Between the ages of six and (almost) 10, I lived with my family and one other Dutch family in India. Yes, that is me, Miriam, and our aya.
My father managed a factory in Shikohabad, which manufactured light bulbs.
Once a year the factory would give 5 villages in our district a gift: a steel bookcase filled with booklets printed by the Indian government on subjects of practical use to our rural population, ranging from irrigation methods to childcare practices.
My father used to say that if you went back to these villages 2 years later, you would see no change in 4 of those places. But in the 5th village, if there had been at least two men who could read, and if they had decided to read from these books out loud, to their family and neighbors, you could see huge changes.
If they decided to implement better agricultural practices, you could see the harvest coming in more abundantly. If they decided to implement better construction methods, then the monsoon rains would not be able to destroy them. Better information led to increased prosperity.
The current 'bookcase filled with information' is now the internet and its associated apps. We can now spread information not merely to 5 villages a year, but to thousands of villages at the same time.
The 5th Village Project is committed to creating an online bookcase with low- and no cost, actionable, field-tested, sustainable ideas, for people living in extreme poverty, so we can continue the successful experiment that was started so long ago.