Literacy Bridge saves lives and improves the livelihoods of impoverished families through comprehensive programs that provide on-demand access to locally relevant knowledge. At the heart of the programs is the Talking Book – an innovative low-cost audio computer designed for the learning needs of illiterate populations living in the poorest areas in the world.
Simple and actionable instructional messages that are repeatable and can be played when needed enable people to learn and adopt new practices to fight poverty and disease.
Their mission is to significantly improve the health, income, and quality of life for the world’s most underserved communities by providing life-changing knowledge through innovative technology.
They acknowledge that a wealth of crucial knowledge is already available within developing countries; the problem is reaching people who lack literacy skills and live without electricity. They address this problem with a simple and low-cost audio technology — the Talking Book. They designed the Talking Book to address the short and long-term needs of those they serve: it gets vital knowledge into their hands immediately while enabling them to practice and improve their literacy skills over time.
They had a very prosperous year, and are proud to report that their Talking Book farmers won:
-Best soybean farmer in ALL of Ghana—their first National award
-Awards at every level, National, Regional and District
-Best overall male AND female farmer in the entire Jirapa District
They are thrilled to report that the most recent survey they conducted with UNICEF found people with access to health messages on Talking Books were:
-50% more likely to use bed nets
-50% more likely to wash their hands with soap
-32% more likely to register their child’s birth
Over 750 million adults are illiterate and most of them live on less than a dollar a day and farm to feed their families. Opportunities for these adults to access knowledge and acquire new skills in remote areas of developing countries are virtually non-existent, but critical to escaping poverty. The same applies to critical health information necessary to keep their children alive and healthy.
With bad roads and remote locations, few villages get regular visits from agriculture and health experts; and when an expert can reach a village, those without literacy skills are unable to take notes to help remember dozens of useful practices. These families are therefore unable to learn ways to grow more food and keep their children safe from disease.
The Talking Book is small and portable so it is easy to transport and share. The device was also built to survive life in dry dust storms and tropical rain.
The Talking Book teaching tool is a simple and durable audio computer to serve the learning needs of people in oral cultures. Without using text or complicated technology, you can deliver vital health and agriculture information, strengthen community development, and support extension programs for people with low literacy skills.
The Talking Book is more than a unique device. Users listen and learn. They replay, and they share what they learn with others. The Talking Book is used individually, in groups and in rotation throughout community households.
Relevant and practical information on sustainable farming methods and key health practices are produced and recorded in partnership with local government agencies and non-government agencies to meet community needs. This results in higher crop yields, improved nutrition, and a dramatic reduction of preventable deaths.