This project will offer thousands of illiterate women living in Kenya's nomadic and pastoral arid north access to audio MP3 programs. For the first time women will be able to access health, hygiene, business advice, childcare, literacy, numeracy, and more in their own language and on demand.
Arid regions comprise 84% of Kenya's land while holding only 20% of its population or roughly 9m people, most of whom are pastoral or nomadic. Life for women and girls is impossibly hard. Only 10% are literate; 95% of children are born at home. FGM and forced early marriage are common. These hardworking women spend hours fetching firewood and water, have little access health, hygiene or child care information, let alone literacy or numeracy. Very few have any radio access or own cell phones.
Change comes slowly in these traditional communities and it starts with education. This project will provide solar Lifeplayer MP3 units to women's listening circles starting in northern Kenya's Marsabit County,Working with our local partner, HODI (www.hodiafrica.org, a GlobalGiving vetted NGO), each Lifeplayer will be pre-loaded with hours of local language content in Samburu, Gabra, Rendile, Borana or Burji. Radio programs can be recorded and content can be re-played until everyone understands.
Each Lifeplayer unit benefits 40 pastoralist/nomadic women, or 7,000 in total, who live in harsh conditions and cope with severe drought. The audio content is culturally relevant, encouraging, and supports their desire to learn, to better themselves, to build their confidence and leadership skills. Armed with new knowledge, they will be better prepared to cope with the cultural and environmental challenges they (and their girls face), ease their poverty and improve their quality of their lives.