When Lumu, one of Outreach’s talented staff members in Nepal , organized a mobile literacy class to expand community members’ ability to use cellphones late last year, it took some convincing. Older residents thought themselves past the point where they could incorporate such things into their lives, and worried they’d be teased.

One of the 15 participants told me that she is now familiar with numbers. How? She dialed my number to call me on her own.— Lumu, Nepal Facilitator

“So I went house to house to talk with them, and explained that learning has no age bar,” she says. “I told them, if you learn, it will help not just you, but everyone attached to you.” She explained that the ability to communicate with friends and family, learn new things on the internet, easily calculate figures, jot down notes, get help in an emergency meant independence and empowerment.

Another hurdle: Few of the prospective students were able to recognize letters or numbers, so before they tackled mobile literacy, they addressed the alphanumerical basics. Within weeks, the students learned everything they needed to know to join their families and neighbors in a modern, connected lifestyle. “One of the 15 participants told me that she is now familiar with numbers.” How? “She dialed my number to call me on her own.”

Lumu and other members of Outreach’s international staff spend an average of 32 hours per week in their respective communities.

How To Help

Speaking of a “call to action,” you can provide crystal clear connections between our community partners as they work together to learn new things, apply new knowledge, embark on new projects, and enjoy new successes. Disregard your hang-ups— show your long-distance dedication today.