40% of rural South Asia has no access to electricity.1
READ Centers provide free access to computers and the Internet, where possible, as well as trainings in information communications technology (ICT). A majority of rural villagers in South Asia have unreliable access to computers or none at all, so we aim to bridge this digital divide:
- Computers and the Internet: Trainings in typing, Internet use, and word processing help rural villagers access information, communicate online, and become more competitive for jobs.
- Mobile and radio: Training programs use cell phones and local radio as tools to create and disseminate information on agriculture, health, and more. This helps bring information to rural villagers who lack access to computers, or who cannot use them due to illiteracy.
- Online educational content: We are piloting ways to use the Internet to improve educational outcomes and livelihoods. In Nepal, we are creating online content databases for students and farmers. In Bhutan, we use tablets and educational games to engage kids. In India, we offer distance learning courses for University students.
- Sustainable hardware and alternative energy: We are installing solar panels and low-energy hardware in many Centers to reduce costs and provide a more dependable source of electricity, allowing villagers to use technology on a more regular basis.
Our impact at a glance: More than two-thirds of villagers surveyed have used technology at READ Centers to access information about livelihoods. Learn more about our impact data here.