The SolarSPELL initiative, alongside the Peace Corps, is confronting the realities of low-resource contexts by leveraging innovative technology, providing locally-relevant educational libraries, and building critical digital and information literacies.
Since 2015, SolarSPELL has worked with the Peace Corps — an organization with 60 years of development experience across 60+ countries. Working with the Peace Corps has proven the most effective implementation strategy for introducing, supporting, and expanding SolarSPELL digital libraries across remote and rural locations. Our train-the-trainer model empowers both Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) and their local counterparts to foster skills-development in their schools and communities, as well as long-term, sustainable use of SolarSPELL libraries. Impact evaluation conducted on-site provides compelling evidence that PCVs play an invaluable role in introducing SolarSPELL libraries to their communities. Furthermore, both PCVs and their local counterparts overwhelmingly report an increased ability to effectively do their jobs with the use of the SolarSPELL library.
Using this model, we currently have 365 libraries in 8 countries across the Pacific Islands and East Africa. As of May 2020, SolarSPELL and the Peace Corps have signed a Global Strategic Partnership that will enable rapid expansion of SolarSPELL libraries in additional Peace Corps countries around the world and meet urgent needs in remote, rural, offline communities globally.