Learning about Living, Nigeria, Global

Learning about Living, Nigeria, Global

Amsterdam, NetherlandsNigeria, Senegal, Morocco, Nigeria
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Learning about Living is a transmedia (eLearning, radio and mobile) life skills program which empowers youth on sexual health and rights issues.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The lack of youth friendly & non-judgemental information and life skills for teenagers across Nigeria, in Senegal and Moroco about HIV/aids prevention, sexual rights and sexual health information. A majority of young people in sub Saharan Africa grow up ignorant of their sexuality, and gender rights due to obstacles presented by the local culture, traditions and religions, making accurate and non-judgmental information about sexuality unavailable to most. As a result, millions of young people (especially girls) are sexually vulnerable. Lack of accurate information about sexual health means there are many myths and misconceptions about sex and HIV, contributing to increasing transmission rates. Unaware of the risks, young people, especially girls, face many threats to healthy lives.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

An interactive eLearning environment, and a mobile helpline made available across Nigeria (online) and the mobile helpline and through 350 schools (90,000 students). In the elearning environment, virtual peer educators present 35 SRH and youth topics supported by quizzes, games, and cartoons. The mobile helpline gets on average 8000 questions a month. The elearning environment was co-created with Nigerian youth, teachers and Ngos. 2500 teachers and college professors have been trained in using the program in a participatory way. There are three versions of the program: Nigeria South, Nigeria North and after school extended version. http://www.learningaboutliving.org/south and http://www.learningaboutliving.org/north and http://www.learningaboutliving.org/forall/forall In Senegal the program was developed with local ngo's, ministeries and designers. See http://www.clickinfoado.sn
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Taking the example of a specific school, per school, three teachers are invited to take part in a Learning about Living training, held on regional basis, The teachers learn about participatory teaching methods, how to use the Learning about Living ICT tools in the class, about Sexual and reproductive health information for teenagers. They are given a CD and paper manual with all the contents and help with installation. In some cases the schools are given a laptop and a projector. Each school is supported by a local or regional ngo to whom they can get support. In the class the contents are aligned with the curriculum, the teachers give the lessons on all the topics such as self-esteem, leadership, gender equality, body abuse, hiv/aids prevention and many others. Students now have access to non judgemental information and skills on topics essential to healthy growing up. Further if a student has a particular problem which goes beyond the classroom - youth friendly teaching on life topics tends to bring forth many individual cases - the teacher can refer students to the annonymous helpline 'My Question' or be referred to a local ngo specialised in youth friendly services. Outside of the school setting the mobile helpline is provided nationwide to all young people. They can call or text (free) and get accurate and speedy answers to their questions. Trained knowledge workers reply in local language As a side effect the program also encourages more participatory teaching methods in the participating schools and improves the ICT skills of students and teachers.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are many good (and less good) ngo's working in Nigeria who provide services to young people about sexual and reproductive health. Some of them work with and help a large number of young people. These tend to be live services and as such are limited in their reach. The services can more work in tandem with out own than compete with each other, in the sense that there is a huge dearth of information so there is nowhere near market saturation. There are also Global players such as UNFPA, IPAS, Planned Parenthood and others, most work with information and educational materials on paper. Our growth is more inhibited by the lack of computer availability and internet costs. We hope to redevelop our materials to work for feature phones to improve availability.

Founding Story

In April 2007, in Abuja, Nigeria we organised a 3 day Co-creation workshop with 30 participants from across Nigeria representing, ngos. government, young people and topic experts. The question was, how can we empower young people in Nigeria in the area of sexual and reproductive health and can ICT's play a role. The participants chose unanimously for the Learning about Living concept, and together we gave the solution shape. Furthermore in that workshop each organisation signed up to play a role in making the solution happen.
About You
Butterfly Works & One World UK
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

Butterfly Works & One World UK

Organization Country

, Amsterdam

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco

How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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How long have you been in operation?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your innovation addresses? Choose up to two

Access, Quality.

Social Impact
Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve

Two goals:

1. Provide young people in West and North Africa with non-judgemental, accurate sexual and reproductive health information and skills to lead a healthy, empowered and gender balanced life.

