iLearn4Fun is a nonprofit 501(c3) organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities for the world’s poorest people by creating open-source software for mobile phones in multiple languages. Harnessing the power of technology, we want to improve learning outcomes for children in disadvantaged or war-torn communities. By focusing on early literacy, we equip children with the reading and writing skills necessary to eradicate poverty and promote gender equality.

Research shows that children learn reading and writing skills best in their native languages. iLearn4Fun has developed apps in English, French, Spanish, Swahili, and Khmer, and is currently working on an app in Arabic.

Our goal is not to replace education in school, but to supplement it with material that is not otherwise available. In most developing nations, access to mobile phones is far greater than access to computers.

iLearn4Fun has endorsed the “Principles of Digital Development”.  We develop context appropriate solution informed by user need, which are designed for scale and sustainability. Our software is open source and our content has a creative common license. Our solutions are sensitive to the most marginalized populations: women, children, those with disabilities, and those affected by conflict and disaster.








MoToLi Software
In 2010, iLearn4Fun initiated the development of  MoToLi (Mother Tongue Literacy), a mobile application based on extensive research in how children learn to read. MoToLi is effective for any alphabetic, phonetic language. Its visually attractive interface features mood-enhancing colors and pictorial icons inspired by nature create an intuitive and engaging experience for children of all ages. MoToLi teaches reading through interactive activities, a digital library that enables and encourages consistent practice, and an assessment tool to gauge reading improvement.


All Children Reading Challenge Cambodia
MoToLi has been deployed in Cambodia in the Khmer language under a USAID All Children Reading grant awarded to World Education. The application is the first Khmer language education app for the primary grades, and its implementation has brought significant reading acquisition improvement based on an early grade reading assessment.


Global Learning XPRIZE
iLearn4Fun has put together a team of international experts to create a version of MoToLi in English and Swahili for the Global Learning XPRIZE, which challenges teams from around the world to develop open source scalable software solutions that will enable children in developing countries to teach themselves basic reading, writing, and arithmetic within the 18-month competition field-testing period.


For the eEduApp4Syria competition, launched by Norad, iLearn4Fun is working on a prototype of an Arab-language app with a team of Arabic experts to help meet the desperate need of these children, some still in Syria without access to school and others living as refugees. Our app will create an authentic Arabic learning experience.


iLearn4Fun has developed a collection of illustrations available under a creative common license. The primary objective in sharing our illustrations is to promote apps development in the field of literacy in many languages and help teachers create their own digital resources.


African Storybook
iLearn4Fun is providing support to African Storybook by translating and uploading stories to their website, developed in South Africa by SAIDE. African Storybook provides an open access to picture storybooks in the languages of Africa to improve children’s literacy, imagination, and joy of learning.








Our Team

iLearn4Fun has a diverse team of educators, graphic designers, programmers and language specialists working to create these open-source programs, as well as a Board of Directors:


Isabelle Duston, founder and CEO of iLearn4Fun, is a serial entrepreneur and native of France. She holds an MBA from ESCP-Europe and speaks five languages. Duston has worked for IBM, SKF, and the Valspar Corporation. She resides in Lynchburg, Virginia, where iLearn4Fun is headquartered. Duston is president of Education Technology for Development and was named “Innovator of the Year” by Virginia’s Region 2000 Technology Council in May 2011, just months after Apps of All Nations received two 2010 Stevie Awards for “Company of the Year” and “Technology Innovator of the Year.” With the power of technology, Duston formed iLearn4Fun to apply her skills to a social cause.  She strongly believes in the use of mobile technology to stimulate educational growth and social change.


Des Black is a native of Australia living in Forest, Virginia, with his wife of 35 years. He recently retired from AREVA, a nuclear energy company, as director of operational excellence. His employment history includes working for international companies in 11 different countries in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. His background is in industrial engineering, change management, and information systems, which he studied at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia. Black has volunteered for nonprofit organizations over the years and is currently chairman of the Region 2000 Technology Council, part of the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance. The Tech Council was responsible for the formation of the Future Focus Foundation that supports STEM (science, tehcnology, engineering, and math) education through the regional school systems and most recently the formation of the STEM Academy based at Central Virginia Community College.


J. Todd Scruggs is a native of Lynchburg, Virginia, where he has lived for the majority of his life. He is executive vice president and chief financial officer of the Bank of the James, as well as secretary-treasurer of financial. He was a co-organizer of the bank and has served as its CFO since its formation in 1999. Scruggs previously worked at Crestar Investment Group where he was a financial consultant and an investment representative. He was also a tax specialist and financial analyst for Ericsson GE Mobile Communications and assistant to the vice president of finance and controller of Old Dominion Box Company, Inc. Scruggs has a bachelor of science in commerce from the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce and a degree from the University of South Carolina School of Graduate Bank Investment Management. In addition to his work with iLearn4Fun, Scruggs serves on the finance committee of Centra Inc., the finance committee of Interfaith Outreach Association, and the board of STEP with Links.


Lori Smith is a native of Georgia but has called Lynchburg, Virginia, home for the last 16 years. She is a third-grade teacher at the Gifted Opportunities Center at Robert S. Payne Elementary School, where she has taught for the last 13 years. Previously, she taught third grade at Paul Munro Elementary in Lynchburg, and third, fifth, and seventh grades at schools in Georgia. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the University of Georgia in Athens. She went on to earn her master’s of education in middle grades education from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, specializing in science, language arts, and gifted education. While raising three children, Smith has served on various boards and committees in Lynchburg. She accepted the board position with iLearn4Fun because she is a passionate believer that all children have a right to quality education.


Kim Soerensen, a native of Germany, earned a degree in design at the Blocherer School of Design in Munich and moved to the U.S. in 1986, where she built a career in business management and design. While raising her daughter, Soerensen started two businesses that she still manages today: DK Spaces, which renovates and leases homes; and Omniterrum, which locates and obtains rare world globes and related planetary artifacts for museums and private collectors. Omniterrum received global media attention, including features by Oprah magazine, The New York Times, CNN, and Russia1TV. In Lynchburg, Virginia, Soerensen is known as “the globe lady.” An avid supporter of the arts, she joined the James River Council for the Arts and Humanities in 2014. Soerensen first served on the marketing committee and was elected president in August 2015. She has been on the board for ilearn4Fun since its inception because of her belief that education and communication are the drivers that lift a society out of poverty and create a prosperous, peaceful world.


Francine Baruti, a native of DRC, holds an MBA from Oxford University in England and is a multilingual iLearn4Fun board member. She has worked with McKinsey & Co., a global management consulting firm, and the University of Oxford on educational funding strategies. She has 20 years of experience across Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, spanning general management, strategic planning, marketing, product development, project management, and implementation. Baruti shares Nelson Mandela’s conviction that “Education (which starts with literacy) is the engine of personal development.” Baruti is a co-administrator at Able Homes, a Lynchburg-area group home for individuals with intellectual disabilities, which she founded 10 years ago with her husband, a Virginia-licensed nurse.








Contact Us

How you can help iLearn4Fun

To find out more about our work, contact Isabelle Duston at