FreeContent4SustainableEcosystems/Mothers of Intention/EOI

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Expressions of Interest / Letter of Inquiry

Public description of your project

Amarok kids.jpg

Please provide a brief statement that best describes your proposed work. This description will appear on our website and in our annual report. It can be no longer than 250 characters including spaces.

  • To develop a scalable and sustainable model for teaching basic literacy, numeracy and decision-making skills to very poor women and children in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh;
  • To educate 6,000 mother-teachers and 50,000 children
  • To increase the availability of open educational content on WikiEducator;
  • To leverage the skills base of mother teachers to participate in development of free content;
  • To develop clusters of support to strengthen local capacity; and
  • To create a model of empowerment that can be used and adapted elsewhere in Asia.

Organization Work Summary

Amarok Society was established in 1993 as a charitable non-profit society, headquartered in Toronto, Canada and focusing its work, at that time, on improving life prospects of Indigenous youth with the highest suicide rate in the world, in northern Canada. It accomplished this by empowering the youth through innovative projects such as establishing student-operated organizations with a social focus, and through effectively improving literacy through music and songs.

Amarok Society has been led by Dr. Tanyss Munro and her husband Gem Munro, both with over 25 years of experience in education and development work with marginalized people.

Since 2005, Amarok Society has initiated new programmes to find innovative ways to begin to reach the millions of ‘last mile' children in the slums of Dhaka. Working in partnership with the Baridhara Mohila Samobaya Samity, a Bangladeshi women's cooperative, Amarok Society is turning very poor women into teachers for their children and their neighbour’s children through its Mothers of Intention programme.

Baridhara Mohila Samobaya Samity, Ltd., is a women's financial cooperative of Dhaka, Bangladesh. With depositors and members numbering nearly 40,000 poor women, it is probably the largest women's organization in Bangladesh, and is believed to be the largest women's financial cooperative in Asia. It began as a project of Worldvision in 1989; when Worldvision wished to close the project a few years later, the members undertook to operate it themselves. It was after the departure of Worldvision that the Samity's main growth and development took place. Its membership is solely women, who are able to enter into deposit programmes or take out loans. The Samity is distinguishable from Bangladesh's famous microcredit projects in that it charges considerably less interest on loans, it has savings programmes, is non-profit and all members benefit from its success.

Problem Summary & Proposed Work Solution

Problem Summary

Describe the purpose of the proposal, including its importance; the way you plan to achieve your aims; expected outcomes; and the way you will evaluate your success.

There are millions of very poor, hard-to-reach children in developing countries that will never have the opportunity to go to school. While a father is more likely to employ his skills to earning a livelihood, which may be less immediately effective in permanently breaking the cycle of ignorance/poverty; a mother in these social strata is more likely to use her talents and skills to the direct benefit of her family. When we educate mothers, they not only directly import education into their families, they establish a culture of education in their children and neighbours' children, and entrench the value of education.

And, the higher the educational level she achieves, the higher the expectations she will have, not only of herself, but of her children, and the more determinedly she will work to reach them.

  • Focus on very poor mothers and neighborhood children in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Learning materials are not yet free and open, nor in scaleable format
  • Process not defined

The Mothers of Intention project will seek the contribution of specific educational content to WikiEducator, to be modified, customized and adapted by clusters of mothers (teacher educators) in Bangladesh. The project outcomes involve training 6,000 mother-educators in Bangladesh, to reach up to 50,000 very poor children by 2010.

Proposed Work Solution

  • A scaleable and sustainable model to reach 50,000 children by 2011
  • Focus on basic literacy & numeracy
  • Focus on higher level thinking and decision-making skills
  • Focus on relationships, networking and volunteerism
  • Leveraging the skills base of WikiEducator. WikiEducator, a Commonwealth of Learning-supported project, is a website dedicated to the collaborative development of free content for education that anyone can modify and use. WikiEducator has grown exponentially during its first year of operation and is currently ranked within the top 8% of most visited websites in the world.

In 2008, WikiEducator has launched the Learning4Content project - that is working closely with experienced Wikipedians who will be invited to present the training workshops for educators using COL's WikiEducator tutorials ( and the OER workshop toolkit in return for a small honorarium. COL is working closely with Erik Moeller, a board member of the WikiMedia Foundation to advise on liaising with Wikipedians. Mr Moeller is also a member of the WikiEducator International Advisory Board.

  • Developing free and open content - that can be used by others

Problem Fit with Our Funder's Goals

  • focus on Education

How does the proposed work address the problem

  • working from the inside out (from within the very poor families)
  • focus on grassroots implementation (by the very poor mothers)
  • strong relationship with local financial cooperative
  • empowering women and children


What is program's Expected budget

Amount Expected

Amount requested per year for how many years:

Partners (prospective)

Contact Information

  • Randy Fisher, iCentro Networks - wikirandy AT, or +1 604 684 2275

Road Works.svg Work in progress, expect frequent changes. Help and feedback is welcome. See discussion page. Road Works.svg

Sample Outline

  • Head of Organization
  • Primary Contact (Name, Title, Address, etc.)
  • Briefly summarize your organization's work in this box (200 words):
  • Please summarize the problem you are addressing and the proposed work to be performed (200 words):
  • How does this problem fit with our program's goals and priorities (200 words):
  • How does the proposed work address the problem (200 words)
  • What is the work's expected budget (200 words)
  • Amount requested per year for how many years: