In spring 2014, an outbreak of the Ebola virus in Liberia caused daily life to grind to a halt. People lived in quarantine for months. Schools closed. Nearly every aspect of social life in the country’s civic centers was put on hold. In response to this health crisis, EDC’s USAID Advancing Youth Project (AYP) adapted a set of literacy and numeracy interactive audio instruction (IAI) lessons for radio broadcast.

The outbreak posed a significant challenge to AYP, a $35 million initiative that delivered livelihood, health, and literacy trainings to Liberians aged 13 to 35. Over the course of two months, project staff adapted 128 lessons and partnered with Liberian radio stations to broadcast them over the airwaves. This innovation allowed USAID AYP to help youth in Liberia continue learning despite their isolation.

“We worked with USAID to figure out what kind of support we could give to them, and we decided that radio instruction could work,” says Lisa Hartenberger Toby, who directed EDC’s response. “Students could tune in daily as if they were attending classes. It gave them a sense of normalcy in a difficult time, while also helping them build the literacy skills that they had worked hard to develop.”

Radio Promo




Guided Practice

Individual Work

Read more about this resource: “Learning in the Time of Ebola.”

Resource Details

Resource Type
Education Development Center