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ChildFund International and NetHope Bring Technology Solutions to Youth in Brazil
Newly launched program uses the power of collaboration and netbooks to change
the landscape in developing countries
Washington, D.C., May 25, 2010—ChildFund International, NetHope and Intel Corporation are working together on a netbook pilot project in Brazil to develop a “Graduate Program” aimed at preparing youth in current ChildFund International programs to enter the job market as “digital citizens.” The pilot aims to streamline sponsorship processes, while also enhancing child-centered programming so children can develop and grow into productive adults. Another goal is to enable youth to enter promising job markets and to create their own jobs.
This initiative comes at a critical time as nations place high demand on innovative and effective solutions to the social and economic issues that impact youth across the globe. In 2008, the global unemployment rate in the 15-25 age group was 12.2 percent, nearly three times higher than the unemployment rate for adults. And youth unemployment is expected to increase in the coming decade.
“With such a high unemployment rate for youth, we need to find ways to accommodate them,” said Anne Scott, vice president of Global Programs for ChildFund International. “In order to do that, they need to be digital citizens and they need to be prepared to navigate as businesspeople.”
The program intends to enable disadvantaged youth by helping them obtain government-issued identification, electronic banking capabilities, job skills training and education on the use of technology for business and marketing activities. By equipping youth with access to services such as Kiva and eBay, enabling them to transact electronically through e-banking and obtaining other necessary credentials (such as a passport or driver’s license), the initiative will help youth build their own futures through entrepreneurial skills and innovation.
“This type of technology solution is in high demand across our NetHope members and their Developing World programs,” stated Dr. William Brindley, CEO of NetHope. “Technology can be a significant enabler for the data collection and training needs of our NGO members, especially those working in rural remote areas. We at NetHope are pleased to partner with the ChildFund and Intel teams to bring the true power of the Public Private Partnership.”
The initiative will be unveiled as part of the 17th World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) taking place May 25-27 in Amsterdam where the most innovative minds in business, politics and academia discuss important world developments to solve global issues locally.
Chris Thomas, chief strategist and director of architecture for the Intel World Ahead Program, will discuss the strategic relationship and how the project will work as part of the keynote address during this year’s WCIT event. “Key to economic success is enabling a populace of digital citizens through access to technology and connectivity,” Thomas said. “In working with NetHope and ChildFund International, we are supporting digital citizens to shape their local markets and contributing to economic growth and development.”
“We’re at a turning point globally,” Scott added. “If we don’t empower these youth with the necessary skills and connect them to positive job markets, the youth could go into hidden economies where they are exploited. And they also aren’t contributing to the revenue base of their countries.”
About ChildFund International
ChildFund International, formerly named Christian Children’s Fund, is a global child development and protection agency that believes lasting changes comes from children. A member of the ChildFund Alliance, ChildFund International has earned 4 stars from Charity Navigator and serves children in 31 countries. For more information, visit www.ChildFund.org.
NetHope, Inc., which started in 2001, is a new-generation collaboration of ICT professionals from 30 of the international community’s leading nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) representing over $33 billion (USD) of emergency relief, human development and conservation programs in more than 150 countries. Through member collaboration and by facilitating public-private partnerships with major technology companies, NetHope enables members to leverage their technology investments to better serve their end beneficiaries. For more information, visit www.nethope.org.
About Intel Corporation
Intel is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom and blogs.intel.com