Introducing URIDU, our new Project to Empower Rural Women in Developing Countries

Did you know ...

... that in developing countries some community surveys report depression prevalence rates among women exceeding 50%?

... that every day, about 1,500 women and adolescent girls die from problems related to pregnancy and childbirth (most of them in developing countries)?

... that about 210 million women in the world who would like to postpone their next pregnancy or stop childbearing altogether do not have the knowledge and methods to do so?

... that in a number of countries, mostly in Asia and the Pacific, the son preference is still so strong that it leads to high rates of female infanticide (= either sex-selective abortion or killing of baby girls after birth)?

... that young girls in rural areas of many African countries miss about 4 school days each month, simply because they lack menstrual hygiene supplies and education about the topic?

... that the average woman in Africa has to work double than the average man?

... that according to the World Health Organisation, about three-quarters of all illness in the developing world could be prevented by better nutrition, water, sanitation, immunization and health education - all areas in which women take the major responsibility?

These are a few of the many, many reasons we decided that it is time to act ... and so we started URIDU.

URIDU is a non-profit, non-partisan project we launched in December 2015. Our goal is to empower women in developing and emerging countries. We do that by providing vital information that helps them change their living situations: to increase their health awareness, to improve their interpersonal relationships and to help them discover their own potential. Our contents cover relevant key topics such as health, family relationships and work. They have been carefully selected and elaborated by experts and come in an easy-to-understand questions-and-answers format. And they come in a modular way which means: local partners who want to use them can pick the contents they consider important for their region, modify them where necessary, or add contents locally important without problem. It is also possible to update or amends any time without problem. Thanks to a crowdsourced effort of thousands of volunteer translators all over the world, we are in the process of making those contents available in more than 80 languages - more to come. (Get more information on the Volunteer Translation Project).

The widespread adoption of mobile phones (especially in Asian countries) is a potent force for shaping and impacting the way rural women live, work and communicate. This is why we provide our contents on URIDU.COM, a web site that has been highly optimized for mobile devices and that allows access even with slow 2G networks. The initial version of the web site contains contents in Arabic, Indonesian, English, French and Spanish.

However, there are many countries with a high rate of illiteracy, especially among women. And as we try to reach all women worldwide, above all those who live in rural areas and therefore have restricted or no access to information and education, we not only have to deal with the topic of illiteracy here, but also often with a lack of basic infrastructure - which means the lack of electricity.

To overcome these problems, we developed a rugged, solar powered audio-player, the URIDU Player. This device contains more than 400 relevant questions and answers based on our contents read by a native speaker in the language needed. The URIDU Player was conceived for small group listening - it therefore fosters discussion, exchange and (self-help) group building.

We are currently looking for partners in developing and emerging countries who are interested to collaborate with us and to start URIDU projects there. Funding can be generated where necessary.

Interested to learn more about URIDU or to cooperate with us? Get in touch!