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Asma's Journey with JANO's Talking Book: Empowering Motherhood through Innovation


Asma with her child

Asma Akhter, 32, is a mother of two living in Nilphamari Sadar Upazila with her husband and mother-in-law. Her second child is now twenty-eight months old, and her elder child is fourteen years old. When Asma became pregnant after 12 years, she was very careful during her pregnancy. As a member of JANO community level group, she attended regular group meetings from which she learned about a tool called Talking Book.

Talking Book is an audio device that can hold a library of informational audio guided by different icon-based button where project participants can choose the topics that interest them most, replay content as often as they want. This was interesting for her, because she could receive useful information through songs, which were easy to remember and could be replayed as many times as needed to memorize them. She learned some vital information about pregnant mothers which she used in real life. Like her, other women in the community listened to the Talking Book with interest and delight. Later, Asma learned from volunteers that the Talking Book contains information not only for pregnant mothers, but also for lactating mothers, adolescent boys and girls, and others. From the Talking Book, Asma learned about key check-ups during and after pregnancy, which foods to eat during and after pregnancy, and much more.

As a Lactating mother, Asma used to listen to the messages of the Talking Book to ensure her and her child Aaraf’s health and nutrition. Earlier, she felt shy asking for information twice if she, for example, did not understand a discussion or missed hearing information from volunteers in a courtyard meeting. After introducing the Talking Book, Asma can now listen to key messages as often as she wants.

She said, "The talking book has helped me get very useful information during and after my pregnancy. The melody of the song is enjoyable, and it is not boring to listen to it many times." She added “JANO project is doing a lot of important activities for the improvement of Nutritional status of mother and children in this area. Among these, courtyard sessions and household visits by community volunteers are one of the most important activities. Pregnant and lactating mothers, children, adolescents of our area have come to know about health and nutrition-based information through JANO. The talking book of JANO is specially helping them to gain knowledge through this ICT based eLearning tool.”

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