THE PROBLEM: One in five adults worldwide do not know how to read and its mostly common in Africa, up to 75% of the population of people are unable to read. A major delay in learning how to read and write is the unavailability of electricity at night-time in rural areas. People want to learn how to read but there is a lack of resources —specifically access to books and lighting. Since most adults work during the day and the majority of adult students in Mali take classes at night. This means they need to use lights, but in rural areas there is no electricity. Student’s had to pass around a kerosene lantern. In a 2 hour lesson, each student had the light at their desk for only 15 minutes.


THE INSIGHT: All people come together to classes, why not all read from one “book” – a book projected onto the wall so that doesn’t matter if its dark . 


THE CHALLENGE: How can we create a projector that doesn’t use electricity?


THE SOLUTION: The campaign is able to project an image large enough for an entire classroom to read. Instead of looking at one  book, the whole class can see one image projected onto the wall – even if it is dark. The projector is doesn’t break easily, lightweight, and doesn’t need much power to run because it uses LEDs. It can store up to 10,000 images at a fraction of the cost of paper books.


THE IMPACT: In 2004, with funding from USAID, World Education implemented Kinkajou Projectors in literacy centres in 45 Malian villages. After two years of use, over 3,000 adults have learned to read using these projectors.


THE INNOVATORS: Design that Matters, Inc. are behind Kinkajou Portable Library and Projector. The team is a fusion of students and professionals with a shared passion to increase global literacy.


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