A Gift of Knowledge
Thanks to Noirin Plunkett for organizing the July 21st Amanda Palmer concert in Portland, OR, with performances from Alameda and the Doubleclicks. The show was just amazing. Thanks also to our MC, Paul Fenwick, to all the volunteers who helped, and to the audience that sold-out the show! And last, but not least, thank you to Washington Graphics and Fred Meyer for their generous in-kind donations
Because of all of you, the Talking Book Program is now fully funded for the people of Saabaalong! Watch this page over the coming months as we report on our progress in Saabaalong.
Our Progress to Date: Key Milestones
Select communities by geography, need, program criteria and sustainability.
Obtain donations to fund work in the community.
Prepare for Launch
Develop audio messages; village leadership approval; community training.
Launch in Community
Deploy Talking Book devices; begin ongoing audio message updates and monitoring.
Evaluate User Reception
Assess community’s response and uptake of the audio messages.
Evaluate Behavior Change
Assess impact of annual content campaigns and program.
• Total population: 1059
• 95% of the population are subsistence farmers
Meet a Member of Saabaalong
The residents of Saabaalong are anxious to participate in the Maternal and Child Health Program after their introduction to the Talking Book, like Regina Boodaaranuba.
Regina is 29 years old. She was born at Die in the Jirapa district and moved to Saabaalong seven years ago when she married Kuubal Boodaaranuba. They have two children – 6-year-old Dorclas Kuubal and 3-year-old Beatrice Kuubal. Regina is six months pregnant with their third child.
Regina has delivered one of her babies in the hospital and the other at home because of the distance to the Jirapa hospital. “The Jirapa hospital is too far away and it takes me four hours to walk from my house to the hospital. I have to walk there because it is too expensive to take the bus.” she said.
“We do not have antenatal care (ANC) at the community level and could only go to the Jirapa hospital no matter if it is for childbirth or ANC,” Regina said. She continued by saying that the distance is one of the reasons why some husbands in Saabaalong will not allow their wives to go for the ANC. “Some husbands are very stubborn and want their wives to stay at home to help with the farm work.”
“It takes almost an entire day to go to the ANC once,” Regina says in explaining why she has only made it to the Jirapa hospital for three ANC visits so far.
Lack of maternal related knowledge is another common obstacle that keeps women away from ANC in Ghanaian villages. The majority of people haven’t realized how helpful the ANC would be for pregnant women. “I didn’t know that the ANC is important, even though I have delivered two children already, until I listen to the messages from the Talking Book. For example, how the baby is growing in my body, and how important it is to go for the ANC because I can be aware of the situation of mother water and blood levels. If the husbands also listen to these messages, they are more likely to allow their wives to go for the ANC.”
Regina also believes that Talking Book is can helpful especially in farming season. “Every woman is busy working on the farm for a whole day so it is difficult to learn maternal health information from experienced women at this time. If they are also using Talking Book, it would be great for us to share the information in the end of the farming season.”
View Talking Book Villages – Ghana in a larger map