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'SAMENA Daily' - News

Telenor, GP, Plan International collab for digital inclusion

Telenor, Grameenphone, and Plan International have jointly launched the “Digital Inclusion: Safe Digital Space for Girls and Youth Project,” aimed at empowering over 2.35 million marginalized women and youth.

The initiative focuses on enhancing digital literacy, skills, resilience, and creating a safe online environment for women and youth who face socio-economic challenges. As part of this project, a team from Telenor, Grameenphone, and Plan International made a three-day visit to Savar, Sylhet, Moulvibazar, and Sunamganj from Sunday to Monday, as stated in a press release issued on Thursday.

With a shared commitment to leveraging technology for social good, Telenor, Grameenphone, and Plan International aim to bridge the digital divide and create equal opportunities for all members of society, especially those who are marginalized. During their visit, representatives engaged with project participants, gaining insights into how access to digital tools and resources is positively impacting their lives.

The project enhances educational opportunities and economic empowerment, fostering innovation and inclusion in traditionally underserved communities. A dedicated effort under this project focuses on bringing positive change to eight marginalized populations identified by the National Social Security Strategy, including ethnic and religious minorities, people with disabilities, tea garden workers, transgender individuals, people affected by climate change, female-headed households, and street children.

Interventions include in-person training on digital skills and online safety, awareness campaigns for local leaders, youth-led community campaigns, and radio programs. The training content is customized based on baseline surveys and local needs, ensuring practical and interactive modules.

Yasir Azman, CEO of Grameenphone, expressed his enthusiasm for the program, dedicated to bridging the digital divide and ensuring no one is left behind in Bangladesh’s journey toward a digitally inclusive society. He emphasized the importance of online safety and the program’s focus on imparting digital skills while promoting safe and responsible online behavior. Grameenphone aims to create a supportive ecosystem that nurtures talent and unlocks the potential of every individual, regardless of their background.

Kabita Bose, Country Director of Plan International Bangladesh, highlighted the partnership’s significance in addressing online safety and digital inclusion. She emphasized the collective efforts towards equity and equality for all children and youth. Bose expressed optimism that multi-sectoral and multi-party efforts would bring about the generational change needed in Bangladesh.

Manisha Dogra, Head of External Relations, Telenor Asia, underscored the critical importance of digital literacy in today’s world. She highlighted how digital skills enable marginalized communities to participate actively in the socio-economic development of Bangladesh.

Alexander Letelier, Advisor-YEE and Digital Empowerment at Plan International Norway, shared that the project has already reached 772,347 people with training or education on digital skills, such as mobile operations, online safety, e-commerce, and navigating government services. Additionally, community radio outreach has extended to 520,000 people, broadening the project’s impact to even the most remote areas.