BT and SOS Children's Villages bringing internet to 20 African communities
BT has partnered with SOS Children's Villages to connect 20 of the charity's sites across Africa to the internet, bringing radical changes to thousands of people.
The first two sites to get online are in the Gambia. The remaining 18 Children's Villages are scheduled to be connected by October 2013. The villages are located across 12 countries in total.
Under BT's 'Connecting Africa' programme, the telecoms company is designing and building the network infrastructure from under-utilised or decommissioned BT equipment in each country.
Local IT support teams will receive training from BT engineers to maintain and operate the infrastructure.
BT will provide connectivity for the Children's Villages for three years via its global satellite network, run from its operational centre in Madley in the UK.
The new connectivity means children in the villages will now be able to access e-learning courses and the charity's online mentoring programmes.
Meryl Davies, from SOS Children's Villages sees benefits for the charity too.
She said: "We see the real difference that IT and connectivity make to our children's lives, opening their eyes to a whole new world of information, and wonderful education opportunities.
"The other significant value of this partnership is the way that BT is helping us as an organisation. BT has the vision to understand that with improved systems and structures, we will be better able to bring long term value to incredibly vulnerable children and families."
Kevin Taylor, President of BT Asia, Middle East and Africa, said: "We believe that communication is an incredibly powerful tool and can transform the lives of many people.
"We've seen the real impact that broadband internet can have through our projects around the world.
"This latest initiative builds on our know-how and on our long standing commitments to communities in Africa and elsewhere where through technology we help children and whole communities reach for a better future.
"This project is enthusiastically supported by BT employees around the world, who will engage through volunteering and fundraising activities."