This week we are continuing to focus on Nourish Projects and their impact around the globe. Our impact is amazing, but we are not the only ones! Thousands of other people and institutions are working hard towards the same goal.
A recent article surfaced in the news announcing that India’s government plans to finalize a program to spread digital literacy across the country by the end of this month. Input has been received from industries, NGOs, and related third parties to create a plan for this expansion to at least one individual in every family by 2020.
The hope is to reach every household, and then the knowledge and skills learned will be shared to subsequent family members. Increase in computer knowledge is also expected to stimulate an increase in literacy rates across the country.
The current computer literacy rate is just above 6%, yet the learning curve is exponential for young minds, and the potential positive effects of this program seem infinite. In the end, the benefits are astounding. IT literacy opens corridors to a better education and larger job markets and higher wages. In addition, it bridges the international digital divide, a crucial step in eradicating poverty around the globe.
Nourish International Chapters have already made a huge impact on computer literacy in India and around the globe. This past summer the University of Texas (http://nourish.org/students/uta/) partnered with DJMV (http://divyajyotimahilavikash.cfsites.org/) in Berhampur, India. While on this project, the student interns provided computer literacy, English, and vocational skills classes. The team also worked to equip the community learning center with much needed computers and books. Their immediate impact may seem concentrated, yet the effect is huge through social learning, as information is shared with siblings, parents, community members, and business partners around the country. Dhanya, from the UT Chapter, puts it best: “But, at the end of every day, I’m reminded of how strong the people of this community are and how they themselves can start movements, change mindsets and develop their villages…I’m thrilled to see what is going to happen in this community and how the kids we are teaching are going to help mold and shape it into something even more beautiful than it is now. That’s empowerment. That is what makes it worth every single moment here.”
Progress has been made in recent years, however, with the advent of new policies this month and a high government willingness to expand IT programs, the future looks bright for the citizens of India. With the computer literacy rate so low, it will take a huge effort from non-profit organizations like Nourish International, the government, and private industries, but goals are being set as we speak and it will be an exciting journey for the country.
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