Nonprofit Fellowships

Social & Emotional Learning in Early-Childhood Education

Karim Bechir spent six months in Sri Lanka as Head of Strategy & Operations for Think Equal.

Social & Emotional Learning in Early-Childhood Education

Think Equal was created in May 2016, and calls on heads of states and education ministers to adopt its educational program which includes concrete lesson plans and teacher guides that mediate all aspects of experiential value-based social and emotional learning. Think Equal believes that the skills associated with empathy need to become core values in our homes, schools, and workplace. They need to be embedded at all levels of society – a philosophy very in line with my personal values. The goal is to introduce the program as a 4-year subject on the compulsory national curriculum of world schools from the earliest years. Sri Lanka is the first country committed to rolling the program out in all 19,000 preschools and over 10,000 national schools, and is where I had the opportunity to spend four months during my NPF.

I spent most of my fellowship in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with trips to Kenya, Botswana, and London. Given its commitment for national rollout, Think Equal understood leadership was necessary on the ground to develop a strong rollout strategy and ensure timely implementation. My day-to-day tasks involved a mix of tactical implementation and high-level strategy, including:

  • Advising the Sri Lankan government and education ministry on how to roll out Think Equal’s curriculum nationally as part of their 2018 curriculum revamp.
  • Developing a pilot, and national rollout strategies to help Think Equal reach the necessary scale to achieve its 2020 target of launching in 10 countries.
  • Refining and implementing a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) strategy in partnership with the Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence for a 300-school pilot.
Social impact is, and always will be, a highly personal journey. For me, it was about nurturing my curiosity for the extraordinary world we live in, discovering and understanding new cultures, and most importantly, discovering and understanding myself.
Karim Bechir, Associate, Oliver Wyman

With the combination of my first teaching experience in Kenya in 2015 and my Nonprofit Fellowship, I’ve come to realize that education is a passion I want to explore further. This means learning to balance a consulting career and a passion outside of the office, which I believe Oliver Wyman is a great place for. By using its resources and capabilities to address some of society’s biggest challenges, Oliver Wyman is committed to making a positive social impact and empowering its people to engage and build strong relationships with the communities in which we work.

If you’re a consultant at Oliver Wyman considering an Nonprofit Fellowship, just go for it. Apply, pack your bags, and embrace the adventure. Chase your personal projects! If you’re thinking of applying to Oliver Wyman, NPFs are an excellent perk.

This story also appeared in the Oliver Wyman for Society Annual Social Impact Report 2017.