Microscholarships (or "Microvouchers")
Microscholarship initiatives extend the microfinance revolution to global learning. Small amounts of money — typically ranging from $5 to $50 — can help cover the costs for many students in poor communities to access educational resources that have been otherwise out of reach.
Two notable microscholarship initiatives have been undertaken by Openworld and its partners to date for introducing microscholarships.
In Kyrgyzstan, Openworld and the Academy for Educational Development, through a local implementing partnership with CIIP, launched in 2005 a USAID-supported competition for communities to win initial "challenge grant" offers of $20,000 in microscholarships to spread Internet skills and global language proficiencies. Over the past two years, more than 9,000 Kyrgyz have benefited from the project. The initiative has been anchored in entrepreneurially run telecenters ("eCenters"), whose operators have produced multimedia presentations on the experience.
In Sri Lanka, the first private microscholarship initiative launched by an entrepreneurially run school has also made strides. To date, more than 70 students at the Horizon Lanka Academy have benefited from global donors responding to the opportunity to defray tuition costs. If you would like to make a contribution to the Horizon Lanka microscholarship fund, please visit the GlobalGiving site with your Paypal or debit/credit card ready.