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The Beyond the Net Programme help bring positive change to people's lives. 

To read updates on all the projects listed below, visit our blog.

If you would like to apply for funding for your own project, visit How to Apply.

Melissa Theesen, Global Member

Start date: November 2014

Children’s Future’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty in Cambodia by providing the country’s poorest and most vulnerable children the opportunity to become educated, self-reliant and compassionate individuals. The Technology Academy offers enrichment activities that include introduction to technology and the Internet to help students take advantage of growing Cambodian ICT progress. It is a hub for Internet growth and development in rural Cambodia. Recently connected to the Internet with the goal of promoting technical training, the Academy will build a model that integrates Internet content with traditional teacher-facilitated education, blending the classroom while supporting individual learning and student cultural context. From basic computer skills to advanced design software and coding, the goal is to help students develop marketable skills, to encourage critical thinking, and to allow students to access opportunities they otherwise would not be able to imagine in their rural villages. The Academy adds new technology, expert teachers, and partnerships each year to ensure that students receive an increasingly high level of education to advance their long-term career opportunities. During the next two years, the project will integrate application software development courses so that students can create Khmer learning applications for their peers, enabling widespread replication.

Ngo Thi Quynh Van, Global Member

Start date: May 2014

The Nghe An Public Library, a unit under the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, is the largest centre for information, education and entertainment of Nghe An province in Vietnam.

The main objective of the project is to develop and enhance the Internet literacy skills of women in rural areas, teaching them to use computers and navigate Internet, delivered through several educational courses.

Ahmed Almarwani, Yemen Chapter

Start date: June 2014
The project promoted e-commerce in Yemen, boosting the confidence of the Yemeni community in the Internet as a means of purchasing and selling products and services using available online resources.

To achieve its goal, the project provided training focusing on young Yemenis, preferably those who have a university degree, who are either unemployed or need an additional source of income and are eager to explore the various potentials of e-commerce to advance their careers.

E-Commerce in Yemen

Training activity
The training package provided training to 100 young Yemenis; priory was given to Internet Society members who met the criteria. The trainees were divided into 5 groups, each group had 20 members. Trainers used different methods and tools to deliver the course successfully such as presentations, discussion groups, live examples, and home assignments. The training held and successfully completed with result of 110 graduated trainees (52% males and 48% females), awarded about E-Commerce services and risks, also they have the initial skills to buy and sale goods and services online.

Seminars activity
Yemen Chapter, in cooperation with three of the best universities in Yemen, implemented 3 seminars, the seminars gave an overview of Internet Society, Yemen Chapter, and E-Commerce project activities especially research and training activities. The number of participants surpassed expectations: 335 (53,4% males and 46,6% females), in addition gender balance was satisfied enough in a country like Yemen, where women are not getting their rights enough.

The project activities covered by different types of media such as newspapers, local government press agency, news websites and TV Channels.

Pablo Lecuona, Global Member

Start Date: November 2014

Tiflolibros is the first digital library for Spanish-speaking visually impaired people, accessible worldwide for free over the Internet using computers or mobile devices adapted with screen reader programs. Despite the significant progress Tiflolibros has made to date, now reaching over 8,000 people across 5 continents, there is still much more work to be done to reach more people - particularly those in  disadvantaged or remote areas - who do not have Internet access and therefore cannot use these resources. Similarly, more work must be done to expand the contents of the library, including materials of local interest in Latin America.

The project aims to address both of these challenges by expanding 1) the library resources to include new local content, particularly from Argentinian and Latin American authors and 2) access to those resources by creating four pilot facilities – or Access Points - in libraries, telecenters or other organizations in the northern Argentine provinces to benefit people with visual disabilities.  Lastly, the team will document these experiences in a toolkit that can facilitate and encourage other organizations throughout Latin America to form their own access points.

Tiflolibros - Buenos Aires

Today it is run by a team of 15 and the library has grown to 52.200 digital books in Spanish available for more than 8.000 members with severe disabilities all over the world. The Organization contributed to a favourable reform of Argentina’s copyright law in 2007, which was followed by other Latin American countries. On December 2016, they received the UNESCO Prize for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.

