Three new projects with CARE are underway in Ethiopia, Haiti, and Bangladesh
Amplio has three new projects underway with CARE International — in Ethiopia, Haiti, and Bangladesh. This isn’t the first time we’ve partnered with CARE. In northern Ghana, the CARE Pathways Project (2014-2016), funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, used Talking Books as an innovative approach to empower over 6,000 women farmers to improve their food security, nutrition, and livelihoods. The women listened to Talking Books during their weekly Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) meetings and with their households.
In a close-out survey, both female and male respondents said Talking Books reinforced Pathways training and also offered new knowledge, with a focus on gender. The most popular messages included growing soybeans and groundnuts, nutrition during pregnancy, and shared decision making.
CARE’s current Talking Book programs are in various stages of implementation. We asked Lindsay Dakan, Amplio’s global partnerships program director, to share some updates.
CARE Bangladesh: Nutrition and Women’s Empowerment
CARE Bangladesh’s Joint Action for Nutrition Outcomes (JANO) project will use Talking Books to spread knowledge, promote positive changes in attitudes, and influence the behavior of participants in the areas of nutrition, health, WASH, climate-smart agriculture, gender equality, and women’s empowerment. The JANO project is a five-year project funded by the European Union and Austrian Development Agency to support the effective implementation of Bangladesh’s National Plan of Action for Nutrition.
“This is our first foray into Asia, which is both exciting and also a challenge. The JANO project is working closely with local government structures in an innovative and best-practices approach that will set the stage for program sustainability. For this project, Talking Books will be in the hands of community volunteers supporting mothers’ groups. We’re eager to see how Talking Books resonate with this audience and to learn how we need to adapt our system and processes for Bangladesh,” Dakan said.
“The CARE Bangladesh team is working with a local consultant to develop their audio content. We expect the project to reach over 80,000 people.”
CARE Ethiopia: Adolescent Sexual Health
While Ethiopia has made remarkable socioeconomic progress over the last decade, too many adolescent girls are still vulnerable to child, early, or forced marriage; female genital cutting; and sexual or gender-based violence. To address these issues, CARE is implementing the Act With Her project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in collaboration with the Government of Ethiopia and Pathfinder International.
The project works across multiple sectors and at individual, community, and systems levels aims to improve gender equality and empower adolescent girls. CARE recently introduced Talking Books as a strategy to reach pastoralist communities in the Afar region. Community “near peer” mentors (ages 18–24) are using Talking Books to share sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) messages and facilitate discussion with girls groups and boys groups. Topics covered include a wide range of puberty and menstruation, health, nutrition, education, safety, gender, and economic empowerment themes.
Note: In Kenya, the USAID Afya Timiza project used Talking Books to promote sustainable health outcomes for women, children, and youth in pastoralist communities.
In Kenya, community health volunteers used Talking Books to reach pastoralist communities.
“CARE Ethiopia typically delivers their SRHR curriculum through in-person weekly trainings, but that approach wasn’t working with these very hard-to-reach pastoralist communities. So they came to the Talking Book,” Dakan said.
“In April, we conducted our first quarterly review to look at their usage data. The team is still getting an understanding of how to use Talking Books effectively with the boys and girls groups and making sure the facilitators are well-versed with the technology. Also, they’ve had some trouble reaching communities, because of the security situation. Building on the success and lessons learned from this project, we are currently in talks with CARE about applying Talking Books to another SRHR program in Ethiopia.”
CARE Haiti: Agriculture, Maternal/Child Health, and Women’s Economic Empowerment
In Haiti, Talking Books are being implemented through a project named Appui à la Sécurité Alimentaire, au Renforcement et à l’Amélioration Nutritionnelle dans la Grande Anse (ASARANGA), funded by the European Union. CARE will use Talking Books to deliver audio content about agriculture, as well as financial literacy, maternal and child health, nutrition, and gender via farmers groups, mothers groups, and VSLAs.
“The CARE Haiti project is getting ready to launch. They have finalized their program specification, which is a tool partners use to plan and set up the structure of their Talking Book program, and they are now in the final stages of producing their audio content. This project is exciting because it’s a new region and context for Talking Books. Also, we’re working with a wonderful, highly engaged, dedicated program team. It’s been a real pleasure to work with them,” Dakan said.
As a leading humanitarian organization, CARE International works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice. CARE focuses on women and girls, with the knowledge that we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities.
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Looking for a way to reach and empower women and girls? Tell us about your project. We’re happy to set up a consultation or Talking Book demo.