Our Goal

Our (not unambitious) goal is to transform the prospects of sub-Saharan Africa in a generation – by showing nursery school teachers the power of play, and how to make classroom activities out of recyclable waste material.

As of today we have trained 26,478 teachers and through them reached, we estimate, about 1,059,120 children. Our target is 200,000 teachers and 12 million children.

The Challenge

Africa faces multiple challenges – poor governance, lack of investment, abuse of resources.

In our view, these difficulties can all be addressed through better education. With better education people would choose stronger leaders, attract more investment and husband resources more wisely.

The biggest challenge of all are the demographics. Today the population of the Continent accounts for 17% of the world’s. That’s forecast to be over 40% by 2100. Over half the world’s youth will be in Africa by 2050.

Education will help here too: A girl who can read has two children on average; one that doesn’t has five.

Our Solution

In our view, one of the reasons education has struggled is that children don’t have their “brains turned” on adequately in their crucial formative first seven years.

This is because nursery school teachers are invariably untrained and unresourced. And because they don’t understand the importance of play.

Our programme meets this challenge head on. It is very low cost (at about USD 3 per child per annum), highly scalable and it seems to work.

Our Approach

We provide training courses to nursery school teachers that aim to stimulate and educate in the hope of transforming a child’s formative first years of school. The courses run for two years and consist of sixteen training Modules that explain how best to organise a classroom, the importance of play and how to turn recyclable waste materials into classroom activities.

In addition, our Trainers arrange support groups and visit the teachers in their class rooms monthly and then, at a reduced level, indefinitely. We aim to create clusters of self-supporting nursery school teachers in the cities and towns of the countries that we address.

The teachers welcome our involvement because it doesn’t cost them anything; unlocks their creativity; makes them feel valued and value adding; creates a sense of community amongst them; and clearly benefits the children.

Our Locations

Our programme began in Namibia in 2012 and expanded to Malawi in 2018 and Zambia in 2019. We launched in Uganda in 2022 and in Botswana in 2023.

We are now eyeing Zimbabwe, Angola and Tanzania in Sub-Saharan Africa and would like to take it to countries in West Africa over time.

The meerkat faces on the map show the Districts or Provinces where we are active in each of the countries that we address.

Our Locations

Our programme began in Namibia in 2012 and expanded to Malawi in 2018 and Zambia in 2019. We launched in Uganda in 2022 and in Botswana in 2023.

We are now eyeing Zimbabwe, Angola and Tanzania in Sub-Saharan Africa and would like to take it to countries in West Africa over time.

The meerkat faces on the map show the Districts or Provinces where we are active in each of the countries that we address.

Our Locations

Our programme began in Namibia in 2012 and expanded to Malawi in 2018 and Zambia in 2019. We launched in Uganda in 2022 and in Botswana in 2023.

We are now eyeing Zimbabwe, Angola and Tanzania in Sub-Saharan Africa and would like to take it to countries in West Africa over time.

The meerkat faces on the map show the Districts or Provinces where we are active in each of the countries that we address.

Governance

Government Support

We establish local NGOs in each country which interact with local Ministries who appear to welcome our involvement. Whilst the importance of nursery schools is well understood they do not have the resources to provide widespread training in what is a hard to reach sector.

Our Structure

Our local NGOs are sponsored by Perivoli Schools Trust (Holdings) which is a Mauritian Purpose Trust with James Alexandroff OBE, Tom Newton and JTC Fiduciary Services (Mauritius) Limited as trustees. Its role is to set budgets, devise strategy and oversee the programme’s Joint CEOs.

Data

There is a powerful digital backbone to our programme. Each of our Trainers is issued with a tablet computer. They use them to collect information about the teachers they train and the children in their classes. This information helps us track progress and direct the Trainers more effectively.

Privacy

We take privacy seriously and ask all those involved (Trainers, Teachers, School Principals and Parents/Guardians) to consent in writing to our recording of personal information about them including photographs. There are no local privacy laws but we do this all the same.

Governance

Government Support

We establish local NGOs in each country which interact with local Ministries who appear to welcome our involvement. Whilst the importance of nursery schools is well understood they do not have the resources to provide widespread training in what is a hard to reach sector.

Our Structure

Our local NGOs are sponsored by Perivoli Schools Trust (Holdings) which is a Mauritian Purpose Trust with James Alexandroff OBE, Tom Newton and JTC Fiduciary Services (Mauritius) Limited as trustees. Its role is to set budgets, devise strategy and oversee the programme’s Joint CEOs.

Data

There is a powerful digital backbone to our programme. Each of our Trainers is issued with a tablet computer. They use them to collect information about the teachers they train and the children in their classes. This information helps us track progress and direct the Trainers more effectively.

