On Friday, 5th July, John-Mark Sheppard visited the LIBTRALO headquarters to acquaint us with the work he is doing with mobile phones and MicroSD cards. Because of LIBTRALO’s close working relationship with the Bible Society of Liberia, Paul Stevens the General Secretary and Jerry Forkay were invited and attended the meeting. Also in attendance were David Setiyee, LIBTRALO’s Executive Director, Cynthia, LIBTRALO’s Vernacular Media specialist, Alvina Federwitz, LBT’s representative in Liberia, and Paul Federwitz, LBT’s regional IT consultant.
John-Mark explained that most mobile phones that are being sold today have a reader for MicroSD cards. People currently use them for playing music, but there are many other opportunities available including listening to audio scripture. Due to the high penetration of cell phone usage throughout society, from younger to older generations, this provides for a very large audience.
A brief demonstration was given of how to use a USB modem to copy files from a computer to the microSD card. This card was then inserted into a common Nokia phone. The music app could then be used to select the file and play it through the speaker.
Following the demonstration some discussion was had as to how the two organizations could use this technology to better help the people of Liberia. As both the Bible Society and LIBTRALO are Christian based organizations, immediate interest was toward scripture engagement activities including listening to the Bible in the local language.
With LIBTRALO’s interest towards helping local people be able to read and write in their own language, ideas also were put forward about how this could be assisted by audio. Some of these ideas included listening stories and local traditional stories that have already been recorded.
LIBTRALO very much appreciated John-Mark’s presentation and is anxious to look into this area further.