Updated Jan 15, 2021

Aly Jetha

Winner of the 2018 WISE Award, 1001 Nights uses cartoons to teach civic education and life skills to children in and out of school. 3rd party assessments have found 50-70% reductions in vulnerability and significant improvements in life skills.

1001 Nights is multimedia educational program based on a 62-episode animated television series that airs as commercial entertainment. While highly entertaining, each episode teaches an important life skill, including concepts of non-violence, gender equality, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. In addition to the television program, the series has been adapted into a curriculum for ...
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1001 Nights is multimedia educational program based on a 62-episode animated television series that airs as commercial entertainment. While highly entertaining, each episode teaches an important life skill, including concepts of non-violence, gender equality, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. In addition to the television program, the series has been adapted into a curriculum for use in formal and informal settings, including schools and refugee/IDP safe spaces. In each of the 40-lesson-plans, children first watch a 10-minute episode of 1001 Nights, are then directed through discussions and activities by their teachers, and finally, take activities home to complete with their parents and siblings. For Teachers – a set of USBs, which include animated episodes of 1001 Nights, a teacher’s guide, which includes scripted lesson plans for each lesson (which are structured to stimulate critical thinking skills even where teachers use rote teaching methodologies) and a companion storybook (which are written versions of each episode for settings that do not have audio-visual equipment); and For Students - a student activity book, which includes all exercises that students are to do at home with their families.
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Stage 5: Scaling

As 1001 Nights continues to scale with more children in more countries, Big Bad Boo is developing multiple new programs, with curricula, for children ages 5-12 that focus on literacy, numeracy, SEL, rule of law, and countering climate change.

Focus Areas:

Soft or Life Skills, Peace and Resilience and Gender-based Violence

Soft or Life Skills, Peace and Resilience and Gender-based ViolenceSEE LESS

1,700,000
Customers
80
Employees
$18,687,300
Funds Raised to Date

Problem

When children grow up in a society engulfed by sectarianism, corruption, inequality and a lack of human rights, these become “normative” values that define how they look at the world and create strategies to survive. This is particularly true of children growing up exposed to sustained ethnic and/or religious conflict for whom violence and intolerance is then deeply ingrained. Resetting the normative values of children during this developmental period has the potential of breaking this cycle.

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Solution

While educational entertainment has been used in the developing world, through programs like Sesame Street, its use, to date, has been limited to pre-school programing for social and emotional skills development. 1001 Nights is one of the most effective uses of this approach to teach lifeksills and gender equality, engaging children in discussion and dialogue around key issues.

Target Beneficiaries

Globally, there are over 263 million children out of school -27 million of which are in conflict or post conflict settings. This program serves all genders ranging from the age 8 - 12. Of the total beneficiaries for this innovation, approximately 1,050,000 comprise beneficiaries earning less than $5 per day.

Mission and Vision

Entertainment, if developed so it is highly engaging and layered to teach specific learning outcomes, can be an extremely powerful tool for attitudinal change and the normalization of key ideas. When children are engrossed in a program that they love, they will learn from the stories and emulate the characters’ personalities and traits. When such programing is implemented at a very young age and with a critical mass of society, it can be very powerful in changing cultural norms.

Competitive Advantage

1001 Nights has been lauded for its data driven approach to monitoring and evaluating impact.Using very unique M&E instruments developed by the former head of research from Sesame Street, as well as data scientists from Oxford University, all implementations of the program to date have shown that the program effectively inculcates civic values, promotes social cohesion, provides PSS, excites children to go to school, teaches empathy and inclusion and dramatically reduces notions of gender equality. In a 2018 implementation that used radio theatre and TV in Syria, for example, over 4.5 Million people country-wide viewed/listened to the program 3 times per week for 40 days. Pre- and post-tests of children found substantial increases in key civic values, including notions of gender equality (by 92%), preferences for non-violence to resolve disputes (by 56%), and inclusion of outgroups (by 122%).

Planned Goals and Milestones

The 1001 Nights Program targets children aged 8 - 12 in formal and non-formal learning environments. There are many ideas, however, that solidify at a younger age. Big Bad Boo is currently seeking funds to expand its 1001 Nights approach. The new program, called Judge Jodhi, features a 12 year old girl that sets up court in her background to solve neighborhood disputes. Through Judge Jodhi, children will debate the rule of law, fairness, and concepts of right and wrong, amongst other topics.
Funding Goal5,000,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted1,000,000
New Implemented CountriesGambia, The, El Salvador, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Sierra Leone

The Team Behind the Innovation

The executive team features creative and technical experts in children’s education and entertainment including founders Aly Jetha, co-creator of the 1001 Nights program, and Shabnam Rezaei who has been featured on CNN, Forbes, and BBC as an expert in promoting diversity and inclusion in the media. Other senior members include the former Head of Research and Development at Sesame Workshop, and Emmy award-winning writers. 60% of BBB’s senior leadership is female.

EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN

Milestone

May 2018

Supporting Materials

Key-Findings-1001-Nights-orientation-null.pdf