Minimizing the Digital Divide in Mexico with People and Software Donations
"Teamwork is the solution to global problems," says Dr. Juan Bautista Quintero, chairman of the board of the CEGE Foundation in Salamanca, Guanajuato Mexico. The CEGE Foundation believes that vulnerable groups in society can raise their standard of sustainable living through education and collaboration. Its current programs are aimed at the integration of the elderly, promotion of basic human rights, increase of youth employment, and minimizing the digital divide in Mexico. The CEGE Foundation is determined to provide technology to millions of Mexican citizens by identifying information and communications technology (ICT) as a key component of sustainable development.
Through product donations via CEMEFI's OSC Digital donation program, a TechSoup Global Network partner, and a partnership with local university students, the foundation has developed a professional internship program. "With the support of the CEGE Foundation, I had the opportunity to work with original Microsoft products like Expression Studio 4 Ultimate that helped me learn how to design and develop web pages," says Oscar Torres Sanchez, an ICT engineer who is a graduate of the Technological University of the Southwest in Valle de Santiago.
Torres is one of many students from higher education institutions who both volunteer with and receive training from the CEGE Foundation. These students collaborate with the foundation to help implement new software and train staff. Thanks to them, the foundation has developed and updated a more secure cloud-based platform for information management, thereby increasing its ability to design, implement, and evaluate social projects while interacting more efficiently with stakeholders.
Currently the foundation is setting up a space within the Iberoamerican Training Center, where classroom and online education will be offered to large numbers of students in order to expand digital knowledge to the next generation of Mexicans.