On January 14 President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, and Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Founder and CEO, announced an Internet.org partnership with Colombia to provide free Internet services to all Colombians.
“Before today, only about 50% of Colombians had access to the internet. By launching the Internet.org app on the Tigo network today, we’re giving people free access to basic internet services,” wrote Mark Zuckerberg on his Facebook page.
Internet.org, founded in 2013 by Zuckerberg, was created to bring Internet access to the two-thirds of the total population who do not have Internet access. It gives users access to free basic services in areas of education, health, communication, jobs, finance, and local information. For the full list of free services available in Colombia, read the Internet.org press release.
Zuckerberg’s initiative to bring free Internet to remote areas and use Facebook to educate people has had a positive impact on different parts of the globe.
Rwanda is not part of Internet.org yet, but refugee students from the Congo who live in Gihembe Refugee Camp, in Rwanda, use Facebook to connect with others and learn about the world.
“They don’t have electricity here, so they walked down the hill to charge their phones… and they use Facebook,” said Justin Zoradi, Founder and CEO of These Numbers Have Faces on their YouTube channel. The video also shows refugee students talking about the “Power of Facebook” at the camp.
Kamali, one of the students, says, “I use Facebook to chat, text message friends around the world, tracking news from football (soccer), because I like football. And I also there are some pages that I like that provide me some news around the world.” Claude, another student says, “At the camp, we use Facebook because it has good manner of sharing ideas with society . . . Thanks for creating Facebook.”
Internet access helps people share ideas, and as a result, create innovative projects. Colombia is the first country in Latin America to partner with Internet.org and the fourth in the world after Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya. On January 22, Zuckerberg announced that they are launching Internet.org in Ghana. Hopefully, Internet.org will keep expanding rapidly and provide Rwanda and other countries free Internet access to basic services.
This post is also available in: Spanish
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