Education inside a box is the brainchild of of two Gen Z students who are bent on leveling the playing field of education. Under the banner of Abierto, a nonprofit initiative, the project is called Kits4Kids whereby basic school supplies are provided free of cost. Essentially, educational care kits are donated to those for whom education has become something of a fantasy.
This is the mission of Kits4Kids: to distribute school supplies to kids all over the world who need it the most. What’s included in the kits? Pencils, pens, erasers, crayons books, book bag, shirt, geometry set and calculator. But what is the vision?
It all started with two young kids in Peoria, Illinois. Sai Akhil Pulikam, whose journey began in India and Jeremie Mulumba, whose journey began Congo. They decided that instead of a miracle they will do something. Both consider complacency to be a disease, and hoping and wishing that someone will do something that is not in their DNA. In fact, Generation Z is poised to make meaningful impacts no matter what the scale. One thing is certain, they prefer engagement over accepting the status quo which results in adopting a lazy attitude of doing nothing. As Akhil said, “Education is the ultimate ammunition against complacency. An equitable approach of accessing and dispensing of knowledge is what will make all countries including America great!”
The founders of this nonprofit are cognizant that the quest for knowledge and erudition, unfortunately, has also morphed into a luxury item. Unfortunately, higher education and access to quality education, is no longer a public good. It has migrated from a noble venture from a purist pursuit of knowledge to a privatized for-profit model where teaching and learning are peripheral, and the financial bottom line a religion. This sad state of affairs is why there is poverty, extremism, and a manipulation of information that results in generational conflicts. The problem is exasperated further by a state of complacency.
The solution these kids came up with, or rather a micro-solution as they put it, is sending of “care packages” to schools in countries where children choose between working to support their families or walking miles to attend run-down schools. They began with sending educational care packages and are working on creating teacher exchange programs whereby teachers from America will drop-in to teach for a week - essentially an Airbnb for restoring equity in education.
This project, Kits4Kids, has been launched recently but already close to one hundred kids have been helped in communities in Peoria, Illinois, Bronx, New York, Guatemala, India and refugee camps in Syria through UNICEF. “Our next step is to partner with USAID to reach over a 100 countries by the end of this year. We recognize its an ambitious goal but its not even a drop in the bucket if you measure the need,” said Jeremie. “We are receiving a lot of interest from established nonprofits and private companies asking how they can help,” added Akhil.