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Sunday, November 27, 2022
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Orenda Project Gets Grant from GSMA Innovation Fund

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The Orenda Project has been awarded a grant as part of the GSMA Innovation Fund for Mobile Internet Adoption and Digital Inclusion, which is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fȕr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the GSMA and its members.

The Fund aims to increase mobile internet adoption and usage for the underserved, such as those not currently able to use mobile internet services.

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The mission of Orenda Project is to use technology to bridge the divide between private and public schools by providing engaging, high quality digital education to the masses. For the past four years, Orenda Project has brought the National Curriculum of Pakistan to life through animated videos and interactive quizzes, via its digital platform Taleemabad. 

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The Taleemabad App has found its way to over 700,000 children all across Pakistan, from Kashmir in the north to Gwadar in the south and contains animated videos and interactive quizzes for K to 5 grades.

The Orenda Project aims to increase the education opportunities for children living outside the major cities of Pakistan by expanding both the curriculum and reach of the Taleemabad app to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, by developing the app for KaiOS phones, thus tackling the affordability and accessibility barriers.

The Orenda Project also plans to launch physical schools, which will elevate the students’ learning outcomes by weaving in technology to help secure every Taleemabad student and school’s future.

According to the GSMA, it received a total of 598 applications from start-ups and SMEs in 44 countries across Africa and Asia. After a rigorous evaluation process followed by selection from an independent panel of industry experts, they announced the nine grantees which are Africa 118, Ensibuuko, Knowledge Platform, Navana Tech, ScholarX, The Orenda Project, Vceela, WidEnergy Ltd and Zonful Energy.

According to Haroon Yaseen, the CEO and co-founder at Orenda Project, “If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that digital learning is here to say. This we say with a major caveat, however. We believe that solid, long term learning will always be a blended (digital + physical) activity, powered by communities of learners, parents and teachers that support each other.

With this grant, we get to do two things that we have been deeply passionate about since our inception:

First, it will allow us to build technology that takes Taleemabad to users which were previously priced out due to the mandatory requirement of owning a smartphone. In the next year, Taleemabad will also be available on feature smartphones starting from ~$20. This will enable us to truly reach the mass market. 

Second, it will help us expand Taleemabad Schools – a unique vertical that is powered by our existing educational products (mobile apps, content, LMS, books, curriculum) in order to truly democratize blended learning for the underserved. Taleemabad schools offer the best of in person and digital learning, lowering costs and delivering a power-packed curriculum at a cut throat price to the bottom of the pyramid.”

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