Clap Global: An Automated Platform Enabling International Travellers to Visit Local School Classrooms and have Eye-opening Conversations with Students

Clap Global

The journey of Clap Global started around two years ago and ever since, the number of Clap students exposed to foreign cultures has grown by 900%. Today, the company has reached and collaborated with over 1000 Travellers, 100 countries, 239 classrooms, 78 schools and is situated in five Indian cities. Over 19,000 students have experienced a Clap Talk till date and the company would like to grow beyond this and reach students all over the world. Clap Global wants more countries talking to each other and not just by people in suits in diplomatic offices; they want people talking in homes, classrooms and public spaces.
How it was Initiated
Young minds are impressionable, and biases developed in childhood often take years to undo. Shirin Johari and Aarti Chhabria, the Co-Founders of Clap Global, learnt this lesson in their 20s, when they travelled a lot more outside India. As she befriended people from around the world, Shirin couldn’t help wonder, “Why must children wait to grow up before their stereotypes are questioned, before they discover new worlds, cultures and ways of thinking? What if foreign travellers could come into classrooms and share stories of their lives and dreams directly with children?” That is how, after 10 years of experience in advertising, innovation and communication design, Shirin conceptualized the idea of ‘Travellers in Classrooms’ as an automated platform.
Aarti, meanwhile, built 10 years of experience in education and learning, as the founder of two companies creating innovative workshops for school children. Textbook learning, she realised, it was very limited, and she longed to introduce kids to diverse perspectives from around the world. Teachers, too, wanted more international exposure for children, but they didn’t have a system or resources to do it regularly or effectively. As Shirin and Aarti discovered their shared dream and passion – bringing a global perspective to education to raise a more compassionate new generation – Clap was born.
The Astounding Duet
The Co-founders of Clap Global; Aarti Chhabria and ShirinJohari, have known each other since they were in preschool. As adults, they discovered a shared dream: Bringing a global perspective to education to raise a generation that is far more compassionate.
Aarti is a serial entrepreneur, inspired educationist and a socially driven individual. She has founded three companies in the education sector and has been working closely with children, teachers and parents across India. In the past twelve years, Aarti has developed powerful connections and a deep understanding of children, educational institutions, parenting communities and brands directed at young families.
An advertising creative, visual artist and entrepreneur, Shirin has spent the past 12 years innovating in social impact, advertising communication and design. Along the way, she has won more than 35 national and international awards for her work, including a Cannes Design Gold for creating The Hinglish Project. She has worked with JWT, Ogilvy & Mather, Creativeland Asia, DDB Mudra, and most recently served as a creative director with TBWA. Shirin believes that creative work has the potential to go beyond entertainment to something that solves a problem, enlightens and changes perceptions.
How do we make a Difference
Clap Global is a platform that enables a unique exchange of cultures by helping international travellers to visit local classrooms and engage in meaningful and often surprising conversations with students.
Children get to learn about different cultures through real stories and real people, and gradually develop an understanding of the world that is deeper than popular stereotypes. And travellers get to witness a slice of real life in a foreign land while making an actual difference to the lives of the people they meet.
Clap Talks™ are curated on a simple digital platform:
Travellers create their profile and share their available dates. Schools create their profile and share their preferred classroom date and time slots. Through simple matching of available dates, Clap curates an eye-opening Talk.
Every school that signs up with Clap is given a Clap Kit™ complete with conversation aids and flashcards to guide them through a talk. Similarly, travellers are given a presentation template that they can customize with their pictures and stories to help them prep for their Clap Talk.
The curriculum tools packaged into the Kit cover a range of universal topics, such as culture, family, current events, interpersonal relationships, environment, gender, human rights and freedoms, justice, governance and even a Question-Ball game enabling an exciting and meaningful exchange of perspectives. This has been meticulously designed with Curriculum Innovators to raise the cultural and emotional intelligence of all the participants of a Clap Talk.
Through Clap Global, students receive Clap Passports to document their Clap Talks. Both the students and the traveller get to write postcards for each other.
Changing Needs of Learning
Just all the challenges an absolute innovation brings. While the concept is accepted beautifully to understand its impact over longitudinal experience is key for Clap Global to succeed in transforming the mindset of teachers, students and travelers. The Education industry is slow paced with few having the liberty and passion to experiment or rather adapt with changing needs of learning.
Clap Global measures success by the number of students and travellers who have life altering experiences through Clap Talks. “When children learn to accept and celebrate differences in each other and people from the world, we think we succeeded. When travellers get an authentic local feel of our country through the eyes of children, it helps not just us, but the local tourism potential as well,” say Aarti & Shirin.
Developing a Deeper Understanding of the World
According to Clap Global, their strength is the growing need for humans to connect with people who have different experiences of life. Educators realise that a student’s cultural intelligence is as important as their IQ. They understand that for children to function effectively in a fast-shrinking world, they need to be exposed to diverse perspectives and new ways of life. Through Clap, children get to learn about different cultures through real stories and real people, and gradually develop an understanding of the world that is deeper than popular stereotypes.
Not all parents have the resources to send their children on elite educational tours and exchange programs. In fact, numbers indicate that less than 0.1 % of students can actually afford an international exchange program. What’s more, even the ones who can go abroad, are exposed to only one foreign culture in a year.
But if each student in a school participates in at least 6 Clap Talks, a year, then from the age of 3 to 15, she will gain exposure to over 72 different cultures from around the world!
Source :-The 30 innovators Who Changed the Startup World

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