Privacy

We take privacy seriously and ask all those involved (Trainers, Teachers, School Principals and Parents/Guardians) to consent in writing to our recording of personal information about them including photographs. There are no local privacy laws but we do this all the same.

Governance

Government Support

We establish local NGOs in each country which interact with local Ministries who appear to welcome our involvement. Whilst the importance of nursery schools is well understood they do not have the resources to provide widespread training in what is a hard to reach sector.

Our Structure

Our local NGOs are sponsored by Perivoli Schools Trust (Holdings) which is a Mauritian Purpose Trust with James Alexandroff OBE, Tom Newton and JTC Fiduciary Services (Mauritius) Limited as trustees. Its role is to set budgets, devise strategy and oversee the programme’s Joint CEOs.

Data

There is a powerful digital backbone to our programme. Each of our Trainers is issued with a tablet computer. They use them to collect information about the teachers they train and the children in their classes. This information helps us track progress and direct the Trainers more effectively.

Privacy

We take privacy seriously and ask all those involved (Trainers, Teachers, School Principals and Parents/Guardians) to consent in writing to our recording of personal information about them including photographs. There are no local privacy laws but we do this all the same.

Measurement & Evaluation

We welcome all initiatives that help us evaluate the programme. So far these include:

Funding a three year study being undertaken by the University of Bristol in partnership with the University of Namibia into the lived experiences and wider social impacts of the programme, which will report in December 2024;

Encouraging the authorities in the countries where we work to undertake their own studies on the implementation and impact of the programme.

Click here to view the report prepared by the Directorate of Early Education in Zambia;

Adopting the International Development and Early Learning Assessment (IDELA) tool, a widely used methodology developed by Save The Children to assess early learning initiatives.

Funding

Perivoli Trust

The programme has been funded hitherto by the Perivoli Trust.

Perivoli Innovations

Longer term we hope that the running will be taken up by our sister Trust, Perivoli Innovations, which invests in the life science, MedTech, ClimateTech, and digital sectors, each mostly in the UK and in Africa.

Perivoli Foundation

Funding of the Perivoli Schools Trust is routed through the Perivoli Foundation which is a UK Charity.

 The Perivoli Foundation also supports the Perivoli Climate Trust, which funds research into climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies; the Perivoli Rangeland Institute, which seeks to encourage rangeland restoration on cattle farms using biochar harvested from encroacher invasive bush and the adoption of natural farming practices by smallholders; and the Perivoli Africa Research Centre at the University of Bristol (PARC); as well as a number of niche, founder-led charities in the education, conservation and poverty amelioration sectors.

Funding

Perivoli Trust

The programme has been funded hitherto by the Perivoli Trust.

Perivoli Innovations

Longer term we hope that the running will be taken up by our sister Trust, Perivoli Innovations, which invests in the life science, MedTech, ClimateTech, and digital sectors, each mostly in the UK and in Africa.

Perivoli Foundation

Funding of the Perivoli Schools Trust is routed through the Perivoli Foundation which is a UK Charity.

 The Perivoli Foundation also supports the Perivoli Climate Trust, which funds research into climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies; the Perivoli Rangeland Institute, which seeks to encourage rangeland restoration on cattle farms using biochar harvested from encroacher invasive bush and the adoption of natural farming practices by smallholders; and the Perivoli Africa Research Centre at the University of Bristol (PARC); as well as a number of niche, founder-led charities in the education, conservation and poverty amelioration sectors.

Costs

We run lean. Our Trainers, who earn very well at about USD 250 to 750 per month, are on service contracts leaving them free for the ubiquitous “side hustle”.

We have no premises, just peripatetic joint-CEOs with a sturdy car and an online bookkeeper. So our overheads account for barely 5% of what we spend on the programme.

Our capital spending, just on tablet computers and branded shirts for our Trainers, is only a further 2%.

Our Progress

The counter below shows how many nursery school teachers we have interacted with since 2012. The counter is updated daily by direct feed from our database. You can see more summary information from the table at the top of the Progress Tab.

The number of children assumes that there are twenty five per nursery school teacher, that five new children join the school each year and that each teacher has been in the programme for an average of three years (these are conservative assumptions) i.e. 40 children per teacher. The ten year target is based on 90 children per teacher on average and assumes that only two thirds of teachers remain teachers.

You can see more summary information from the table at the top of the Progress page.

Over the past ten years we have reached:

0

nursery school teachers*

1,059,120

children*

* Updated daily by live feed from the database.

Our ten year aim is to reach:

0
nursery school teachers
0 million
children

Reach by year

Instagram

Follow us on @perivolischoolstrust where we will be posting weekly content for you to keep up with some of the recent work we have been doing.

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