Google gives back
Company spends $40m on girl’s education, technology, the fight against slavery
Google has announced that it will be making grants with $40 million to support charity causes across the globe, this holiday season.
The grants will go to a range of non-profit organisations and be put towards supporting education, and technology and the fight against modern day slavery.
The Palestinian Information Technology Association (PITA) an organisation founded in 1999 to promote the ICT sector through public-policy advocacy and enabling ICT entrepreneurs received $100,000 from Google.
The grant is designed to help PITA identify and meet the demand for qualified ICT professionals necessary to make the ICT sector in Palestine more competitive regionally and internationally, and help it build programs aimed at providing students and fresh graduates with more hands on experience in the private sector, implementing technical and soft skills training programs outside the academic programs, and graduation projects with companies and internships in local and international companies.
"We are proud that the MENA region was included in Google's grant program this year - we hope this will empower Palestinians through technology to realise their potential," said Ari Kesisoglu, managing director, Middle East North Africa, Google.
Another grant beneficiary was Vittana, a non-profit that helps lenders offer loans to students in the developing world. The loans have a 99% repayment rate, potentially doubling or tripling a recipient's earning power.
Two other grant beneficiaries are Code for America, which enables the web industry to share its skills with the public sector by developing projects that improve transparency and encourage civic engagement on a mass scale, and Switchboard, which is working with local mobile providers to help African health care workers create networks and communicate for free.
Google is also funding 16 projects in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). These include Boston-based Citizen Schools and Generating Genius in the UK, both of which work to help to expand the horizons of underprivileged youngsters. The grants will provide enhanced STEM education for more than three million students.
The company has also given grants to several non-profits supporting girl's education in the developing world. The African Leadership Academy provides merit scholarships to promising young women across the continent, and the Afghan Institute of Learning offers literacy classes to women and girls in rural Afghanistan. Groups like these will use Google's funds to educate more than 10,000 girls in developing countries.
Google is also providing finds to fight modern day slavery, a multi-billion dollar industry that ruins the lives of around 27 million people.
In India, the company is supporting the International Justice Mission (IJM), along with The BBC World Service Trust, Action Aid and Aide et Action, which are forming a new coalition that will work on the ground with governments to stop slave labor by identifying the ring masters, documenting abuse, freeing individuals and providing them with therapy as well as job training.
Google's support will also help expand the reach of tools like the powerful Slavery Footprint calculator and Polaris Project's National Trafficking Hotline.