Brian Julius and Zane Wilson
Books of Hope
Purpose Prize Fellow 2009
Julius and Wilson create Speaking Books that deliver health information to illiterate individuals about HIV, depression, and other health-related issues, emphasizing prevention.
Julius and Wilson create Speaking Books that deliver health information to illiterate individuals about HIV, depression, and other health-related issues, emphasizing prevention.Illiteracy can be a matter of life and death. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide can’t access basic health information – because they can’t read it – and have a higher risk for HIV, malaria, depression, and other health complications. The Speaking Book, created by Books of Hope founders Julius and Wilson, provides health information, particularly helpful in rural communities where there is no electricity, radio, TV, or Internet. Each book uses the latest sound chip technology; features a soundtrack read by local celebrities in the local language; and includes 16 pages of colorful illustrations matched with easy-to-understand text. Since the release of the first book in 2005, more than 200,000 books have been produced: 35 titles in 14 languages. The teen suicide book has been reprinted three times, and the HIV book has been reproduced five times in four languages. Julius and Wilson call themselves “serial entrepreneurs,” after starting numerous companies over the years. They say Books of Hope is their “most exciting venture.”