Do you remember life before your cell phone or Internet connection? Can you recall relying on pay phones instead of smartphones, on encyclopedias instead of Google?
There’s no doubt about it; digital technologies have dramatically transformed countless aspects of our daily lives. They’ve enhanced our knowledge. They’ve expanded our horizons. They offer us unprecedented opportunities for connection – connection to people, information, services, and resources.
But did you know that digital technologies can also accelerate girls’ and women’s empowerment, and thereby promote an entire country’s social and economic development? Mobile phones, tablets, laptops, access to Internet - every day, these tools are broadening girls’ and women’s access to education, healthcare, training, employment, entrepreneurship, etc.
Unfortunately, today, access to digital technologies remains largely out of reach for women in certain developing countries. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, women are only half as likely as men to have access to Internet.
We’re convinced of women’s crucial role in development efforts and the urgent need to improve their position within society. Our challenge lies in turning digital technologies into a motor to promote a more inclusive economy for women instead of letting them widen the gender gap. But, how do we do it?
The solutions we’re proposing
We are spending 7 months traveling across Asia, Africa and Latin America to meet and support women who are empowering themselves and others through projects that leverage digital technologies. We’ll be learning all that we can from these projects as we share in the women’s daily commitment to contributing to the development of their respective countries.
We believe in the partners we’ve selected. Their impact in empowering local women is undeniable. This is why we will be providing them with free mentoring, support services and impact assessments in order to help them scale up and expand their social impact.
We are currently preparing the following missions:
- India: After its success in Africa, our partner, Buffalo Grid, a British social business of solar phone chargers for rural, remote areas is looking to expand across India through an existing network of women.
- Southeast Asia: Passerelles Numériques, an NGO that enables young people from poor backgrounds to benefit from IT training and find qualified employment in the sector, is aiming to enrol more girls in its programs in order to reach an equal male/female ratio.
- Eastern Africa: Our partner, Ampion, runs a start-up bus which gathers specialists from all over the world and talented African tech entrepreneurs, and is seeking to increase the number of female participants in its program.
- Benin : We will also be helping Youth Entrepreneurs Partners, an e-mentoring platform that supports young people in the creation of their businesses, to reach its goal of including more young women in its program.
- Lesotho: We are partnering with Sterio.me, a social business that provides after-school help for young children in the form of quizzes and recordings accessible through first-generation mobile phones. The start-up is seeking ways of adapting its technology to specific women-relevant issues.
- Peru: Our partner, Coopromuse, a women’s clothing and jewelry cooperative, is hoping to increase its visibility and profitability through its use of digital technologies.
The impact of giving
Your donation will finance two of our missions as well as the purchase of audio-visual equipment needed for us to produce a digital compilation of interviews, videos, reports and case studies from our journey. We’re asking for your help to reach our goal of 15,000 Euros, which will enable us to work with Buffalo Grid in India and Passerelles Numériques in Southeast Asia for several weeks. These are organizations with huge potential but limited resources. We need your help to help them.
By supporting Follow’Her, you are supporting women's equal access to life-changing opportunities. Join us in applying the tools you use every day - your cell phone, computer, Internet access – towards empowering women and promoting social and economic development.
In the words of Ban Ki Moon, “Investing in Women is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do.”
And to thank you for your precious gift, we’ll be happy to show our appreciation by sending you a reward!
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