Congrats on this project idea! I'm especially excited about how it utilises affordable non-smartphones as a delivery medium. In Malaysia, where my team and I are based and designing for, there are many low-income, immigrant and refugee communities with young children in tow who would benefit from such a tightly-packaged line of learning materials available on-the-go.
Looking forward to seeing examples of the course content that would go into the audio downloads as well as support materials. Our team is developing a framework and materials to help an existing community of low-income moms develop good parenting habits with their 0-5 children. (Link to our project here: https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/ideas/coaching-clinics-for-moms-building-upon-existing-community-playgroups ) I think there's scope for collaboration between our projects.
Love that MECPU is focusing on increasing fathers' involvement in early child-rearing! When my group asked about the gender breakdown among parents who regularly attend the low-income community playgroup we researched, only one out of 8 regulars is a father - and even that was a pleasant surprise to us!
Would really love to see your idea take off and make the impact you desire, and was wondering if having spokespersons or famous public figures endorse it and telling their own stories of fatherhood might give things a boost.
Are there well-known Ugandan or international father figures that are well-regarded by men in Uganda, i.e. someone they would be proud to emulate? Barack Obama is one (perhaps simplistic) example I can think of, but a powerful one because he dotes on his daughters and is seen spending time with his family despite being one of the most busy and influential men on the planet.
This is a great idea. We love this so much we're gonna "steal" it! Or you could adopt us :)
Anyway, here's whom we'd steal this idea for: Our team GreyMatter has been visiting a local community development group in Malaysia in the course of our own design research and we think there's great potential to adapt Story Stones to Malaysian folk tales, and to incorporate it in this community's 0-5 children's playgroup.
Every Wednesday in this community, mothers bring their little ones for a 2-hour session, and the first 20 minutes of the session is free play for mom & child using books and educational toys provided at the community playroom. Currently, all reading materials in the library are in English because the community members themselves have voiced the desire to learn the language. (The multiethnic community's default lingua franca is Malay / Bahasa Malaysia.)
One adaptation possibility I'm thinking of is to design slightly larger stones (Story Cards?) with icons representing characters, objects and recurring themes from well-loved Malay folktales or Aesop's fables (known to many Malaysian children). These stones/cards would also feature the name of the icon below it in English, thereby helping mothers and children alike to start telling familiar stories in the new/target language, English.
Do let us know your thoughts on this! GreyMatter's Idea can be viewed here: https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/ideas/coaching-clinics-for-moms-building-upon-existing-community-playgroups