Public and private sector organizations are teaming up to bridge the digital divide experienced by millions of Brazilians. The initiatives led by the Rede Marista de Solidariedade (or the in English the Marista Solidarity Network) – a Porto Alegre-based non-profit organization focused on social inclusion and solidarity through social projects – seek to help bridge the digital divide in Brazil by using the civil society approach.
Through the Marista leadership, the first Computer Refurbishment Center was created in Brazil in 2005. Inserted in the “Computers for Inclusion” program developed by the Brazilian Ministry of Communications, the project has created more than a hundred direct jobs and enables young individuals to handle new technologies.
The work carried out by the Computer Refurbishment Center has so far benefited thousands of users in telecenters and schools with the donation of refurbished computers. The project also offers training in hardware and free software to about 100 young apprentices in a state of social vulnerability.
New in the community of Nova Santa Marta – located in the Rio Grande do Sul city of Santa Maria – the region with the lowest human development indexes of the state, the Marista network broke new ground by creating its Center for Digital Inclusion. The center focuses on areas such as meta-recycling, free robotics and telecenters.
Both specific units are working on the Alchemy Project, a partnership with the Ministry of State, which allows slot machines (which are illegal in Brazil) to be transformed into computer equipment and telecenters.
For more information, please visit: http://itdecs.com/2011/06/case-study-brazilian-ngo-fights-digital-divide/