Sana Saleem, Global Member

Start date: November 2014

The project aims to ensure that the Internet in Pakistan remains open and free of censorship by the state. This can only happen when there is legislation that protects rights, establishes that access to content on the Internet is voluntary and that the only rights -friendly regulation can be one that empowers the end user to decide what to access or what not to. In order to do this, the team will draft legislation based on consultations that will ultimately reverse control, taking it out of the hands of the government and putting it into the hands of citizens. This legislation will then be presented to policymakers to write into law.

Sigrid Ortega, Global Member

Start date: May 2014

The project targets young women in the junior and senior levels of six high schools in Oruro, Bolivia. Through several workshops and courses, the aim is to enable girls and young women to learn computing, web-related technologies and issues related to Internet security. The successful students will be granted a certificate as Trained Technician on Maintenance of Laptops, Internet Security and Computer Networks.

The learned skills and knowledge will enable these young women to earn an income, create their own jobs, and find other employment opportunities, by unleashing their technological potential. At the same time, they will become agents and promoters of technological innovation and social change based on the principles of a responsible use of Internet.

Jabulani Vilakazi, South Africa Chapter

Start date: May 2014

Access to the Internet is a significant enabler of economic growth and human development, this project created a wireless network that will give free and low-cost access to rural township and remote areas. SOWUG (Soweto Wireless User Group) has connected people to the Internet who have never been on the Internet before.

Internet infrastructure has been brought to under serviced locations in Soweto; connecting over 1000 people, 10 local businesses, 10 households and 50 youth community members have been trained on digital literacy.

Soweto Wireless

Project benefits:

  • People use the network to look for employment and business opportunities
  • A lot of businesses appreciate what we are doing because it will give them a platform to reach local residents and sell their products
  • Early in 2015 we secured offices that enabled us to start implement grassroot programs and training.
  • As from 2014 we worked with Foundation for Internet Development for backhaul support (Data center and bandwidth provision) and now one of the small businesses we are working with has given us a 1Gbps bandwidth link for the next 18 months.
  • We are now starting to become an internationally organisation. We have forged a very good relationship with the Local US embassy to afford us opportunities to learn abroad and implement these learning locally.

We are currently in the process of finalising an agreement for rolling-out of 70 hotspots for the City of Johannesburg in Soweto, which will help us build capacity technically and assist with curbing costs of keeping the network live.

Watch Jabulani Vilakazi interviewed at iWeek 2015 for the History of the Internet in South Africa

Vadim Georgienko, Global Member

Start date: November 2014

The project team, in partnership with the Young Community foundation, aims to develop Ukrainian communities’ capacity – to become Smart Communities - by removing barriers to the natural behavior of citizens in decision-making and implementation with a help of a mobile application.  Outdated tools for local self-governance and the low level of social innovations are the main barriers that have had a negative impact on Ukrainian communities’ development. They have contributed to the stagnation of democratic processes, the highest levels of corruption, and the recent revolution in Ukraine.

Ukraine - Civil Society App

The team has created innovative functionality within the Civil Society application and plan to enhance the features and implement it among three pilot groups of beneficiaries (students, members of NGOs, and community members), then to scale the implementation among the country in the upcoming local elections (October 2015).

Here you find a playlist with 13 action plans for solving concrete problems with the Civil Society app

Niranjan Meegammana, Global Member

Start date: November 2014

Harassment of teenage girls on social networks – including extreme cases of self-harm - is a growing problem in Sri Lanka due to an increase in their use among teenagers. In most cases young people are withdrawing from social life and digital society; the physical and/or psychological victimization affects their education and employment. Although national laws and procedures are in place for protection, there is a general lack of awareness, advice and resources available – in the local language - for victims to seek justice. The project will create digital content in the local language to raise awareness about the problem, advocate for safe and respectful online discourse, and train youth. One output will be a Cyber Privacy eHandbook for those new to the Internet, as well as for teachers and parents. A group of young people will learn how to create short films, digital posters, stories, and comics available online to encourage peer-to-peer awareness. This online network will expand to the real world with short film exhibitions and awareness raising exercises in schools.  All content created from the project will be distributed freely under Creative Commons 3.0 online allowing for wider sharing, replication and adaptation across the world.

Monir Bhuiyan, Bangladesh Dhaka Chapter

Start date: July 2014

The aim of this project is to support and foster collaborations between the academic and business communities in Bangladesh. This project will help to connect academics and business people with research and contacts in fields including e-commerce, e-governance, and e-health.