As part of our year-end campaign, senior software design engineer, Bill Evans, shares a Talking Book project that gave him hope during the dark days of lockdown.

As I watched COVID-19 cases soar and our nation shut down last spring, I didn’t know what to do—I was overwhelmed.

Here we all were, stuck at home and feeling helpless, as the reality of lockdown was sinking in. And then our colleagues in Ghana came up with a plan. The Ghana government’s COVID-19 response was focused on two major cities, so our team decided to launch public health campaign in the Upper West Region. They mobilized to help people and save lives!

The Ghana government’s COVID response did not reach the poorest and most vulnerable, rural communities, but we did. 

With donor support, we were able to provide Talking Books loaded with COVID-19 messages to Ghana Health Service and deliver reliable, local language health information to “media dark” communities.

One of the simple technologies highlighted by the World Bank to fight COVID-19, the Talking Book is being used in Ghana to share information on symptoms and prevention strategies.

Toffic Dapilaah, M&E officer for Amplio Ghana, conducts a Talking Book training for community health nurses.

In the midst of a global pandemic, the Amplio Ghana team saw an opportunity to act. They partnered with district health directors and traditional leaders to record COVID-19 messages and get everyone on board. As a result, Talking Book messages reached over 200,000 people in 8 districts in the Upper West region, enabling access to critical health information.

I got to do a tiny part to help out, and that gave me some hope during lockdown. Mass media may not reach the most underserved people in rural, remote communities—but Talking Books do, and so can you.

Your $100 donation can pay for one Talking Book and enable audio content for a full year. Please make a gift today.

This year, Amplio passed a milestone: Talking Books have now reached over 1M listeners! Our technology enables our partners to continue their educational work and maintain social distance in countries like Liberia, Niger, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, and Zambia. Together, we’re enabling access to information about land rights, gender equality, education, sexual and reproduct health, and more.

That’s not all! In 2021, Talking Books will be expanding into South Asia and Latin America.

Visit our campaign page to make a gift, watch a video, and learn more.

Thank you for supporting Talking Books!

Bill Evans
Senior Software Design Engineer

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