On the occasion of the summit dedicated to philanthropy and nepotism proposed by Forbes France on April 20, the editorial staff took the opportunity to speak with Alina Baimen, co-founder and CEO of the charity network Edheroes. She tells us why education is crucial to making the world a better place.
Where are you from and how did you come to create Edheroes?
Born in Kazakhstan, she studied in England and then Singapore for her International Baccalaureate degree. I then checked into a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Arts in Toronto. During my studies, I also participated in many university programs and humanitarian missions in India or South Africa.
I didn’t find my first steps into the world of work particularly satisfying. Very quickly, so I attended many international events on educational projects and met all the people who would join me on the Edheroes adventure a few years later. All sharing the same vision, we first drafted a joint statement.
The Edheroes Project was born a year and a half ago with the goal of providing an opportunity for educational projects around the world to accelerate at a rapid pace. I have traveled a lot in my life and seen how globalization allows us to connect across borders and share common ideas and values.
What is the impact of the health crisis on your work?
We launched Edheroes specifically due to the COVID crisis and the initial goal was to cater to families and parents who did not know how to pursue their children’s education. Chaos was in full swing, and soon we teamed up with families.
On the other hand, the COVID crisis was a great opportunity to prove that it is possible to teach remotely. On the other hand, physical education remains an important part of the socialization of children. Learning outside the family circle is also vital to its development. So it is necessary to combine the two to find the best balance.
What do you offer more than existing humanitarian programs?
These humanitarian programs take time to emerge and we wanted to avoid any bureaucratic hurdle. Concretely, we aim to create entities in as many countries as possible so that the greatest number will benefit from sharing knowledge and values in our society. We strongly believe in the concept of glocalization that can make access to education easier by adapting to the specifics and needs of each region.
This does not mean that we come to a country where we point out the defects or problems of the system in force. We are present in 135 countries to date and this also includes partnerships with existing organizations that we are turning into a hub (a kind of franchise associated with Edheroes).
We engage with local players in the education world to support them in their projects. So they do the same job as usual but with more resources. Similarly, we don’t just donate money. We first identify the people who are most passionate about education in the country and support them in various ways.
We really want to innovate to distance ourselves from the traditional charitable system; Which we also consider very outdated and bureaucratic. Edheroes ensures more transparency in the distribution of donations: we are simply facilitators and the money does not pass through us, but goes directly into the pockets of the people who represent us.
Is your activity related to the fourth goal of the United Nations for sustainable development?
We fully agree with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It is also possible to see that education is linked to all other goals. It is not the most important, but in our opinion the best methodological tool for solving many problems in the world. Education is the key to meeting the great humanitarian challenges of tomorrow
What is your dream about this project?
I dream of succeeding in spreading a center in all countries of the world thanks to a network of education enthusiasts who know each other and who help each other in the slightest problem. In short, my ambition remains to weave a global network of educational experts working for a better world.
since then, Our priority is to get more coverage so that it becomes better known around the world. And it’s still pretty simple, given the connectivity of today’s world. But the digital world alone can be cold and distant and the importance of the human dimension should not be forgotten. Good ideas do not come out of nowhere and are the result of exchanges between people.
This is also why we want to open a new center in France soon and identify communities who are passionate about education and want to join our movement.
If you want to become an Edhero, click here.
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