2. Develop toolkits to assist other ngo's, governments, service providers to adapt the contents and approach of Learning about Living to their country or specific context.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

In Nigeria the the elearning program is ongoing in 360 schools and youth center across this large country, and has already reaching 93,000 students. After 25 lessons students are equipped with a body of important information and life skills.

The mobile helpline gets on average 8000 questions a month for the lats 3 and half years. Questions are answered by trained knowledge workers within 24 hours. Questions are for 80% from young people between 15 and 25 years. Their questions are about basic HIV/aids information, STI's, puberty and body changes, reproductive functions, pregnancy and contraceptive use. These are question that young people needed help with, quickly, accurately and anonymously.

In Senegal the project, started in 2010 is running in 10 schools and 3 youth centers, and answers 7000 questions a month on average.

In Morocco, the project reaches 50,000 young people via the radio show has answered 20.000 questions since the start last year.

What is your projected impact over the next five years?

In short, sustain and upscale in Nigeria, Senegal and Morroco and adapt the program to Mali, Egypt and Pakistan.

We aim to reach another 150,000 young people in Nigeria with the eLearning program, and help a further 500.000 by answering their questions via mobile.

In Senegal our target is to reach 50.000 young people with the eLearning program and help a further 350.000 young people by answering their questions.

In Morroco, the radio program is very successful but we are still working on the Telco co-operation and wish to cement this relationship in the coming year and increase the number of questions we can answer.

In Mali the program will start in 2012 with adapting the Senegalese eLearning for the Malinese context and installing the helpline nationwide.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

Our main barriers are, getting Telco's on board, covering the initial costs of development (per new country) sustaining the provision of free sms's (to afford no barrier for young people), and generally working with older fashioned administrations.
Our main strategy to address the costs of (start up) development we are making Toolkits to assist local partners to develop their own youth friendly SRH digital sites and to set up their own helplines. This can bring down costs and enable more new countries to start a Learning about Living style program.
As the level of technological know how in our target countries rises this becomes easier.
We are working on establishing sustainable relationships with Telco's, albeit a dynamic market, with many new players and technologies.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Run Co-creation workshop in Mali to adapt the Learning about Living program for the Malinese context

Task 2

Complete transfer of teacher training and cd and manual production to Nigerian Ministry of Education.

Task 3

Launch Senegal program nationwide in Dakar (depends on elections)

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Cement relationship with Telco in Morocco in order to provide free sms service to young people.

Task 2

Develop and test the pilot version of Mali program.

Task 3

Establish relationships with key stakeholders in Pakistan for program start up..

Tell us about your partnerships

This is a multi-partner effort, with in Nigeria, with Action Health Incorporated, NERDC, Education as a Vaccine Against Aids (EVA), Girls’ Power Initiative (GPI); supported by the Federal Ministry of Education, Federal Ministry of Health and in Senegal : (DCMS-DEMSG-Inspection Daaras), Action Aid, GEEP, FAWE, INTERMONDES, Fédération Nationale des Parents d'Elèves et d'Etudiants du Sénégal (FENAPES), Population Council and RAES and of course in all countries with teachers, parents and students.

Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your innovation? If so, where and why?

The Learning about Living program has already been adapted for Senegal, see here - http://www.infoado.sn And in this version we have entended to use radio and facebook aswell. The program digital IEC materials are just finished and it has been pilotted in 10 schools in Dakar and Ziguinchor. Furthermore the national helpline (sms and call) has received some 80,000 questions in 7 months.
The program has also been adapted for Morocco, the mobile helpline combined with a radio program has a listnership of 50,000. We are planned to work on a Malinese version this year.

What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?

Both organisations are small and flexibel. We can respond at short notice. We are continually adapting the program and the technologies used to the context and the changing landscapes. When we discovered for example that most youths we were targeting in Senegal were not literate we made spoken animations in Wolof. The sms platform is continually being updated for new languages and to enable local ngo's to continue to run the service themselves. Due to our enthusiasm we are able to garner a lot of extra energy for the project.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

One of the main challenges in rolling out the program is getting Telco's on board, as they all need to collaborate to make a shortcode work and then getting them to reduce costs or sponsor services is challenging and time intensive. So if there was mentorship or other help possible to tackle this challenge we would be greatly helped,