Online Tutoring Educates Kids in Developing Countries

EducateNCare is an online personal tutoring service with a social good twist. A portion of each tutoring session’s cost helps educate children in the developing world, applying a one-for-one-style donation model into an online service.

While this model has been used with consumer products before, what makes EducateNcare unique is that its “product” lives on the Internet.

A network of certified teachers and college students work with individual students in recorded online sessions, allowing students and parents to review the lessons afterwards. Each tutor sets the rate for his services, sending 25% of the proceeds to EducateNcare. After the organization deducts the cost of operations (which vary depending on the tutor’s rate), the rest of the money goes towards the company’s Global Education Projects.

Note: There is some branding confusion on the website, as the organization is transitioning from using its original name EduCare into its domain name EducateNcare.

TOMS Shoes popularized the one-for-one donation model by sending a pair of shoes to a child in the developing world for every pair purchased. We’ve seen other web-based organizations such as Sevenlyincorporate the model into their business operations. But does a service-based version have legs?

EducateNcare selects projects based on the likelihood of sustainability within the community. “Before we go into any of the projects, we have a meeting with the organization that’s going to monitor it,” says the EducateNcare founder Piyush Mangukiya. “We want to empower the local community to take care of the school.”

So far, EducateNcare has given more than 800 tutoring sessions in the U.S., and a matching 800 lessons for students in developing countries. In one of its first projects, the organization funded the creation of a computer lab for a school in Gujarat, India.

EducateNcare is currently partnered with Pencils of Promise, an educational non-profit working in Laos, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

Adding funding to its Global Education Projects, EducateNcare launched two educational apps — SAT Math Study Guide and ShapePuzzle4Good — two months ago. Half of the app’s sales help Pencils for Promise build a pre-school in Guatemala.

What do you think of EducateNcare? Is there a better way to bring education to the developing world or is this a bold step in the right direction? Let us know in the comments below.

Image courtesy of iStockphotobtrenkel

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