• Already established 64 Lighthouses in 12 statesand regions, and Nay Pyi Taw union Territory
• 200 Lighthouses will be opened by the end of 2018
Strengthening digital literacy in Myanmar’s rural: Telenor opens the first Lighthousein Rakhine
21st March 2017, Yangon -
Telenor Myanmar Limited (“Telenor”) today opened its 64th Lighthouse in RathedaungTownship, Rakhine State. It is the first digital literacy centre established by Telenor in Rakhine State as part of the company’s efforts in helping narrow rural and urban digital divide across Myanmar.
“As Myanmar leapfrogs into the smartphone age many evidenceshighlight that the majority of Myanmar smartphone users especially in rural areas are not realizing the full potential of their smartphones in promoting economic, social, political and environmental development. Through our Lighthouse digital literacy program we will continue to empower rural and underprivileged communities with basic smartphone-based digital literacy skills through onsite, rural outreach and online training,” said Min Thu, Head of Business Sustainability at Telenor Myanmar.
Telenor’s Lighthouses are social enterprises that aim to empower rural and urban communities nationwide to access the wide range of economically and socially beneficial information found on the Internet by promoting digital literacy. At present, Telenor has already established Light Houses in 12 states and regions, and Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory.A total of 200 Lighthouses are expected to be functional by the end of 2018. Telenor currently partners with Myanmar ICT for Development Organisation (MIDO) for establishing Lighthouses in Myanmar.
The centres are run by local entrepreneurs, and Telenor and MIDO conduct regular trainings for local entrepreneurs on how to operate the Light Houses as social enterprises, providing affordable, socially beneficial information services and digital literacy training while remaining economically sustainable.
“Most people in my community still need to have the knowledge on effective and responsible use of Internet. I decided to run this center because my aim is to share the benefit of using Internet securely through smartphone and computer. I really liketo help people in my community to improve their digital literacy. Firstly, I will mainly target teachers because they can cascade the knowledge to their students. I will then gradually make digital literacy training available for people in rural areas to help get similar opportunitieslike people in urban areas. I feel so much delighted to assist my fellow people through Lighhouse program,” said U Myat Tun, Telenor’s Lighthouse entrepreneur in Rathedaung.
The Telenor Lighthouse programme is part of Telenor’s Corporate Responsibility initiatives in Myanmar. The initiatives also include mHealth for maternal and child health information app; Safe Internet for All outreach to help people use Internet in a safer and more responsible way; Myanmar Mobile Education Project providing non-formal education to underprivileged children; humanitarian relief support for disaster-affected communities and special Numbers Auctions acting as a platform to generate donations for various social organizations.
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