– true-to-life multimedia learning for pastoralists

From July 2016 till March 2017, we carried out our pilot project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ): “Resilience strengthening of pastoralist women groups through digital Basic Alphabetization with life-relevant materials in form of eBooks“. We used six eBooks (Manyatta, Fora, Town, Drought Resilience, Alternative Livelihoods and Animal Health) in two communities in Marsabit County with five ethnic groups and reached more than 300 women and young warriors. Malteser International and PACIDA helped us to implement our project.

Our approach works with the following modules:

  • ethnographic video and photo materials,
  • eBooks with true-to-life content to learn playfully basic literacy and simple calculations to acquire necessary life skills,
  • tablets with solar charging devices to be mobile and independent and
  • barefoot teachers as multipliers.

Various experts are constantly working hand in hand with the pastoralists themselves as filmmakers with a profound ethnological background familiar with development policies, an IT specialist and designer working with eLearning and pedagogic experts. We all are kept in a feedback-loop with a cultural anthropologist and the pastoralists because our only success criterion is the acceptance, understanding and learning progress of the pastoralists.

Video-report about our pilot project in Loiyangalani (First training July/August 2016)

We are back from Kenya and are happy to report that the first training workshops for barefoot teachers in Loiyangalani and Hurri Hills were very successful. We introduced the eBooks in 7-day training courses, working very effectively in small groups. The participants became familiar with the iPad quickly and appreciated the eBooks on different levels – because of their content and as learning tools.

Our eBook developer Oliver Kranz has really done a great job in creating playful writing, reading and arithmetic lessons. Especially the young warriors were enthusiastic from the first to the last day. Even at night, they repeated the lessons learned and showed them to their friends. Ibrahim Abdalla from PACIDA made the training fun:

The participants were especially enthusiastic about the chapters on M-Pesa – a mobile money service widely used to make payments in Kenya – and the subject of drought resilience. As one participant put it: “Animals get affected by drought, but not the money in the M-Pesa account.”

Three tablets with six eBooks were distributed to selected barefoot teachers so that they can now pass on their knowledge to village neighbors and warriors. Supervisor Lkotikan Leabora will be in constant contact with Ibrahim to solve any problems as quickly as possible:

Video-report about our pilot project in Hurri Hills (First training August 2016)

It’s always great to get some encouraging feedback. But we did not expect such a positive reaction as we got from our students of Hurri Hills. See this small footage and hear them with their own words.

Part 2 of our selected statements from the participants in Hurri Hills shows how our students see their new opportunities at the livestock market. Now they know the perfect time to sell animals during the “drought cycle”.

The project opens the door to new opportunities. It not only teaches how to read and write – it even gives our participants the opportunity to learn how to pay and receive money via their mobile phones. That’s a big step towards economic independence.

Video-report about our pilot project in Hurri Hills (Second training November 2016)

A very important part of the project consist of our so-called barefoot teachers. They find students in the village where they live and teach them how to deal with drought, treat the animals, calculate profits and so on. In this video you are introduced to Daro, one of our barefoot teachers from Hurri Hills. Take a look:

Our students get to know the benefits and the profit they can gather by hay making through our eBook „Alternative livelihoods“. Watch this short video filmed in Hurri Hills:

As soon as we get the final monitoring report from PACIDA, we will publish further informations which include the quizzes the barefoot teachers did with their students.

Petra Dilthey und Uli Schwarz