Facebook on Wednesday announced the second phase of its programme called GOAL — Going Online as Leaders – under which the social networking giant in partnership with the Ministry of Tribal Affairs will digitally mentor 5,000 young women in Indias tribal-dominated districts.
Launched earlier this year in March, GOAL connects underprivileged young women from tribal areas with senior expert mentors in the areas of business, fashion and arts to learn digital and life skills.
“Through this partnership the GOAL programme will provide economically and socially marginalised young women with the tools and guidance they need to succeed, using the technology they may otherwise have not had access to,” Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda said while speaking at an event here to commence the next phase of the programme.
The programme will include weekly one-to-one mentoring sessions, focused on a range of skills such as digital literacy, entrepreneurship and online safety.
In total, more than 200,000 hours of guidance will be provided using the Facebook family of apps including WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Following the programme, the participants will graduate to the GOAL alumni and will continue to receive support and guidance from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Facebook.
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs will also work with district administrations and other government agencies to help secure qualified participants with a fellowship, so they can put their newly learned skills to work, Facebook said.
Facebook said more than 125 young women have enrolled in the programme.
Most of them are now using the Internet to highlight issues their communities face and have expressed a desire to set up their own business, Facebook said.
“Facebook is committed to closing the digital gender gap by enabling more women to get online and access digital services,” said Ankhi Das, Director of Public Policy, Facebook India.