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The Book Club - Educational Audiobook Series

Women can learn and share lessons about health, domestic violence, and more through soap opera style audiobook series.

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In the reasearch phase, there were many examples of how women were learning and becoming empowered by coming together and sharing in safe environements. This example of how women used the free laundry mat as a place to socialize and support each other was very inspiring. Another intersting post was  this insight on how people in India commonly use their cell phones to listen to the radio. 

It made me think about how women could use something seemingly harmless, like a radio show or fictional audiobook series, as a way to learn through the experiences of the characters and come together to speak safely about difficult topics.

I imagine the way my friends and I talk about entertaining TV shows and books that lead to interesting conversations about life. Stories facilitate these kinds of conversations naturally. Women in low income communities need more opportunities to come together. Listening to a story together (like watching a movie or TV show together) seems like a good way.

The idea is based on a few key concepts:

1. Stories and fables have been used for centuries to teach lessons to people of all ages.
2. Entertaining stories would make it easier for women to talk about tough topics like violence and female hardships through the indirect but relateable experiences of the books' charaters. 
3. Women could learn in a way that would not be suspicious or threatening to husbands or male figures, because the soap opera like stories seem harmless. 
4. Audio stories means women can listen while still performing tasks and duties during the day or night. 

Explain your idea in one sentence.

Women can learn and share lessons about health, domestic violence, and more through soap opera style audiobook series.

What is the need you are trying to solve?

There are two needs this idea aims to solve: 1. The need to empower women through information and education about health, domestic violence, and life. 2. The need for women to be able to connect, share, and learn from each other about topics that are difficult to talk about in a safe manner.

Who will benefit from this idea and how would you monitor its success?

Women of all ages would benefit from learning through the experiences of relatable characters.

Who would be best equipped to implement this idea in the real world? You? Your organisation? Another organisation or entity?

I believe a small organization of people from all different industries (writers, actors, teachers, psychologist, etc.) could come together to produce weekly, bimonthly, or monthly episodes that tackle a particular topic through an entertaining storyline. The audio story could be distributed through multiple sources including a radio station, downloadable audiobooks or podcasts, or even printed magazines/books.

Where should this idea be implemented?

Any place there is a lack of education, community organizations, or support groups for women.

How might you prototype this idea and test some of the assumptions behind it?

A group could pilot a few episodes and distribute them to see if they gain interest. I larger storyline, plot, group of characters, and lessons could be developed based on the initial response.

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Excellent idea, Lauren. In India, we worked with Gram Vaani - a community powered radio station - to create crowd-sourced programming around the issue of early marriage. They might be a great tech resource for you to think about in terms of generating and distributing content. More info about Gram Vaani at: http://www.gramvaani.org/

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