Network Alumni-Led Enterprises in India and Lebanon Partner to Learn From Each Other

Shweta Eidnani, Partnerships Lead, Mantra4Change

We at Mantra4Change, an organization working in Bangalore, India, firmly believe that if anything will lead to sustained change in the quality of education it is “systemic education transformation." Our ethos lies in working with the system instead of working for it. Keeping this in mind, all of our programs are designed to work synergistically with various state governments of India. 

Our team aids the government in: 

  • Planning and facilitating professional development for teachers and school leaders 
  • Ideating and prototyping new solutions to counter persistant problems
  • Monitoring and evaluating the impact of our various innovations catered to meet the needs of each state government

In 2019, our founder Santosh More, an alumnus of Teach For India, participated in a conference for alumni of Teach For All network partners in Bulgaria. There he happened to meet Fahd Jamaledine, a Teach For Lebanon alumnus who is the founder of Inspiration Gardens, an initiative focused on improving student learning outcomes through meaningful activities and providing professional development to teachers. Over various cups of coffee, the two were able to identify similarities not only in the work they do but the kind of problems crippling their respective education systems. 

This connection led to the start of a very fulfilling partnership between Mantra4Change and Inspiration Gardens. Our initial conversations focused on working with the Inspiration Gardens team towards understanding and documenting their program design. The Mantra4Change team then worked closely with the Inspiration Gardens team to develop their theory of change, outcomes chain, and monitoring and evaluation framework.

Working with the Inspiration Gardens team helped instill more confidence in our team at Mantra4Change, especially with respect to capacity-building and designing solutions for scale. Since then, we have conducted program design sessions with over 15 Indian organizations, wherein we have been able to ideate new solutions that can be implemented across borders. 

We also see a huge difference in the work being done by Inspiration Gardens as they have now developed a beautiful framework for building the professional capacity of teachers in the government and private schools of Lebanon. Sharing our work with each other has led to Inspiration Gardens working towards partnering with different stakeholders to tackle the problem of teacher agency and ownership. 

“We learned to look from the outside toward inside the system,” Fahd explains. “This gave Inspiration Gardens the ability to assess the scope of what we were doing for the past six years, and then design a new program that is more impactful and scalable on a system level."

It has been nothing short of amazing for our team at Mantra4Change to have had the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from Inspiration Gardens. And, our collaboration continues to grow as we are now sharing with each other the importance and process of digitization. We look forward to sharing the outcomes of these discussions with the Teach For All network and its global community.

Read more stories of cross-border connections between network teachers and alumni.