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Project Update: Electronics as Development

Updated: Jul 3, 2022

Girls Education Nation focuses on long-term development because we believe that by helping individuals shape their future, we help shape the future of the community. One of the key aspects of creating sustainable change is empowering individuals to continue the work you started - through access to tools, knowledge, or others.


In 2016, the UN passed a non-binding Resolution that declared internet access a human right. The 2020 pandemic made this realization all the more real when suddenly, millions of students, teachers, employees, and entrepreneurs found themselves isolated and in need of devices, infrastructure, and access.


When we were developing our programs, we identified access to technology and electronics as a key to reaching our goal of empowering women. We are glad to share the stories of three recipients of academic and development grants: Inna, Anna, and Nadezhda.


Inna

Inna was paralyzed 10 years ago following a tragic winter tubing accident. She lost her ability to walk, but she never lost the strength to overcome difficulties. She stays strong and optimistic not just for herself, but for her children and family.


In December of 2021, we sponsored Inna and helped her get a new tablet: With access to the internet, she could continue to live a wholesome life. This was an opportunity for Inna to help her kids with their education, as well as an opportunity for her to stay connected with the outside world.


We followed up with Inna and learned that she couldn’t be more happy with her tablet. She now has a great opportunity to explore educational materials, help her kids with homework, and video-chat with her friends.


“I have many friends outside of my hometown, but because I can’t travel, I take full advantage of the video and chat communication tools. This tablet also helps me to pursue two of my favorite hobbies: cooking and knitting. I can always find new recipes and new ideas for knitting."

Anna

Anna is a student at the Minusinsk Medical College. Her father, who was the only provider for the family, had a stroke a year and a half ago. Anna made the difficult decision to stay home with her parents and attend a local school. This tragedy strengthened her desire to pursue a medical profession with the hope that, someday, she will be able to support her father through his recovery.


Due to financial hardship, Anna couldn’t afford a laptopa practical necessity to be successful in school. We were inspired by her story and her dedication to her family; in September of 2021, we provided financial support to make this vital purchase.


During the past eight months, a lot has changed in Anna’s life. She is almost done with her first year of college, and even though her father is still recovering, Anna and her family haven’t given up. Everyone has been doing everything they can to support each other.


“There’s still a long way to go, and I’m happy to have support from my family. I’m also very grateful to GEN for a laptop. I don’t know how I’d live and study without it. I'm the only girl of all four kids, and even though all my needs were always met, I sometimes felt a bit on the ‘periphery’. For years we only had one computer, and it was often used by my brothers to browse the Internet or play video games.

"But I needed something that I could use whenever I needed it. When I was thinking about being a freshman, I dreamed about my own laptop. Thanks to the financial support from GEN, my dream came true. I couldn’t be more happy. It’s indispensable now. I use it to study and connect with my friends,” she shared.



Nadezhda

Nadezhda works as a lawyer, providing a wide range of legal services to entrepreneurs. As a part of her life-long mission, she often accepts pro-bono cases and is the last-resort legal aid for many struggling families. She fights for their legal and financial rights and seeks to advance their legal and financial literacy.


In her own words, “This work involves a lot of paperwork.”


“Our country loves for everything to be on paper. Only a limited amount of legal documents are allowed to be completed and submitted online. Because of that, as a solo practitioner, I can’t exist without a good printer."

Her old printer had lived a long life, but like everything else, was ready to be retired. She applied for a business grant and GEN was able to sponsor the purchase of a brand-new printer.


“There’s only one problem now—it works too fast! Sometimes it works faster than me. Jokes aside, I’m so grateful for your help. In our professions we face multiple deadlines and efficiency is the key. This new printer saves me a lot of time and energy, which I can spend on doing additional research, and helping more people. Working from 7 am to midnight is normal for me, but it’s good to have a friend that always supports my work. Thank you GEN for supporting me and my mission!”





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