Knowledge Partners Advise Project Alianza – Reshaping Rural Education

September 19th, 2022

In Nicaragua, almost 40% of kids drop out of elementary school. Witnessing firsthand the children’s hunger for learning while she was living in the local communities, Kristin van Busum founded Project Alianza in 2015. To reshape rural education, Project Alianza trains local women how to become community educators.

To date, Project Alianza has supported 19,000+ children living in isolated farming communities in Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador. A highly successful program, over 70% of Project Alianza Scholarship recipients demonstrated improved literacy skills in five months or fewer. Kristin’s success with Project Alianza led to her being a 2018 Gold Winner in MassChallenge and her selection as an Aspen Global Leadership Fellow.

To expand its model to communities throughout Latin America, Project Alianza reached out to Knowledge Impact Network (KIN) for help in a 90-minute Catalyze Session. Meeting with a team of Knowledge Partners–leaders willing to share their knowledge for social good – the focused question posed in the August session was “What audiences would be interested in supporting the scaling of the model of Project Alianza in Latin America?” Knowledge Partners Alan Marash, Kari Stoever, Ralph Sheridan, Stephen Candelmo, and Vanessa Loy discussed the important audiences Project Alianza should focus on for scaling and funding, as well as guidance on how to better connect with new funders. At the end of the session, Project Alianza received “Knowledge Pledges” from each Knowledge Partner on how they will stay in touch and connect Kristin to leads.  

“I’m really happy about all the new potential connections and being able to reach out to them intentionally. I also appreciate the feedback on positioning,” Kristin said.