What: The Mobile Phone for Literacy Project focuses on using mobile phone technology, specifically SMS text messaging, as a tool to reinforce literacy and numeracy skills. It is now an integrated part of the Community Empowerment Program (CEP).
Why: Mobile phones and their networks are becoming increasingly more prevalent in the communities with which we partner. We found that using mobile phone technology is a relevant and innovative way to reinforce literacy and numeracy skills learned in the CEP.
How: During the CEP, Tostan facilitators teach participants the practical uses of standard mobile phone functions and how SMS texting can be used as a tool to practice their literacy skills. The mobile phones are used to reinforce literacy, organization, and management skills, as well as to build consensus around local development initiatives.
Who: All CEP participants and their extended social networks who have access to mobile phone technology.
Impact & Sustainability: SMS texting becomes a sustainable and relevant option for reinforcing literacy and numeracy as access to mobile phone technology increases. Placed within our program, mobile phones and SMS text messaging can be used as a tool to accelerate positive social transformation. They connect women with each other and with their communities; amplify the voice and influence of youth and marginalized groups in a community's decision-making process; provide a platform for exchanging information, broadcasting ideas, and organizing advocacy work; and accelerate large-scale social movements.