Have you ever wondered why there is so little innovation when it comes to helping the poor? We have smart cities, smart homes, smart cars and smart phones - yet we don't seem to have a smart way to end poverty. That's where we come in. URIDU uses smart ideas to educate and empower rural women in developing countries. Because they are the key to eradicate poverty and hunger. And we do that with innovative technologies like solar-powered MP3 players, progressive web applications, mobile-friendly websites without data charges and large-scale crowd translation projects.
The solar-powered MP3forLife Player
How can you efficiently provide vital information to rural areas that have no electricity but a high rate of illiteracy? Our answer is: with a rugged, solar powered audio-player. This is why we developed the MP3forLife Player.
The MP3forLife Player contains more than 400 relevant questions and answers about health, nutrition, family planning, child care, work and more. The texts are recorded by a native speaker in the mother tongue of the women addressed. The MP3forLife Player was conceived for small group listening - it therefore fosters discussion, exchange and (self-help) group building. It's a tool for change.
We provide the MP3forLife Player free of charge to rural women with the help of local non-government organizations (NGOs), cooperatives and other agencies.
The Uridupedia Web App
Growth in smartphone adoption in many developing countries will be much more aggressive than anything seen in the developed world over the last few years. During the next 2 years 1.6 billion smartphone connections will be added to the current base in the developing world. India will lead the growth with around 350 million net smartphone additions.
This is why we set up an innovative and open source web application for our Uridupedia contents. While the user interface is simple enough for an illiterate person it also allows a differentiate access. The complete audio contents (12 hours of spoken text) are currently available in 7 languages: Swahili, French, Spanish, Portuguese, English, Indonesian and Chinese.
HopeSpot - The Humanitarian Hotspot
Making vital information accessible to marginalized women is the core of our project. This is why we developed HopeSpot - the Humanitarian Hotspot. HopeSpot is a small plug-and-play wifi hotspot which is not connected to the internet. It serves exclusively our mobile web application which plays back audio contents in the local language of the women. (You can actually visit the web app at www.uridupedia.org). Since the web app runs in the browser it will work on any smartphone.
URIDU on Free Basics
The widespread adoption of mobile phones is a potent force for shaping and impacting the way rural women live, work and communicate. This is why we additionally provide our contents on URIDU.COM, a text-based web site that has been highly optimized for mobile devices and that allows access even with slow 2G networks.
URIDU.COM is available free of data charges in 48 developing through a partnership with Free Basics by Facebook. Free Basics by Facebook is an app and mobile website that provides access to free basic internet services in markets where internet access may be less affordable. It allows people to browse selected health, education, employment, and news websites without data fees. Free Basics brought more than 25 million people online who otherwise would not be and introduced them to the incredible value of the internet.
Currently URIDU.COM is available in Arabic, Indonesian, English, Spanish, French, Swahili, Filipino and Vietnamese. Rural women in more than 100 countries are counting on the information our mobile web site provides.