Updated Jun 28, 2018

Koulu School / Demos Helsinki

Koulu School aims to use peer to peer teaching to support quality education and provide people encouraging opportunities to contribute positively to their communities in fragile environments, such as refugee communities.


The innovation has no owner


Stage 3: Proof of Concept

Focus Areas:

Education and Mental Health

Education and Mental HealthSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Jordan and Greece

Jordan and GreeceSEE LESS

Countries Implemented In


Koulu School addresses two problems: scarcity of education resources in emergencies, and young people??s frustration and disempowerment facing lack of opportunities to learn and to contribute to the community (No Lost Generation,childrenofsyria.info/download/9702/). Although education is the fourth pillar of humanitarian response, resources for organising it can be scarce leading to short school days, large groups, and overwhelmed teacher resources.(UNHCR,www.unhcr.org/3b8a1ba94.pdf).



Koulu School is a tested peer-to-peer teaching model for youth that consists of skill discovery and learning the basic pedagogical skills for turning these skills into an engaging lesson. It engages youth to support the delivery of quality education, creates opportunities for civic engagement, and strengthens psychosocial well-being.It can be utilized to support formal education and to create after school activities. In its core is a simple method of training basic teaching skills to anyone,based on Finnish education expertise. The training lasts a few hours a day over a few days. In the end,new peer teachers teach their lessons to the community members. (See attachments.) The pilots have been praised both by youth and teachers. The model also includes Training of Trainers and Impact Measurement (See UX Map).The aimed impact is to: 1) Ensure quality learning: Through learning to teach a lesson, youth take more responsibility for their own as well as the shared learning in classroom. This brings in the resources of the community to support the burdened teachers. 2) Strengthen psychosocial wellbeing: Teaching and supporting their peers is an opportunity for youth to contribute positively to the community. This instills dignity, sense of normalcy and joy. The skill discovery in peer teacher training also enables creating study and hobby groups outside formal school led by youth.Encouraged by the first tests in EiE context we want to design a service that scales

Target Beneficiaries

Koulu School is first targeted towards empowering the displaced youth in refugee situations. Our target group is adolescents between 15 to 24 years living in Jordan and in Greece, as this age group is critical but seriously unaddressed. Currently, the number of refugees and migrants is 691800 and 48800 respectively. Of these, approximately 30% are in our target group. The concept is targeted to all genders, however, in our pilots, girls have been particularly excited and empowered by it. To enable the peer-teaching model to root, we will provide training also for teachers, for them to learn to harness the capabilities of students in supporting their peers in the classroom.

Mission and Vision

Koulu School is a welcoming peer-to-peer learning experience, co-created with the participants, and backed up by the latest research revealing we are more prone to learn from a peer. Koulu School creates an easy to learn activity that transforms people from all walks of life into passionate educators; driven and able to instruct and inspire others in what they themselves find fascinating, useful, or important to share.

Innovation Description

Koulu School _ Everyone has something to teach - Transforming refugee youth into peer teachers to support quality education in classroom and to create learning opportunities outside it.

Competitive Advantage

We're an early childhood education initiative focusing on empowering NGOs, teachers, volunteers and other relevant actors. We constantly incorporate feedback from prospective users and refugees to ensure they are an integral part of our solution. Our curriculum is backed by research evidence providing effective activities ensuring quality education. Our mobile app has a diverse game database and customized curriculum based on user criteria. Our app ensures timeliness and user-friendliness, which is critical in refugee camps.We provide opportunities for refugees (15+) to act as facilitators and gain skills. This community-based approach allows education activities to organically grow even if NGOs are inactive in the refugee context. With 2 team members from Arab countries, we have a deep understanding of the linguistic, cultural and contextual background of many refugees, and can thus tailor to a diverse set of needs.


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New Country Implemented In