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Older Community Grants

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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.

Tariq Zaman, Global Member

Start date: July 2014
The community in Long Lamai are mainly involved in subsistence farming, and like many other remote rural areas, find most of their young people moving away to urban centres. There is also a lack of awareness of the hidden assets that exist in the remote areas, such as flora and fauna, and the unique culture of Long Lamai.  

This e-commerce project will leverage these assets by helping the community to develop and promote their handicrafts and homestays, and give the local people the skills to maintain the e-commerce website themselves. Ultimately, the project aims to generate new employment and reduce number of young people leaving these remote areas through the creation of social and economic opportunities.

During the first six months of the project an inventory of the local products handicrafts and tourism packages has been developed. Two workshops (on designing contemporary handicrafts and collecting digital contents) and an exchange visit have been organized for local entrepreneurs. Two full time intern students worked on organising digital contents and on developing eCommerce Website. The Website prototype is in testing phase.

Mamadou Diallo Iam, Mali Chapter

This initiative is the continuation of a successful project implemented in 2013 that connected a  group of schools to the Internet.

In this second phase the project will develop educational content in the Bambara language. The ISOC Mali Chapter will work together with teachers from the school and with advisors of the education authorities to produce different lectures in the local language including grammar, reading, comprehension, as well as units on citizenship, environment, history, geography, science, math and technology. This work will help students in their learning process while contributing to the development of local language content on the Internet.

Bruno Barrera Yever, Global Member

This project aims to bring Self Organized Learning Environments (SOLE) to 6 communities in poverty around Mexico City. Working with TECHO and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the project team will provide Internet connectivity and computers to students in these communities, as well as a SOLE-centered MOOC designed to supplement the often-deficient formal education public schools provide. Providing an alternative space where technology and the Internet are at the heart of learning will not only help improve children's grades, but also develop technological literacy in a population that has been historically marginalized. As a broader goal, the team believes that education and technology will enable the residents of these communities to overcome their poverty situation. Not only does this project aim for improved education, but also for community self-determination through a more informed and active exercise of citizenship.

Luis Martinez, Mexico Chapter

In 2013 Mexico was hit by Hurricane Ingrid and Tropical Storm Manuel killing 40 people, leaving thousands without shelter and damaging infrastructure in many parts of the country. One of the hardest hit areas was Guerrero, near Acapulco.

Mexico Chapter - Disaster prevention on Papagayo River's banks

With the support and expertise of the Mexico Chapter members and Mexican higher education institutions, the project will provide access to the Internet to a group of indigenous, rural and underdeveloped communities in the Mexican state of Guerrero. In such places there is a lack of communication technologies due to geographical, economic and political challenges.

Upon completion, the project will provide at least 1Mbs to 3 communities at the banks of Papagayo River, by means of establishing a wireless communications backbone connected to the facilities of Universidad Loyola del Pacífico in Acapulco and distributed vía 5.4GHz links to these communities, where a local access point will provide WiFi access to inhabitants.

The team will install and remotely operate a fully automatic weather station connected to this infrastructure as a tool for disaster avoidance. The project has the potential to benefit more than 25,000 people, providing them with communication capabilities and health, agriculture and disaster-avoidance information.

Melissa Theesen, Global Member

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

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

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 7,000 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.

Sana Saleem, Global Member

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

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.