We have large, yet reachable goals. But we know we cannot accomplish them alone. We complement our technology and experience through partnerships with universities, nonprofits, governmental organizations, for profit companies, and open source communities from around the world.
The partnership with UNICEF is focused around delivering life-saving maternal and child health information to Ghana’s most remote villages. This critical collaboration will expand Literacy Bridge’s Health Behavior Change Program to help approximately 50 of Ghana’s poorest communities.
The team will assess the project’s impact on several behavior change objectives, including:
- - Ebola and cholera prevention and treatment options
– Treatment of diarrhea in children using Oral Rehydration Therapy
– Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life
– Identifying and treating diseased crops
– Creating and applying organic fertilizer using manure from livestock
– The importance of planting seeds in rows of beds instead of mounds
The project will utilize Talking Book mobile devices to serve around 40,000 people immediately, with an ambition to double that reach within a year.
“Literacy Bridge’s Talking Book Program is an innovative use of low-cost, mobile technology to influence critical behaviors that impact the lives and opportunities of the most vulnerable and excluded children,” said UNICEF Ghana Country Representative Susan Namondo Ngongi. “We are pleased to partner on the Behavior Change Program because of its potential to immediately help tens of thousands of people who are the most difficult to reach due to illiteracy, lack of electricity, and geographic isolation.”
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything they do. Headquartered in New York City, UNICEF provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries. Together with their partners, UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
Literacy Bridge and ARM recently joined together with UNICEF to fund the Health Behavior Change Program – a program that uses Talking Books to reduce preventable deaths in impoverished rural communities in Ghana while improving the health of pregnant women and mothers of young children
ARM and UNICEF are providing most of the financial support for this $750,000 project. ARM, an existing supporter, is also collaborating with Literacy Bridge to reduce technology costs and further improve the energy efficiency of the Talking Books as they utilize ARM® processor technology.
“Literacy Bridge set out to design a mobile platform that took account of the challenges often found in the developing world including the availability of power,” said Dominic Vergine, Director of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility at ARM. “The focus was on delivering quality local language education in the most energy-efficient way. Repurposing existing technology wasn’t a viable option but Literacy Bridge’s new approach with the Talking Books is succeeding and early trials of the technology have shown huge potential for both philanthropic and business benefit.”
ARM is at the heart of the world’s most advanced digital products. Our technology enables the creation of new markets and transformation of industries and society. We design scalable, energy efficient- processors and related technologies to deliver the intelligence in applications ranging from sensors to servers, including smartphones, tablets, enterprise infrastructure and the Internet of Things. Our innovative technology is licensed by ARM Partners who have shipped some 60 billion Systems on Chip (SoCs) containing our intellectual property since the company began in 1990. Together with our Connected Community, we are breaking down barriers to innovation for developers, designers and engineers, ensuring a fast, reliable route to market for leading electronics companies.
We are thrilled to partner with CARE in the Upper East Region of Ghana, a new region for Literacy Bridge. CARE worked in 90 countries last year and reached more than 72 million people around the world; their Pathways to Empowerment program is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and aims to empower women through agriculture by encouraging equitable agriculture systems and increasing the productivity of women smallholder farmers. Our Talking Book program is providing women’s groups with information on agriculture, nutrition, and gender.
We have expanded our partnership with MEDA from a pilot reaching 30 women’s groups to a program reaching more than 600 women’s groups within MEDA’s Greater Rural Opportunities for Women (GROW) project. MEDA is one of Canada’s largest international economic development organizations; their Greater Opportunities for Rural Woman (GROW) project aims to increase food security for families in Ghana’s Upper West Region by helping increase availability, access and utilization of nutritional food through strengthening production and market linkages, increasing diversification in production and creating nutrition awareness.
Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture
Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture is using Talking Books to complement their extension programs.
Ghana Health Service
Ghana Health Service is creating content to disseminate information to rural communities in the Upper West Region.
Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence
West African students from Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT are helping to further develop our technology. The goal of this partnership is to improve software in the short-term and build West Africa’s capacity for technology development over the long-term.
Ghana’s University of Development Studies
Students at Ghana’s University of Development Studies have researched and created content for our programs. They also help with our impact evaluations and with usability testing.