Getting localization right

World Vision is doing a great job with Shellbooks in East Africa. This excellent video shows the process in the context of a resource localization workshop in the Maasai community of Siyiapei in Kenya.

Here are a few sample quotes from the narration and participant interviews:

Shellbooks are simple story-based teaching and learning resources — adapted from relevant and reliable materials on topics of community interest — that are easy to adapt and localize at a community level.

Shellbooks provide a way for children and their families to access important information and adapt it in a participatory and empowering process that enables truly sustainable transformation.  In this way Shellbooks achieve three goals in a community:

  1. They are an effective tool for producing an abundance of locally relevant resources to support literacy.
  2. The materials serve as powerful tools for advocacy and for life skills development.
  3. The Shellbook process is an empowering method of community engagement.

This is an exciting process for the community members… they brought even more people for the final day of the workshop to excitedly receive copies of the book they had developed.

The sense of empowerment was visible and tangible in the excited attitudes of the community members.  Truly, Shellbook is an empowering tool.  Its transformative effect on advocacy and literacy have been felt in all the communities where it has been introduced.

Alice Parmoya, Community Volunteer

We, as a community, have seen that we can write our own book.  We can also educate our people.

 John Tereraho, World Vision, Uganda

I’m convinced from the experiences I’ve had in these communities that Shellbooks are very, very good resource material that can help in advocacy, that can help in community engagement, that can help in promoting literacy.

 Frehiwot Wubeshet, World Vision, Ethiopia

I found the Shellbooks very exciting, and I’m really very passionate to implement it.  It is also really very simple to replicate into our own context.

Barbara Koech, World Vision International

Shellbooks are wonderful.  They have so much potential. They can bring a community together like this to develop a book.  It’s a software that can be used for so many purposes.  At this point it’s being used for this community, but it can also be used for adult literacy, it can be used for primary, it can be used for secondary, and it can be used for early childhood.

The process brings the community together and then allows for people of different ages to work together to produce materials in mother-tongue.  And the beauty of Shellbook is it allows us to do it in mother-tongue, which is what we really need for strong literacy.

Barbara was at Kenyatta University in the Department of Early Childhood Studies for 24 years and served as Senior Lecturer and Department Chairman.  She has also served as a Lead Consultant or Co-Consultant for UNESCO and UNICEF, among others.

World Vision is training Shellbook trainers, so that it can be implemented throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. World Vision is supporting the creation of an abundance of reading resources, so they can be shared through a global Shellbook database to benefit communities worldwide.