hesitate to send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cambridge Tabadol Initiative is an Arab Innovation Network project and is partnered with Google Student Ambassadors Programme, Al Nayzak, Amman Hackerspace, Cambridge HUB, Engineers Without Borders Lebanon, Happold Trust, Integrated Methodologies for Development, Jordan Children Museum and Think Unlimited.
Al Hussein Bin Talal University (Jordan), American University of Beirut (Lebanon), An-Najah National University (Palestine), Birzeit University (Palestine), Isra University (Jordan) and Jordan University of Science and Technology (Jordan)
Find out more on:www.facebook.com/cambridge.tabadol
There are no updates for this project yet.