Telecentres are public places which provide access to internet and communication technologies (ICTs) that help promote social development for populations who otherwise would not have such access. Most telecentres are located in rural areas in the developing world. The Telecentre.org Foundation is hosting its first global telecentre competition in order to promote awareness of best practices. The general public is welcomed to vote for their favorite telecentre program after registering in the telecentre.org website. Deadline for voting was May 15, 2013.
To date, there are over 87,513 telecentres in over 53 countries. The Telecentre.org Foundation supports the establishment and sustainability of grassroots level telecentres. These telecentres offer crucial services, skills and opportunities to people living in remote and rural locations around the world. The foundation is part of a bigger movement in the development community to reduce the digital divide and empower beneficiaries with the knowledge the world wide web could bring so they could lift themselves out of poverty. Social investors of the foundation include the Microsoft Corporation and the Canadian International Development Agency’s International Development Research Centre.
Semi-finalists for the Global Telecentre Awards include programs which collaborate rural farmers, target trainings for underprivileged women and youth, promote e-learning, and of course, teach computer and internet skills. These semi-finalists come from developing countries such as Rwanda, Philippines, Russia, India, Bangladesh, Paraguay, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
– Maria Caluag