Community Development Program
The advent of information communication technology (ICTs) has given impetus to globalization, making geographical or mental boundaries obsolete. It has raised many opportunities but possesses many challenges as well. For example, many underprivileged communities and societies across the globe are facing the challenge of preserving their identity and economic conditions. Especially, in countries like Pakistan, disparities between rural and urban communities are evident in terms of income, education, access to services, health status, employment opportunities, and quality of life. In this context, ICTs have emerged as an effective tool for underprivileged communities and societies to improve their growth and sustainability.
Sargodha is one of the main cities of Pakistan. People living in Sargodha enjoy every facility offered in other urban cities of the country. However, the population of the suburban areas of Sargodha (Pakistan) faces a huge internal digital divide and a wider growth gap compared to other developed cities with better economic opportunities. Resulting in a broader socio-economic divide with technological spin-offs; causing social fragmentation.
This issue of social fragmentation can be addressed by promoting ICTs know-how and hands-on technical skills of the members of the local rural communities. It will help them to connect with the outside world and offer their skills and services for improving their socio-economic conditions. Such training, while making them aware of the value of the skills learned, can awaken their curiosity and enhance their creativity and skills. It will also enable them to take their own choices and decisions about their future personal and professional development. Such initiative will ensure a sustainable and fruitful outcome and could act as a cornerstone of sustainable socio-economic development and a key mechanism to enabling people to share in prosperity.
IT-hub is a higher education institution affiliated with the University of Sargodha; located at Check no 88 NB, Shaheenabad road, Sargodha bypass, Sargodha. The administration of IT-hub strongly believes that the institutions of higher education are engines of change and development; bringing out economic, political, social, and cultural transformation in society. In addition to offering degree programs, they can create opportunities for their underprivileged surrounding communities to learn new knowledge and skills to improve their socio-economic conditions.
To this extent, IT-hub has launched a “Community Development Program”. The overall goal of this program is to alleviate poverty and mobilize human potential through intensive hands-on training in information technology, e-commerce, and social marketing. These intensive hands-on training aims to develop participants’ online earning skills. The participation of girls is highly encouraged and appreciated. On the completion of the training, a certificate is awarded to every successful participant. To date, 120 people have been trained from the surrounding villages. Every month 30 students are enrolled in this training. This training is totally free.
It is believed, our effort will bring a positive change within the local community regarding poverty elevation and unemployment. It will also empower women of rural areas, especially unemployed educated girls, to work their way out of poverty.
In the future, IT-hub intends to join hands with national and international initiatives, like TEVTA Pakistan, UNCTAD, and UNDP under the Global Programme on Globalisation, Liberalisation and Sustainable Human Development.