Assisting impoverished youth pursue education and a career
IMPACT AREA: Equitable growth and just societies
Digital Divide Data recruits and trains disadvantaged youth from Laos and Kenya as well as Cambodia, to work in a range of digital services. Here they are given the base skills for future careers while working reasonable, flexible hours so they can complete school or university. Employees can pay off their education by working for DDD and offer scholarships for those who show a special enthusiasm and promise. DDD promote university graduates internally or offer important assistance with resumes and the job interview process.
Digital Divide Data (DDD) began in 2001 as a data entry operation with just ten employees in a small office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Jermey Hockenstien had travelled the country the year before and observed that widespread poverty made next to impossible for youth to complete high school. Those few who could find the means to finish and move onto university faced minimal employment opportunities once they finished.
Hockenstien formed a model that would generate employment through outsourced data entry and data hygiene services to businesses in developed countries. This would allow youth to finish education while giving them skills to pursue a career. DDD’s clients include publishers, retail and consumer brands, academic institutions and government departments. In addition to creating job opportunities, this income supports the organisation to increase their reach.
Cambodia, Laos and Kenya are male dominated societies and DDD aims to encourage gender equality by recruiting an equal percentage of men and women. A large population of the youth are disadvantaged by disabilities resulting from polio or landmine accidents in Cambodia and Laos or are hearing or sight impaired in Kenya. DDD also aims to recruit at least 10% of those with disabilities.
Today, Digital Divide Data employs more than 1,000 people and offers digital services to clients all around the world; libraries, online databases, magazines, universities, corporations and fellow non-for-profit organizations.