UNICEF and Airtel have launched the Internet of Good Things in Rwanda – an innovative digital platform with information and resources which promote better, healthier living. Internet of Good Things is a UNICEF-led initiative, accessible in over 60 countries and territories around the world, helping bridge the digital divide and build knowledge-based societies.
The Internet of Good Things platform hosts mobile-packaged content from UNICEF and its partners, designed to make life-saving and life-improving information available at no cost – even on low-end devices, and basic web-enabled mobile phones. By providing greater access to information and feedback tools, Internet of Good Things also allows youth and citizens to take part in critical discussions and voice their opinions.
Through this new partnership, Internet of Good Things is now accessible free of data charges – in English and Kinyarwanda – on an Airtel SIM card via https://rw.goodinternet.org.
Internet of Good Things is bringing change in awareness and knowledge to critical areas, and continues to aim in assisting bringing change in attitudes and behaviours as a result of new knowledge. The initiative is also helping to bridge the digital divide and increase access to critical information.
“Many communities and individuals across Rwanda do not have easy or affordable access to life-saving information. Young people especially are vulnerable to misinformation about communicable diseases like COVID-19, sexual and gender-based violence, early and unintended pregnancies, HIV/AIDS and more,” says Amit Chawla, Managing Director of Airtel Rwanda. “With Internet of Good Things available to provide greater access to this information, we are not only building digital literacy, but addressing these challenges and vulnerabilities that would otherwise compound.”
New users to Internet of Good Things can find updated information on COVID-19 prevention, how youth can stay informed and get involved in the fight against the virus, parenting tips, and interactive information on when to get vaccinated and against which diseases. Users can also create free accounts to comment on articles, ask questions, and participate in polls.
“Internet of Good Things allows anyone to be empowered to make more informed decisions around their health, ending violence, preventing diseases like COVID-19, raising children and more,” says Julianna Lindsey, UNICEF Representative in Rwanda. “We are especially pleased that this collaboration between UNICEF and Airtel will allow us to reach some of the most disadvantaged populations and marginalized communities who might otherwise never access such vital information.”
UNICEF’s global engagement with the private sector leverages resources to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and contribute towards national development agendas. In Rwanda, the private sector – including the telecommunication industry – is considered to be a force multiplier for the country’s development and addressing the needs of children.