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Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
English is indisputably the business language of South East Asia, according to Chamberlain's research. Out of 7,000 people surveyed, 84% indicated a desire to learn the language, and 97% of parents wanted their children to learn it. It is also true that most of Bangladesh's population lives on less than 2 dollars a day. Enters BBC Janala, the project harnessing the power of mobile phones in Bangladesh to bring effective and affordable language learning to the hands of students who desire it most. Each 2-3 minute English lesson offered through the service costs about the same as a cup of tea, a few pennies. Three million calls in the first 15 months clearly demonstrated the need for this type of learning.
Chamberlain is the recipient of the 2010 Microsoft Tech Award in the education category and speaks with Center for Social Innovation correspondant Sheela Sethuraman.
She and her team of managers and producers conducted massive research to properly contextualize and localize content. Their focus is now to take BBC Janala to the next level by turning it into a "financially self-sustaining, economically viable social enterprise."
Sara Chamberlain grew up in India and had been looking to find her way back there ever since she left the Himalayas for Princeton. Her opportunity came in 2006 when a colleague asked her along to Dhaka to conduct research for the development of an English language teaching project. The result was BBC Janala, which now offers both mobile phone and online resources to young English learners, mainly in Bangladesh. She expresses gratitude at being able to work on this project, which is something she considers to be the cutting edge of user experience and design. Her love of South Asia and excitement over collaboration with people from diverse backgrounds makes her the recognized laureate she is.