UNICEF digital partnership reaches millions of children in Latin America

UNICEF/UNI328526/Volpe Children wear masks to get essentials at a nearby grocery store in Palencia, Guatemala.

More than 2.6 million children affected by lockdowns across Latin America are benefiting from a UNICEF-led partnership to ensure they receive high-quality digital education.

The initiative, which involves telecoms provider TIGO was first extended in April – just as the global lockdowns were starting to be imposed – and addressed urgent issues such as remote learning facilities, teacher training in digital skills and raising awareness of health, education and child online protection.

It has been targeted at helping children affected by COVID-19 in nine countries – Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay.

‘Addressing issues such as remote learning facilities’

In 2018 UNICEF and TIGO signed a three year partnership to focus on piloting innovative, technology-based solutions to promote the rights of children and adolescents online and offline, and to encourage adolescent participation and empowerment.

Taking into consideration the new COVID-19 realities, and building on ongoing cooperation, the partnership was designed to support teachers working from home, raise awareness about COVID-19, empower adolescents, and promote family-friendly policies in the workplace. Examples include:

  • providing access to government education platforms for its customers free of charge, allowing national educational authorities to continue implementing online education programmes during the lockdown
  • implementing the ‘Learn from Home’ campaign on remote education, which has now been shared with more than 10 million users in Central America
  • Using TIGO’s communications platforms to allow UNICEF to reach millions of children and families with messages about health protection measures
  • volunteers delivering online protection messages to over 120,000 children and almost 75,000 parents

“UNICEF and Millicom (TIGO) have actively collaborated since 2012 to promote and respect the rights of children and adolescents in Latin America,” said Bernt Aasen, UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “As the COVID-19 pandemic spread, we have strengthened our joint work to support children’s rights across nine countries. Our expertise will complement TIGO’s technical capabilities to help children learn and stay healthy and safe.”

Author: Simon Weedy

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