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British Asian Trust leads LiftEd drive to support 4mn children in India

British Asian Trust leads LiftEd drive to support 4mn children in India
Courtesy: British Asian Trust

Millions of children across India are set to benefit from LiftEd, an initiative to foster learning and innovation in Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN).

The British Asian Trust has convened a powerful consortium of private companies, charities and educational organisations to launch LiftEd, supporting the learning of four million children in India over five years.

The Indian government has identified FLN, the ability to read and understand basic text and solve basic mathematical problems as an “urgent and necessary prerequisite to learning”. LiftEd is supporting this notion with a budget of up to $20 million funded by a total of 26 partners including Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Reliance Foundation and Standard Chartered Bank.

LiftEd aims to make a lasting impact on current and future generations of students by:

•        Working with state governments and schools training educators to improve learning for students between grades 1-3.

•        Using a technology based EdTech Accelerator to develop digital solutions to help students from low-income communities with at-home learning.

Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive, British Asian Trust, said: "Having pioneered the use of social finance in South Asia over the last 7 years, we continue to cement our position as a global leader in this field. LiftEd builds on our expertise and learnings from previous successes, particularly the award-winning Quality Education India Development Impact Bond (QEI DIB), which culminated in 2022 with excellent learning outcomes for 200,000children in India.

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“Now, with LiftEd, we are working with partners to create an opportunity to make an even deeper impact, for 4 million children, solidifying their foundational learning skills and setting them up for success later in life!”

The British Asian Trust, founded in 2007 by King Charles III (then The Prince of Wales) and a group of visionary British Asian business leaders, is a global pioneer in social finance. Since founding themBritish Asan Trust, The King has closely supported and encouraged its social finance initiatives, and admired the innovation it brings to the development sector.

The Trust has a strong track record of driving successful collaborations and applying social finance approaches to solve social and economic challenges in South Asia. The Trust will serve as the programme leader for LiftEd.

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LiftEd follows the British Asian Trust’s $11 million Quality Education India Development Impact Bond (QEI DIB) launched in 2018, the Trust's first social finance programme in South Asia, closely supported by the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). The QEI DIB was the largest education impact bond in the world at the time, and improved the learning for 200,000 students across India by 2.5x during a four-year period. The British Asian Trust also has an ongoing Skill Impact Bond (SIB) in India addressing the significant gaps in creating a skilled and meaningfully employed workforce in the country.

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