The Future is Creatable
Our Education Initiative Changing Lives in Burundi
Creatable, an education disruptor launched by FINCH, is providing real change in East Africa’s Burundi, the poorest country on Earth. Delivering STEM-based education designed to help Burundians develop the resources — the time, soft skills, and innovation — to change their lives, Creatable is empowering local teachers and creating sustainable change.
This change came in the form of a professional development course, rolled out across 1,000 students in 10 schools and in 10 provinces.
Creatable developed over 20 professional development videos for teachers, along with a 90-page curriculum textbook, directly empowering educators and allowing them to transmit the skills necessary to change lives.
The focus of this course was, specifically, the making of rocket stoves. When Creatable reached out to Burundians, using UNICEF’s U-Report app, a messaging system designed to gather firsthand data about the problems facing the developing world, they identified one of their most significant problems as the open fires they rely on for food production.
These open fires are unsustainable, draining the natural environment, requiring long and risky trips for firewood, and increase the risk of smoke inhalation, which kills more worldwide than malaria and tuberculosis combined.
Rather than cooking over open fires, residents of Burundi were taught to build the rocket stove, constructed out of local upcycled materials — a healthier means of providing their families with food.
Rocket stoves are highly fuel efficient — they use some 75% less firewood than open fires — and empower Burundi residents to make those sustainable, powerful choices that were hitherto unavailable to them.
But the entrepreneurial courses became about much more than mere rocket stoves. They became about upskilling and educating those in Burundi; allowing them to see the problems associated with open fire cooking, and to embrace a new and self-directed way of living, one in which the means of providing food — and revenue — lay firmly within their own hands.