Utilization and adoption of the Cardano protocol is challenging for children in SA with limited access to computers and technical support.
Create a lab/model school by merging Cardano's treasury, incentive, identity and governance systems with our school for vulnerable children.
This is the total amount allocated to MCA: A Model School in South Africa
Ed and Keith (see Team bios), with 12 years' experience building and financing MCA in SA, have a track record of accomplishment. An outgrowth of our original vision was the creation of Indlu Living, our sister firm, about which Charles Hoskinson in 2019 said the following: https://youtu.be/M9ll4M814j8
PROBLEM STATEMENT EXPANDED
We will merge the critical systems of the Cardano protocol including treasury, incentive, identity and governance systems with MCA, our school with a 10-year history and 120 students. We will do this to enhance the educational experience of our students while at the same time demonstrating the real-world utility of the Cardano protocol in an educational environment.
This is, however, complicated by the following issues:
SOLUTION STATEMENT EXPANDED
Given Cardano's vision of providing a new financial operating system for the world and particularly for the unbanked and disadvantaged of the world, it makes sense to 1) test its smart contract and treasury concept by improving the process of transferring charitable aid from donors to the MCA's Daedalus treasury account,2) use its token economy incentive system to motivate high levels of academic performance, 3) incorporate Cardano's identity system at MCA to provide our students with a digital identity and finally, 4) adapt Cardano's governance system so that Board members, staff, faculty, students and parents will have a voice in shaping the growth and directions of the school.
Our project represents something of a challenge to Cardano in that it provides an opportunity to test in an existing school with a 10-year history how the basic elements of its protocol can improve the lives of those it claims to want to serve, the unbanked and disadvantaged, particularly in Africa.
ABOUT OUR SCHOOL
With limited resources we have been able to create an independent school of 120 students in eight grades in Kwamhlanga, a poor township, located 60 kilometers north of Pretoria. Our target population is vulnerable children many of whom have lost parents to the AIDS epidemic. Our school, formerly Mukhanyo Christian Academy (MCA) changed its name to Musawenkosi Christian Academy (MCA) several years ago as one of several requirements associated with becoming registered as an independent school with the Department of Education of South Africa. MCA began in 2010 with 20 students, but now has grades R through seven with 120 students, staff of 17 and annual budget of $150,000. To appreciate the reality of the wonderful school which we have established Check out below the 6-minute video**"Kids Helping Kids"** which brings our school to life.
Currently, MCA, which is located on leased property, has purchased a 5-acre permanent site from the tribal chief of the region whose own school was shuttered due to the coronavirus.
CURRENT NEEDS AND OBJECTIVES OF MCA
We will create a microcosm of the Cardano protocol and it's constituent elements using Cardano smart contracts to create a token economy at MCA, our existing school of 120 students in grades R through grade seven. This will include:
We already have a significant Ada fund which we envision as the start of an endowment for the school. Initially we planned to use some Ada funds through smart contracts to incentivize student performance. Upon further reflection we decided to take a more holistic view of the situation. Consequently, we have taken the following steps and established some preliminary objectives for this project.
PHASE I: BUILDING A FOUNDATION
Parallel with these activities we will begin working immediately on initial contracts identified below.
PHASE II: TESTING INITIAL SMART CONTRACTS
TREASURY SYSTEM – we will build out a process using Plutus and/or Marlowe smart contracts to nurture supportive relationships between donors and members of the school community (students, teachers, staff, and board members). Since we want to use the Treasury to receive donations from external sources without reinforcing the perception of a direct financial linkage between the donor and child and to avoid creating a sense of dependency, building constructive relationships with donors will only be one of many behaviors that may prompt rewards in the student's account. Students will, however, be taught that building positive relationships with a donor is a way for them to support their community. A more direct link between incentives and student academic performance will be established with rewards coming from the school. In this way we want students to learn that there is a direct connection between their performance and the impact on their life outcomes.
Major Donors – seeking a financial return while doing good.
Contract #1- We will demonstrate for major donors the potential return from investing in Cardano's ADA, i.e., 5% compounding reward from staking in an appreciating asset.
