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SOS Children and BT unite to connect Africa

SOS Children and BT unite to connect Africa

SOS Children UK is excited to announce today the official launch of BT’s “Connecting Africa” project which will bring internet access to families in 20 SOS Children’s Villages across 12 African countries.

By utilising BT’s global satellite network in conjunction with underused and decommissioned BT equipment across Africa, Connecting Africa will directly benefit 5,000 people in countries such as Kenya and Mali, DR Congo and Malawi. Together, BT and SOS Children estimate that the project could reach as many as 700,000 people.

Bringing new frontiers within reach

Already, two Villages in the Gambia have been brought online, while BT aims to connect the remaining villages by October of this year. Not only will children and families be better able to take advantage of e-learning opportunities and online mentoring offered by SOS Children, we will also benefit as a charity. Internet access will enable us to coordinate our work more smoothly, helping those in SOS medical centres as well as children attending SOS schools. It will also provide a welcome boost to our fundraising capacity, allowing us to share videos and photos with our supporters.

Gambia map Connecting Africa
BT has connected SOS Children's two Gambian Villages to high-speed broadband
Speaking at Connecting Africa’s official launch in Cape Town today, SOS Children’s UK Director of Fundraising Meryl Davies said: “We see the real difference that IT and connectivity make to our children’s lives, opening their eyes to a whole new world of information, and wonderful education opportunities. The other significant value of this partnership is the way that BT is helping us as an organisation. BT has the vision to understand that with improved systems and structures, we will be better able to bring long-term value to incredibly vulnerable children and families.”

Benefiting whole communities

BT and SOS Children intend Connecting Africa to produce a ripple effect, spreading online skills to the wider community. Much of SOS Children’s IT equipment is in public use already, meaning local people will benefit immediately from the upgrade to SOS Children’s resources. Web content filtering provided by BT will ensure children enjoy safe browsing at all times.

Currently, BT is committed to delivering connectivity for three years, and the project is intended to introduce online self-sufficiency to the communities it reaches. BT engineers will deliver training to SOS Children’s IT support teams to ensure any technical glitches can be fixed locally.

BT has a history of collaboration with SOS Children’s Villages, having previously worked with our German counterparts SOS Kinderdorf to provide computer skills training to young adults in Germany.

Internet access has the capacity to change lives for the better, and SOS Children is immensely proud to be working together with BT to introduce children across Africa to a whole new world of opportunities.

SOS Children and BT are connecting 20 Villages in 12 countries. Read more about our vital work to help children in DR Congo, which a report this week has shown to be the most dangerous country to be a mother...