DOT-COM Activity: Laos/Thailand - Low Cost Technology for Semi-Literate Mekong Girls
Country: Lao People's Democratic Republic, Thailand
Short Description: This pilot activity uses low-cost video compact discs (VCDs) to meet the learning needs of at-risk youth, especially girls, in the Mekong region of South Asia.
Phase/Type of Activity: Pilot Status: Completed
Start date: November 01, 2003 End Date: February 28, 2005
Person(s) to contact
Roy Zimmermann , Project Director
Education Development Center
Tel: (202) 572-3700
Full Description: This pilot, core-funded dot-EDU activity uses low-cost video compact discs (VCDs) to meet the learning needs of at-risk youth, especially girls, in the Mekong region of South Asia. In an effort to reach these girls before they find themselves in compromising situations, the pilot seeks to gauge the success of applying the versatile and ubiquitous VCD technology as a successful intervention for young women and girls who cross the Mekong in search of a more exciting and financially rewarding life in Thailand. The content allows migrant girls to reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of the riskier lifestyles they face in Thailand compared to their homes in Laos, and helps them make better-informed choices.
Update 1: Local partners, PADETC and PATTANARAK, continue work on development of the software and testing. The two model VCDs in development each contain 6 short modules and make use of the mediums reputation as a mode of entertainment as it opens with well-known music from local artists. Each 8-minute module contains a mini-drama or interview, a narrated news byte, and a telling sequence of images that ends in an open-ended trigger question to stimulate reflection and discussion. Content is organized to help migrant girls reflect on the trade-offs between options and, as a result, to help them make more informed choices. The full set of modules on a given VCD is displayed via a menu of images on an opening screen, giving peer group facilitators, or girls privately viewing the VCD, the option of following their interests and selecting topics as often and in whatever sequence they desire.
Update 2 (October - December 2005): This project is completed. Through these VCDs, women and girls will be able to access information in areas of particular interest including
1) the various kinds of immigration status and the differences between them,
2) how to get out from under oppressive employers,
3) what kind of alternative health services are available under the various kinds of legal and illegal immigrant status, and
4) what kinds of genuine employment options are available to immigrant girls who are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous employers.
Key results: The VCDs have been completed and were used in on-going dialogue with USAID Regional Development Mission/Asia on best ICT strategies for addressing learning needs among hard-to-reach cross-border populations in the region.
Development Sector(s): Information Technology, Basic Education
ICT Intervention(s): CD-ROM, DVD, VCD-ROM, ICT and Women
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