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Ringtones to Remember (get that health message stuck in your head!)

Finished your workshop / play / concert about maternal health? Leave behind a Ringtone to Remember - a catchy tune that captures the message from your activity to help reinforce the message once you're gone.

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 - Microtone: As part of community health campaigns, songs are often used to communicate health messages, now at the end of a workshop, participants can take that song home as a ringtone

 - Macrotone: As part of a national launch of a new program, or for International Women's Day. A celebrity or group of celebrities could record a song to promote maternal health with a catch chorus that could be downloaded as a ringtone.

Song has a long tradition as a medium for capturing and transmitting knowledge and is already widely used as an awareness tool in development programs. The idea is simply to extend it to the mobile phone, with the ringtone being free to listen too and persisting in a community long after a workshop has taken place.

A light-hearted idea, but a serious one - feedback & improvements gratefully received.


Inspired by:
* Some wonderful diarrheal disease awareness songs I've heard in my time
* The "music to bring information" inspiration
* My love of cheesy music

Key points:
* Utilize the power of a song to get stuck in your head for good!
* Ringtones are FREE to listen to - in many countries there is a prevalence of "missed calling" where a dialer calls a person with the knowledge that they won't pick up. This enables a ringtone to be played without either party having to use up credit. You can play with your phone to hear the ringtone over and over again should you wish
* Inclusive messages for all the community - As many posts have touched on, sometimes women are not fully empowered and may not have access to the cell phone. Jingles should be cool and catch and status symbols for behavior influencers - you can check out my slightly embarrassing attempt at this in the video.

The microtone concept is to leave behind the jingle for a health message song taught at a community workshop. NGOs, and other groups, often run periodic workshops in communities to educate people. It is common to accompany these workshops with a song that communicates the key messages. Now when an NGO comes to a village to talk about maternal health, they can offer people a free download of the song as a ringtone (This may even be an incentive to attend).

Once the NGO is gone, the hope is that a critical mass of people will leave it as their ring-tone and the periodic repeating of the melody around a community will help to reinforce the health message.

More advanced phones could even have the words playing, but I'm assuming that there will be lots of monophonic ringtones so we should definitely cater for that.

In the advent of a large regional or national push to launch a new program or initiative by an NGO or a government, a celebrity or group of celebrities could get together to make a song. This happens at least annually in the UK to raise money for a cause with sales proceeds going to the charity. In addition to potentially targeting wealthier members of a country to download a single and donate money to a cause, the ringtone version could be made available at a variety of prices - from free upwards.

I'm more excited about the Microtone idea, as I think it plays into existing activities and would be easy to implement.

Photo credit: - used under the creative commons license and modified for the topic!


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Photo of An Old

Brainstorm away :D

On the girl band - I was thinking about a band of elders - seriously(!) - I've found that the mother-in-law can be a powerful influence during these times and often a decision maker - we'd have to get her excited about a ringtone too.

local musicians - maybe it would even be possible to make software that you could capture the ringtone and distribute it as part of the workshop.

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