New funding to test impact and position for scale

Tom Osborn
May 23, 2023

We are pleased to announce that Fund in Innovation for Development (FID) will provide €1.5m in financing that will allow us to test and position for scale.

We founded Shamiri to build a future where young people, anywhere, can actualize their life potential. Since 2018, we have been doing this by providing young people access to affordable and appropriate mental health and wellness services.

The new funding from FID will allow us to test various scale-up strategies and conduct a large-scale impact evaluation of our work with 25,000 youths in Kenya.

The problem that we are solving

Mental health problems prevent young people around the world from actualizing their life’s potential. In Kenya, where we work, 50% of the population is aged 19 or younger and nearly 1 in 2 Kenyan youths report elevated symptoms of depression and anxiety. Sadly, mental health problems result in (sometimes) medical, educational, economic, legal, and interpersonal problems.

Unfortunately, help is often unavailable and inaccessible for young people struggling with mental health due to systemic and structural barriers.

Our solution

We’ve developed an effective mental health solution called Anansi. Anansi combines two elements:

  1. an evidence-based mental health intervention and,
  2. a tiered caregiving model that connects lay-providers, trained clinical supervisors, and clinical psychologists and psychiatrists.

Rigorous testing, including an RCT published in JAMA Psychiatry, show that the Anansi solution significantly reduces mental health problems and improves social relationships and academic performance.

Testing and preparing to scale

Over the next five years, our goal at Shamiri, is to scale up to reach 1 million youths. With this new financing, we will test out two different models of scaling up our work and conduct a large-scale impact assessment of our work. This funding adds to financing from other organizations like the Templeton World Charity Foundation, Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, and Agency Fund.

About FID

The ambition of Fonds d'Innovation pour le Développement (FID) is to support innovation in the fight against poverty and inequality. It allows innovators from all types of organizations – research institutions, NGOs, governments, companies – to test new ideas; experiment and demonstrate what works on the basis of proven scientific evaluation approaches,; and scale the most effective solutions that have a positive and lasting impact.

About Shamiri Institute

Shamiri Institute was founded to develop and implement scalable solutions that allow young people to thrive and actualize their life potential. At Shamiri, we combine rigorous social science research with deep contextual knowledge of the educational and mental healthcare systems of the communities that we work in to develop and deploy at scale effective and holistic interventions that allow young people, and communities, to thrive.

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