The Challenge


How might we increase the availability of affordable learning tools & services for students in the developing world? read the brief


Building Imagination

Recycled materials can be used as learning tools for kids.
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." - Pablo Picasso.

If we can provide children with basic learning tools by means of recycled materials or scrap product we can help nurture their creativity and teach them essential concepts. They will be able to visually express their ideas as well as translate basic math skills through the use of physical objects that would otherwise go to waste.
Who would implement this?
  1. A big company
  2. A local entrepreneur or small organization
  3. A globally-based social entrepreneur
  4. NGOs and Foundations
  5. I would!
  6. I don’t really know
These recycled or scrap materials would otherwise go to waste.
Distribution & Delivery
It already is used in some (as shown in the photo with leftover bits of wood)
It could be advertised in stores such as hardware, craft and other retailers. It would infor, consumers how their leftover project materials can be donated to kids in need and serve as basic learning tools that help develop their creative minds.
Local Need. Enterprising Schools has identified key areas of need for Affordable Private Schools. What local learning need(s) does this concept address?
  1. English language learning (speaking, reading, writing)
  2. Math learning
  3. Libraries
  4. Tech literacy
  5. Professional development
  6. Other


Join the conversation and post a comment.

Justin Russell

September 29, 2010, 23:51PM
Thanks Faris. Great work Meena. And Richard, wow. Very true. I completely agree.
May our dreams (and our minds) never cease to grow.

An Old Friend

September 21, 2010, 16:26PM
The 'building imagination' idea is great; let's get them to imagine - but what if you sought to instill in them a sense of awe, wonder.
Kids are creative, and that is because they're dreamers. Let's not limit them to honing the mode of their dreams, but the facilitation of those dreams.
This could be done by not just letting them create - but by putting them in a story in the midst of their community (skit, play, et all) where they are part of that story. Then, they can take part in and relate to the fanciful story, contributing where apt. And doing so together, as individuals within a group is vitally important (Shared Resources and Experiences: Dhyaasa). Throughout a day you can tell a singular story like this and use it not only to stretch their minds, but also as a platform for teaching morals and social issues (Story-telling on Wheels: Meena Kadri). Their success is not simply affiliated with their ability to imagine and being physically artistic - but so much to their ability to stretch the possibilities within their mind and prepare them for the understanding of many paradigms.
The focus becomes their mental and emotional health - as well as educational. And they are being actively promoted as someone who looks for purpose and dreams of something greater than them - a bigger picture - a story worth dreaming about.
And hopefully they parlay that into the dreams of their heart for life.

Meena Kadri

September 05, 2010, 22:12PM
Indeed Faris – from Sudan to El Salvador, I'm sure that children are creating their own ways to play everywhere. Here's some earlier images from India:

Faris Elmasu

September 05, 2010, 17:24PM
I love that quote from Picasso. Its so true! Children are already doing this in poor rural cities in Sudan. The local children find scraps and garbage in the grounds and create their own toys. They are super creative and innovative. I think there is great opportunity to foster their creative potential. If someone were to supply the recycled materials to the local schools, they could use these materials to create art, mechanical, or science experiments / projects.
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