What solution(s) does your initiative address to better the lives of girls and women by leveraging technology? (select all applicable)
Access to technology, Access to education/training.
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
In northern, rural Haiti, we introduced a community's first-ever XO laptops and training project in three schools with combined populations of more than 1,000 students. Thirty specially-selected young women high school students received introductory ICT, leadership and mentoring training to help them envision how these skills could be empowering. When young women in low-income communities receive meaningful training and mentoring to envision positive futures, this can help decrease early pregnancy, HIV and poverty, and increase job opportunities, micro-enterprise and per capita GDP. Our project's launch in 2011-12 led to connections between young women in the High Hopes Haiti project, U.S. students in computing studies at 5 universities, and newly-identified potential mentors from the Haitian-American business community. The project's innovative approaches have kept involvement of original participants high (no drop-off) and sustained community leader support for future activities.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
With She Will Innovate funding, we will conduct an advanced leadership, development and computer workshop with young women Haitian high school students in late 2012/early 2013 and 5 virtual sessions between them and U.S. university students and Haitian-American businesspeople. This will prepare all involved for more ICT/community needs training in Spring 2013. Our Summer 2013 plan calls for the young women to have access to an even broader vocational training effort on-the-ground and virtually. Following the model of the Global Giveback Circle, recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative and from which we have received advice, we will seek partnerships with non-profits, Haitian government representatives and sponsors to replicate the program to other Haitian communities in 2013-14.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
It is important to have a project liaison in Haiti who understands and can support the project goals; speaks English and Haitian Creole; is comfortable with communications via email, Internet and satellite; and will live in rural, northern Haiti. We are currently transitioning from our 2012 project liaison (who has been accepted to medical school) and a new one who will need to be successfully "onboarded." Maintaining involvement and continuity with volunteers, in this case - U.S. university students and Haitian-American businesspeople - can be challenging. We are staying in close coordination with the U.S. university professor who led the STARS Alliance Leadership Corps trip to our project in 2012. She is already re-recruiting students for the Spring 2013 trip.
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