Relationship Donors – seeking a personal return in a caring relationship with a student.
Contract #2- Donors will be offered a contract in which they agree for a certain amount of money (e.g., $25 to $35) to be deposited automatically every month.
IMPLEMENTING THE LARGER VISION – even while completing Phase I: Building a Foundation and Phase II: Testing Initial Smart Contracts we will be planning to implement the larger vision. This will be somewhat contingent on the increasing functionality of the Cardano smart contract system and may require additional funding in subsequent funds.
INCENTIVE SYSTEM – we will build a token economy reward system to motivate positive behaviors that support academic excellence and the development of strong character.
Teachers and/or Staff
IDENTITY SYSTEM – we will integrate Cardano's Atala Prism identity system into MCA's administrative system to create a digital identity for everyone associated with MCA.
Cardano's Prism system
GOVERNANCE SYSTEM – We will integrate Cardano's governance system into the school's planning and development process and as such will involve the following.
Edward B. Rettig, Ph.D., a Behavioral Psychologist, is co-founder of MCA with his deceased wife, partner with Keith Brown in Friends of Mukhanyo and a former Executive Director of Friends of Mukhanyo. He and Keith Brown have been partners for 10 plus years in the creation of MCA. Ed is also the author of ABCs for Parents and ABCs for Teachers, training manuals which apply behavior modification strategies to training parents and teachers. Ed Rettig is a graduate of Princeton University, Princeton Theological Seminary and Fuller Graduate School of Psychology with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology whose doctoral dissertation was based on schedules of reinforcement in the work of B.F. Skinner.
Keith Brown is Chairman of Friends of Mukhanyo, the funding organization of MCA, an entrepreneur and Chairman of Indlu, a South African company building affordable rental units in South Africa. The original motivation for Indlu was as a vehicle for funding MCA. Keith Brown is an entrepreneur, architect, real estate and software developer and graduate of North Carolina State University. Keith was named "Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000" by Ernst and Young for his efforts in creating BuildNet. He and the South African team have been the driving force behind the creation of Indlu which provides affordable rental housing to the disenfranchised of South Africa. He has written books on the impact of software and technology in enhancing community development.
Isaac Maleke is a pastor, Chairman of the Board of MCA, our school for disadvantaged children in South Africa, and Professor and Dean of Students at Mukhanyo Theological College in Kwamhlanga township. Isaac has been involved with the school since its inception and will be integral in managing the development of the definition and implementation of the grade- and age-specific learning performance objectives that will underlie the motivating token economy.
Travis Carney is a full-stack web application and blockchain developer with over 25 years of development experience. He has worked on applications for companies including AT&T, Citibank, Nestlé, and Stamps.com.
Roscoe Lamontagne is an art director and platform designer, who has directed artwork for Harvard Medical, Springer Nature, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Austin Rettig, co-Founder and CFO of onecommune.com, a community driven wellness platform providing online health and well-being education courses. Mr. Rettig started his career in investment banking and has spent the last 25 years since developing and running operating businesses in his finance and CFO capacity.
NETWORK OF SUPPORTING SCHOOLS AND ORGANIZATIONS – There are many associated schools and organizations with which we have had significant relationships over the years or from which we have received significant support either in the form of funding and/or advice. These and other schools committed to serving children around the world represent the potential market.
PROGRAM DELIVERABLES - It is our conviction that this project will need time to mature because of its size and longer time frame. Some aspects will be contingent on developments in other parts of the Cardano project. Nevertheless, key objectives which we seek in the first two phases are:
Phase I: Building a Foundation – January - March 2022
Phase II: Testing Initial Smart Contracts – April– May 2022
We will initiate our project in January 2022 and anticipate launching our project by the end of June 2022 having met our objectives. Success means that by July 1, 2022 we will continue implementing this project and paying for it with our own funds.
ADDITIONAL FUNDING MATCH
$8000-20% match by Ed Rettig
Ed and Keith (see Team) have 12 years experience founding, financing and growing MCA and Indlu Living. See comments by Charles below.