THE PROBLEM: Illiteracy affects over 1 billion individuals globally. These individuals often lack access to important “health care information, education, loans, job insurance and more.”


THE CHALLENGE: Investment in literacy programs can be significant and implementation can take years. Many illiterate individuals need access to information immediately, especially pertaining to health. Pamphlets and brochures with this type of information are not accessible to this population.


THE INSIGHT: What if there was a way to distribute audio books with health information to illiterate populations?


THE SOLUTION: Speaking books features a 16-page easy-to-understand illustrated book that delivers audio recordings containing vital health and social messages in the user’s native languages. The library of Speaking Books features issues like dementia, immunization, family planning, HIV/AIDS and children’s rights.


THE IMPACT: Speaking books provides information for over 45 health and well-being topics in 29 languages. A Ugandan study found that “while each book was directly accessed by 200 individuals, about 11,000 people in that community were exposed to its lessons” meaning each book can reach about 50 individuals.


THE INNOVATOR(S): Brian Julius and Zane Wilson


Learn more here.


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