This project examined the research question ‘How can basic education be provided in a way that is best suited to promoting sustainable livelihood aspirations of informal traders?’ A university in the Horn of Africa co-produced the curriculum with low-income and informal traders, which is significant as the co-production of a curriculum with people who are not literate or numerate is a creative and unusual approach that has never been done in the region and rarely elsewhere. They provided a short pilot course of basic education, as a contribution to sustainable development, to learn more general lessons about education for sustainable development within and beyond the region.
The project become successful and made a significant impact on both the university and the beneficiaries. For instance, people who were not able to recognise basic numbers and letters are now able to read, write and do the necessary business calculations. The university has also benefited from the programme. We have learned new ways of educating informal traders and understood their perspectives. Our students, who taught the beneficiaries, felt that they have contributed to their society and are willing to continue the support even after the project closure.