Why ICT has the power to empower
…So, whats all this about ICT ?
There are lots of issues faced in development, ranging from the very basic human rights of shelter and water to improving a countries overall economy, but what happens in-between? In 2016, the World Bank reported that two impressive decades in economic growth have made Cambodia a global leader in reducing poverty. This has moved Cambodia into the Lower Middle Income Country (LMIC) bracket, in which a new realm of possibilities in development emerge. A major part of Cambodias development has been the rapid rise in the use of technology, which in turn is a driving factor in the countries economy. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) development is exciting, especially for LMICs as it can potentially help to tackle a wide range of health, social and economic problems. By improving access to information and enabling communication, ICT can play a role in fighting poverty, combating diseases and other health problems, and accomplishing better educational outcomes.
So what does this mean in relation to GVI?
Our GVI programs in Cambodia directly impact the next generation, a generation who will need ICT skills to further themselves educationally and professionally. ICT opens the doors for young people to be able to exchange knowledge and information with each other and the wider community. It also gives them the opportunity to follow their interests, gain experience with different software-programs and in different professional fields, which will increase employability with e.g. software companies and tourism. Furthermore, through access to technology, Cambodians will have the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skillset to make a difference in their own society. Essentially, it offers opportunity. This is exactly the kind of opportunity we want to be able to build in to the programs we deliver here in Cambodia. Thats why this year we want to give the young people we are in contact with the chance to take their aspirations to the next level. We want to do this by utilising the power of ICT. The good thing about ICT is once you have the hardware, it is relatively cheap! 4G is rolled out across most of Cambodia and most schools are connected with power, to keep equipment charged and ready for use. What we do need help with is the hardware, namely, Laptops!
Why Laptops and why now? Laptops are a solid and relatively cheap option. Adequate technology, which can be updated to suit needs, and mostly mobile devices that can be used across the various programs we deliver, expanding our impact! The request actually came from a recent local consultation. We strive to coproduce our programs wherever possible and listen to the needs of our local partners and beneficiaries. A program partner and friend is Aline, who manages the local eco village Cheung Kok, which promotes sustainable rural development including using tourism to fund conservation. Upon consultation, she has suggested how much of an impact IT facilities could have within the eco village. She has conveyed how IT facilities would not only give them access to much more information to help continue their path to rural sustainable development, but also how they could share the knowledge they had gained. However, the implementation of IT facilities goes beyond the current sustainable rural development that is in place for the moment, but IT facilities would be massively beneficial to the next generation.
Aline, someone who was born in Cheung Kok, also teaches essential skills such as English and conservation in the village. The ability for her and young people to come and use IT facilities for education would also massively improve local knowledge, economic efficiency, empowerment and employability for generations to come. As well as this, from a GVI point of view, it would massively expand our curriculum and ability to teach a range of new subjects and technologies. We have fantastic volunteers from around the world who have experience in using and even teaching IT, and would relish the opportunity to have IT based teaching as part of the curriculum. In short, its a win win!
The good news, and the better and the best:
The good news is, here at GVI, we are ambitious. We care about the programs that we deliver, and when we see an opportunity to take that to another level we get to work. So the pressure is on and we have set ourselves the bold task of raising $1000. We know it’s a big ask, we know it’s a tall order, but we also know whats on the line. This money will ensure that we can start building IT into our Cambodia programs. Using this money to buy our first batch of laptops will really open the way for IT lessons, workshops, information sharing, educational games, online resources and so much more!
Whats the better news you ask? You can help! It’s not just about giving money, there are many more ways you can help us reach our goal! How? Share this knowledge! Raise awareness of the importance of ICT in developing countries by telling friends and family. It just goes to show how much we rely on technology to communicate that the best way of raising awareness is through ICT! You can share this article on social media, blog pages or forums, talk about it in universities or schools and just spread the word! This article is only a 4 minute read and if that leads someone to donate, it could literally offer opportunities for generations to come.
The best thing is, it won’t end there! We will be posting updates on what happens with our fundraiser, with the purchasing of laptops and also them being used in the field! The sky is the limit, we just need your help taking the first step. Please forward this blog on to anyone who cares and can donate as little as the equivalent of a coffee or a meal out. Please find the link for donations at the bottom 🙂
Oh, and Merry Christmas!
From all the Cambodia team and everyone in Cheung Kok :
សូមអោយមានថ្ងៃល្អ (Have a nice day!)
(Please find the donate link above; You can donate on the above link by either bank card or PayPal, thank you!)
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