Participants learn to use the tablet and the app in training sessions, © DVV International
Between 2014 and 2016, functional literacy courses of DVV International in Mali and Guinea reached 30,000 young people and adults, 25,000 of whom were women. To make these achievements sustainable, there is a need to promote a “written culture”: The dynamism brought about by writing and reading therefore needs to be made permanent in order to prevent newly-literate people relapsing into a state of illiteracy. The rationale of the activities carried out within “post-literacy” aims to permit them to explore and exploit their socio-economic and socio-cultural potential. Information and communication technologies (ICT) must act innovatively in order to stimulate and maintain the level that literates have attained and enable them to gain access to information which would otherwise be beyond their reach.
The “Post-literacy with ICT” project started by offering a free app reaching the target groups in three local languages (Bambara, Fula and Susu), available in Google Playstore. The project also made computer tablets and solar charging kits available to the target groups and offered training courses for the use of the device and the app. The beneficiaries started to write short articles, as well as reading and commenting other bloggers’ contributions. After a six-month pilot phase, one hundred and fifty articles have been written on a variety of different topics, including health, education, computers and agriculture.
The project is successful because the app has been adopted by its beneficiaries, who use it in order to engage in communications on their farming activities, to set sales prices for products and harvests, as well as to communicate with farmers in other regions. Many of them have bought Android smartphones onto which they have downloaded the app. Women and men in villages which in some cases do not even have electricity are today independently using ICT on a regular basis. They are no longer excluded from the digital world.
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