In February 2020, eight staff from Cambodia, Myanmar and Nepal gathered in Yangon, Myanmar to share updates from their respective countries and learn from one another. The theme of this forum was “Efficiency and Effectiveness,” specifically focusing on our mission to reach as many children and operate as sustainably as we can. 

We believe that sharing best practice and innovative ideas among our teams is key to ensuring the communities we work with receive the best education possible. Over several days, staff from diverse backgrounds in Building, Education, Finance and Operations each shared experiences of their country’s unique environment, the needs of the communities we work with, and their innovative approaches to working in some of the world’s most remote areas. They discussed challenges, successes and lessons learned. 

It was clear from the start that - despite the geographical differences - borders were meaningless, and the commonalities of our teams shone through. They were fascinated by the familiar challenges each country faced and inspired by shared solutions. From termites to technology, librarians to logistics, dormitories to door frames, no topic was off the table. While closely poring over construction blueprints together and dissecting possibilities of more IT in classrooms, strong working relationships were formed, which will no doubt endure long after returning to the field.

A key outcome was the analysis of how Community Learning Sites could become a greater part of our strategy. CLS are smaller-sized, cost-effective, flexible learning spaces. They often use existing village structures and may serve as a first-step to a creating a more substantial school later. Our Myanmar team has been an early adopter and advocate for this model to deliver education to traditionally smaller sized communities in Eastern Shan State, where large schools might not be viable.

From learning about the expansion of the Library Officer programme in Cambodia, or the Fellowship programme in Nepal, the teams exchanged ideas and encouraged one another. Doing so reinforced the idea that our teams are stronger together than working separately. 

Find out more about our approach