Five Organizations Helping Vulnerable Populations Through Technology
- One Laptop Per Child
- Annie Cannons
- Asylum Connect
- Beyond 12
In this day and age, living without technology is a distant memory for some and an archaic notion to most. Society’s reliance on technology has turned access to technology, as well as the knowledge of how to utilize it, into a prerequisite for daily functioning. These five organizations were created to help under-served communities by providing technology education and resources.
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1. One Laptop Per Child
Children who do not have access to laptop computers, and entire schools that lack access to them, are at a severe academic and social disadvantage. One Laptop Per Child is an organization designed entirely around remedying this issue. They create their own laptops and distribute them to children in need all across the world. They also design their own educational software and load it on every single computer. One Laptop Per Child provides under-served communities with an entire learning experience.
One of the best things about the internet is that it is a global network of resources. It provides people tools for wellbeing, right at their fingertips and from the comfort of their own homes. The challenge for many under-served communities is learning how to utilize these resources and weed out the ones they need and can trust. Ablethrive is a database of life skills and wellbeing resources connecting people with a wide variety of needs, as well as their caretakers and families, with reliable resources created specifically for them and their needs. Resources include, but are not limited to, parenting skills building and travel resources for people living with disabilities.
3. Annie Cannons
Society has recently turned a searchlight on the issue of human trafficking. There are a great many organizations designed to unearth trafficking systems, apprehend perpetrators, and assist victims in an escape. A remaining limitation is the lack of resources designed to help those victims build new lives in society. Annie Cannons seeks to fill that gap. This program provides tech skills lessons to help individuals achieve academic and career goals in order to gain social and financial independence. Annie Cannons provides opportunities for victims to give back to others in need by employing them as software developers creating new technologies used for further eradication of human trafficking.
4. Asylum Connect
The LGBTQ+ community is still highly discriminated against in many parts of the world. In some places, they still have to hide their identities to avoid severe legal punishments. Many of these individuals seek asylum in the United States, but lack the knowledge and skills necessary for building successful and fulfilling lives. Asylum Connect is an easy-to-use, comprehensive, and safe database connecting newly arrived members of the LGBTQ+ with the services they need to get established.
5. Beyond 12
It is nearly impossible to survive in today’s society without a higher education degree. In many under-served communities, people are at a complete loss of the resources and knowledge necessary for beginning this goal, let alone completing it. Beyond 12 is designed to bridge the gap. The mission is to assist high school students with the process of graduating and proceeding into a college or trade education. Beyond 12 even follows students throughout their studies and into the process of applying for their first jobs, providing support and resources.
Many people take their access to and everyday knowledge about technology for granted. They assume that everyone has a smartphone, everyone knows where to hop on a computer, and everyone knows what to do once they connect to free WiFi. For many under-served communities, these everyday activities are privileges of luxury. The five organizations above strive to level the playing field by providing technology education and resources to those who need it most.