SPEAKING BOOKS – SOUTH AFRICA
For World AIDS Day, the spotlight is on the Speaking Book "Living with HIV and AIDS Doesn’t Mean Living with Depression." Also featured is "Suicide Shouldn't Be a Secret."
Low literacy levels in Africa are part-and-parcel of everyday life, and seriously reduce the effectiveness of health care literature. In association with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group, Books of Hope has designed and produced interactive, multilingual Speaking Books that can be seen, read, heard and understood regardless of someone's reading ability.
Each Speaking Book consists of 16 pages of culturally appropriate illustrations supported by straightforward and easy to understand text in a variety of languages. Every page has a corresponding push button that triggers a sound track read by a well-known local personality. So whatever a reader's level of literacy, the information will be clearly understood. Topics include HIV and AIDS, TB, Malaria, Suicide Prevention and Diabetes. Speaking Books are distributed to rural and disadvantaged communities worldwide.
Visit the web site for Books of Hope at www.booksofhope.com
EVIDENCE OF EFFECTIVENESS
When the book "Living with HIV and AIDS Doesn’t Mean Living with Depression" was used by home based care workers, each book was seen by an average of 27 people. 98.4% of home based care workers reported the books as easily understood. 93.3% of the target group reported that they learnt new facts about AIDS and Depression from the book. Research on the book "Suicide Shouldn't be a Secret" was conducted on teenagers in a high-risk rural community. Results indicated a significant (58%) increase in knowledge gain on Suicide prevention. View a presentation on these results.
Several researchers have investigated the impact of Speaking Books; one such researcher concluded that, "The results indicated that both the educational workshop and the Speaking Book are valuable in increasing students’ knowledge about suicide and depression. Most importantly the Speaking Book having such an impact on the students’ knowledge has many implications when trying to target extremely rural areas. When finances are limited and literacy poor the Speaking Book provides an inexpensive way to disseminate valuable information at a relatively low cost."
These speaking books were published in the Republic of South Africa by Lincwadi Zethemba/Books of Hope. "Living with HIV and AIDS Doesn’t Mean Living with Depression" was designed and illustrated by Wendy Seller, the text was created by the South African Depression and Anxiety Group, and additional support was provided by the National Lottery. "Suicide Shouldn’t Be A Secret" was designed and illustrated by Victor Do O’Filipe, the text was created by the South African Depression and Anxiety Group, and additional support was provided by De Beers. For more information contact Brian Julius at
Disclaimer: The information provided on this web site is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.