Updated Jul 11, 2018

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LitWorld's 7 Strength training and programming will provide a space where that individual and community will have an increased sense of self, capacity for community engagement, personal/professional development, and improved future outlook.


Oriana Stern

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Stage 2: Research & Development

Focus Areas:

Curriculum and Mental Health

Curriculum and Mental HealthSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Nigeria, Philippines and Colombia

Nigeria, Philippines and ColombiaSEE LESS

Countries Implemented In


OPPORTUNITY: HUMANITY, EVEN IN CRISISWhether in an emergency or not, amazing, strong people are in every doorway, in every patch of shade. In crises, people have been pushed to extremes, bringing out inner reserves of endurance, creativity and resilience-they have stories of strength in them to find, shape and use. Why not build highly-needed literacy skills and resilience by first putting energy and resources toward uncovering, strengthening this inner power in each community, in each girl?



LitWorld's innovation is Strength Stories-both the process of writing them with the girls and local facilitators, and the products of that work together: the renewed resilience, the literacy skills, the stories themselves in a community library and the networks of girls formed around the work and stories. LitWorld and local partners collaborate on 7 Strength Stories lessons-literacy and visual storytelling work. Using the girls_ work as examples, we offer on-site & virtual training (including trauma-sensitive teaching) to community leaders who then reach more girls. It builds the library of Strength Stories and the girls_ visual storytelling, strengthening their voices, resilience & community trust. Strength-Stories offers a social-emotional, literacy focus that serves as a bridge to formal schooling. Meta-analysis of 270,000 K-12 students shows __??when we help our students develop their social emotional skills, we are simultaneously improving their chances for academic achievement and lifelong success__?? (Durlak, et al. 2011). Literacy is a foundational skill required to acquire advanced skills.(Morrell, Allyn, 2014). Strength Stories is an invitation into self-development and the process of creation, so it doesn_t end. The girls in the community in turn teach other girls to write the stories, adding to the Strength Story collection, fostering literacy & creating a cascade of strong girls' voices.

Target Beneficiaries

Strength Stories would reach 1,500 girls ages 9-13 in the first year by launching in the Philippines, Colombia and Nigeria.The girls (and leaders) benefit by strengthening their literacy skills and deepening their social-emotional health. Their communities benefit by the girls_ collaboration and growth, and they benefit from the new libraries of strength stories. We will use before/after assessments, surveys, interviews and data collection to assess leaders_ and girls_ growth (and thereby our success) in the following areas:- Literacy skills- Social-emotional skills, 7 strengths (Belonging, Friendship, Kindness, Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, and Hope)- School and community engagement

Mission and Vision

Our Mission: Strengthening kids and communities through the power of their own stories. Together, authoring a bold new world of equity and opportunity.

Innovation Description

Litworld empowers refugee girls through developing their storytelling skills and developing local facilitators

Competitive Advantage

Playground Ideas is the only open source play based organisation in the world. Unlike other organisations, all of our resources are free and readily available to anyone.What has made us successful is that local communities take the initiative to create what is needed in their own communities. It is not based on an 'International expert' implementing a project or installing a play space. Community members take the lead, identify their needs, what resources already exist, and we fill gaps in knowledge, provide ideas, designs and technical advice. What sets this initiative apart, is its simplicity and the ease with which it can be created in emergency settings and be scaleable. A loose parts box just requires finding low cost and recycled materials that are easily available in most settings, learning about how to use the materials, and how to get the best out of them, how to let children take the lead and use their imaginations, their problem solving and social skills.


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