Photo by Kristine

You hold the key to bringing quality education to hundreds of children and adults in the palm of your hand with little more than a common thumb drive or phone on your next adventure or vacation. Internet technology is a huge plus for sharing educational content across the globe, but leaves out developing and underprivileged areas with no or limited internet access. Alternatively, the Foundation for Learning Equality’s grassroots and multi-language program shares teaching content. They are bridging the global digital divide by bringing the online learning revolution offline, which is helping to make universal education a reality and help break cycles of poverty.

You hold the key to bringing quality education to hundreds of children and adults in the palm of your hand.

Jen and Witt Sparks, an over landing family with two children, are doing just this as they install over 40,000 free Khan Academy (KA) educational videos and exercises at Do Good As You Go partner locations in Canada and Mexico including both community centers and girls’ homes. This offline version of Khan Academy provides instructional videos and associated interactive exercises in multiple languages, on everything from algebra to art history. This allows students to work independently at their own pace and on subjects of their choice, reinforcing topics they learned in school and ensuring that advanced learners are challenged while less advanced learners aren’t left behind. Installed in over 140 countries, this grassroots effort helps to 1) reduce the startling statistic of 1 in 3 children lacking access to quality basic education and 2)empower the community.

The Sparks have also developed installation guidelines, setting the groundwork for future installations and enabling other volunteers to continue the initiative. The Sparks family is driving their camper van from Denver, Colorado to a yet­-to-­be-­determined location in South America by way of Inuvik, Northwest Territories, and Canada. They are not only taking in the sights, but also giving back as they travel. “We have to acknowledge that a large part of where we are today is due to dumb luck. Mostly it comes down to having been born into a middle class family in a developed nation, where we have had the opportunity to get a good education and well-paying jobs. We have always had a goal of doing some volunteering during our trip. Do Good As You Go, which we learned about at the Overland Expo in 2012, specializes in helping travelers like us find volunteer opportunities while on the road, using travelers’ skills and experiences to help make a difference for communities around the world. Jen has been passionate about education for quite some time”, shares Kitt. “Having traveled extensively in the developing world, Jen and I believe that an education is the key to a better life with their help achieve that education if they so choose. We are devoting part of our time traveling to making that resource available to communities in need”, Kitt said.

The Sparks family’ connections, relationships and service during their travel has a positive impact on the individuals and communities that they encounter as well as on themselves. Their work is an inspiration to us all to give back in a meaningful way on our journeys. Do Good As You Go is seeking to expand our network of volunteers and travelers across the globe. Making your next journey meaningful, like the Sparks family, is as easy and close as the palm of your hand.

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At Conscious, remarkable people and organizations inspire us, and so we set out to tell stories that highlight human interest stories, global initiatives, innovation, community development, and social impact. You can read more stories like this when you subscribe.

Editor’s Note: Conscious Magazine has teamed up with Carol Hurst of Muskoka Foundation’s Do Good As You Go movement. Carol will shed light on travel and volunteerism. Find out more about Carol in this interview here. Follow the series.