In everything that we do, we seek to generate a positive impact in the lives of children and women in rural communities. It is therefore critically important we measure the results and effects that we have on our beneficiaries. We keep improving our monitoring and evaluation processes every year.
In every Learning Squared program, we seek to understand the level of change and impact that we have created, enabling us to allocate resources to programs with the highest impact and define how to improve that impact on a long and short-term basis. We look at quality-of-life metrics such as poverty and school attainment and access to quality and affordable education.
Why We Measure:
1. Prove. We have an obligation to children and to our donors to prove our impact. We also use impact data to make resource allocation decisions for programs.
2. Learn. We are continually learning and evaluating so we can improve our program to meet our beneficiaries' needs.
3. Improve. Impact data helps us develop a new strategy for improving our programs.
4. Maintain. We use our impact data to maintain the level of our work consistency across all locations.
386 Students Sponsored
Learning Squared Liberia has worked with the schools and students listed below since 2017:
Social Microfinance for Rural Women
The Social Microfinance for Rural Women program began in 2018 as a pilot phase in two communities in Margibi County. The program has trained over 100 women and provided seed funds to 65 participants to improve their livelihoods, secure income generation, and help support their children's education.
The program created a platform for rural women, especially women whose children benefit from our rural scholarship program, to articulate their concerns, evaluate their accomplishments, and devise strategies to tackle challenges they may encounter. Under the program, we established functional community structures with 10-15 members to address issues affecting women's livelihood and their children's education. Through this structure, we set up savings and loans groups in their communities for access to credit. An initial seed fund of $36.00 USD was provided to each parent participant for 12-15 weeks. A minimal weekly payment amount is agreed upon between our program team and the participants. Upon completing the first loan repayment, the second phase begins with a seed fund of $ 50.00 USD.
Learning Squared experiences loan repayment rates in the 95 - 100 % range. This is far higher than that experienced by commercial lending institutions, thereby indicating that not only do the poor want financial services, but they need them, are willing to contribute to their children’s education and improve their livelihood. The program has also extended to Bomi county, and the second phase in Margibi county has started with a seed fund of $50.00 USD.
Building Skills for Employment (BUSE)
Since 2016, our program has worked with more than ten young volunteers to provide support and volunteer opportunities within our programs and finance unit. The strategy of this fellowship focuses on Learning Squared Liberia’s framework of leveraging youth engagement by providing mentorship and innovation opportunities for students and young people to become agents of economic transformation. We run a series of activity-based programs that fuse dialogue, skills, capacity building, and entrepreneurship which offers promising spaces of expression for meaningful youth participation in the innovation and entrepreneurship agenda of the new government and youth development. Two volunteers join our country team as Program Associate and Finance officer upon successful completion of their program.
Since 2016, Learning Squared Liberia has conducted and facilitated over 50 community meetings, forums, and engagement between local leaders, various school administrations, parents, and local communities in the project areas. As a result, the program has created a better platform for young people, local leaders, and communities to understand project activities, programs, and implementation priorities.
Generous donations from board members and other leaders cover most of Learning Squared Liberia's administrative costs, so nearly all contributions to our organization are allocated directly to our programs and projects. Disbursement of funds and oversight of impact are overseen by a committed board of directors and management team. We are committed to maximizing the investments donors make in our mission.
Bandu is in the 3rd grade at the Minor Community School in Margibi County, Liberia. Bandu is featured in the video documentary of Learning Squared Liberia. She tells her story about going to school every day, defying the challenges of rural Liberia.
She is 12 years old and lives with her mother in Minor Community, a community with over five hundred inhabitants that depends on agricultural activities for their livelihood. Her story is one of resilience and strength. She is a role model for other youth in her community. Her mother Noawah Fahnbulleh is benefiting from our Microloans Supporting Rural Women program.