The Meaningful Access Project
We at The Hunger Project are dedicated to closing the digital divide through initiatives like the Meaningful Access Project in Ghana and Malawi. In collaboration with BLUETOWN, Microsoft and USAID, our new Women's Meaningful Access Project brings high speed internet access to more women in rural Ghana, especially businesswomen and entrepreneurs like Stella.
Stella began her business over 20 years ago by selling goods at her local market. Over the years, The Hunger Project programmes like income-generating training and our Microfinance Program supported the growth of her business. But she knew she could be doing more to create a sustainable income through her culinary craft. When her community got access to high-speed internet through the Meaningful Access Project, Stella immediately leveraged it to expand and diversify her business.
"When I started my business 20 years ago, I used to sell plain porridge from maize meal. Soon after, I started selling cooked plain rice with meat but the profit was low. Through the Meaninful Access Project, I learned how to make Jollof rice, which I had been struggling to make for a while. Now I am making a sizable profit and I can support my three children. I have also learned how to conduct online research if I have any more questions.
Stella, entrepreneur and business owner in Ghana.
By learning how to make traditional Jollof rice through YouTube, Stella doubled her profits. Her most popular customers are the children in the nearby school who excitedly await her arrival during lunch time. Access to reliable, affordable, high-speed internet has enabled Stella access to opportunities and information that had previously been out of reach.
And she's not alone. The Women's Meaningful Access Project will connect over 6,000 women to vital resources that they utilise to create waves of lasting development in their communities. Leveraging the already mobilised communities at the heart of The Hunger Project's Epicenter Strategy, local leaders have been trained as digital operators to encourage other women to participate in the digital community and create micro-entrepreneurial opportunities.
The potential to create positive change is limitless for women like Stella...as long as we prioritise opportunities for access to digital technologies. As the world is digitizing, we call upon governments and private companies to invest is infrastructure in rural areas and promote access to digital tools and online resources by vulnerable communities such as women, girls and people living with disabilities.