SAN DIEGO, April 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U-TOUCH, an innovative social enterprise that transforms lives by bridging the global digital divide, announced that it will discuss its sustainable expansion plans at the upcoming Business4Better (B4B) Conference in Anaheim, CA, May 1-2, 2013.
"Over 86% of Africa's population has no Internet access and many live in isolated, impoverished regions, cut off from education, employment and empowerment," said Deborah Plotkin, Founder and Executive Director. "In recent years, U-TOUCH Digital Centers have demonstrated that technology can be leveraged to dramatically impact lives in the developing world. Now, we have exciting expansion plans.
"We've gained unique expertise establishing digital centers in challenging regions and we're evolving our model to have even greater, more sustainable global impact. Our centers are becoming hubs that can provide NGOs with IT training resources and businesses with trained employees for outsourced transcription, data entry, graphics, computer repair and other services. They can also serve as Internet cafes for tourists and local people. These revenue-generating services will help sustain and extend the positive cycle of bridging the digital divide."
U-TOUCH established its initial Digital Centers in the rural villages of Northern Uganda, a region ravaged by extreme poverty and rebounding from a horrific civil war, and has graduated over 3000 trainees since 2010. Using their new IT skills, young women and men are being employed for the first time or becoming entrepreneurs, with an income to support their households, children's education, nutrition, healthcare and independence.
Communities where U-TOUCH centers are located saw healthcare workers gain improved diagnostic and treatment skills, and more efficient dissemination of critical health information; students have improved their academic performance, achieved acceptance to universities and found scholarships; and farmers received agricultural information that improves yields and the nutrition of the community.
U-TOUCH wants to join forces with:
- NGOs operating in East Africa that could benefit from IT resources for training and operational support, and may have complementary missions or physical facilities to share;
- Companies seeking a highly motivated, trained and cost-effective solution for a wide range of IT-based business process outsourcing; and
- Philanthropic organizations and individuals looking to donate to a proven, scalable model that leverages the power of information and communications technology to create opportunity and hope in the lives of the world's poorest women and men.
U-TOUCH (www.u-touch.org) is an innovative social enterprise that is transforming lives in Africa by bridging the global digital divide. It establishes and operates digital centers in isolated, impoverished regions that previously lacked Internet access, leveraging the power of IT to improve education, employment and empowerment. U-TOUCH seeks NGO, business and philanthropic partners to extend the impact to millions of individuals and communities in the developing world. U-TOUCH is a non-profit 501c3 organization.