UNICEF has begun talks with the government of Kyrgyzstan in a bid to leverage blockchain technology to provide internet access to every school in the country.
The project named Project Connect, aims to engage over 1,500 local schools in Kyrgyzstan and explore the use of a blockchain solutions for improvement and monitoring of internet connectivity levels in the country.
Blockchain for Good
According to UNICEF’s Deputy Representative for Kyrgyzstan, Munir Mammadzade he reveals:
We are at the early stages of exploring a blockchain-based solution for the Project Connect initiative in Kyrgyzstan where the government is working with UNICEF and the private sector to connect every school in the country to the internet and provide access to information and opportunity to all young people.
At this time, Project Connect has already mapped internet connectivity levels for over 150,000 schools globally with Kyrgyzstan being a focal point; considering that about half of its schools have no internet access or no data at all.
Lead personnel of UNICEF Ventures, Chris Fabian explains:
You can easily see where the blockchain layers would come in…If you want to pay as a donor, government or company – for a whole section of the country to come online, wouldn’t you rather do that in a way that is authentic and real and accountable as opposed to just sending money somewhere and hoping two years later that something happens?
Fabian went on to reference the transparency, accounting and management benefits of blockchain technology to improve monitoring of quality internet and other facilities within these schools. The UNICEF lead also gave a sneak preview of some blockchain tools to facilitate UNICEF’s plans in which he recalled the six (6) blockchain start-ups funded for the development of specialized blockchain projects by the organization last year.
UNICEF Sees the Blockchain Potential
This ongoing project continues UNICEF’s sojourn within the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry as the organization looks to incorporate the technology in its humanitarian services. Just last year, UNICEF launched a charitable donations website (The Hope Page) that mines cryptocurrencies to raise funds for vulnerable children worldwide; an initiative which has close to 23,000 donors.
A section of the UNICEF/Office of Innovation page reads:
Exploring blockchain applications for children…Blockchain technologies are introducing new systems of trust and exchange on which users can send value directly from one party to another without the need for intermediaries…We are working on integrating blockchain technology and supporting pragmatic applications in several areas.
The publication further outlines blockchain applications in other areas such as: currencies (bitcoin)/finance, use for transparency in donations, use in tokenization, healthcare, smart contracts as well as UNICEF’s blockchain activities which include blockchain prototype development and global blockchain hackathons to provide solutions using the technology.
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