Over 5 million children die every year from preventable illness before reaching their fifth birthday. These illnesses can be avoided if parents and caregivers are more informed in breastfeeding, hand washing with soap, safe sanitation, HIV and AIDS prevention, to name a few.

If everyone is able to access this information it will enable people to make more informed decisions regarding their health, finances, and education, among others and is especially important during the early stages of a child’s development.

© UNICEF/UNI83815/Asselin
© UNICEF/UNI83815/Asselin

But the reality is that there are still around 4 billion people who remain offline and are unable to access the knowledge economy.

We want to bridge the digital divide and connect those who are currently disconnected.

Internet of Good Things (IoGT), a set of mobile-ready resources and applications made accessible for free via a network of distribution partners and provides access to regularly updated educational content and lifesaving information. Topics and issues on IoGT include maternal health, hygiene, emergency information on diseases such as Zika, Yellow fever and Cholera, HIV and sexual health advice for adolescents, Child Online Protection, positive parenting techniques and more.

IoGT is available in 45 countries, embeds content in 22 languages and is currently distributed through a network of mobile network operators and Facebook’s Free Basics.

In April, IoGT hit an important milestone reaching 1 million users in a single month – that’s 40% more than in October 2015. Our mobile resources have the potential to reach more than 1 billion people, globally in the future.

Internet of Good things1

Guillaume Michels – product manager of IoGT shares:

What we see is that the demand for updated, trustworthy and locally relevant information and educational content is huge. As the population in many developing countries is getting increasingly equipped with web-enabled devices, the main barrier to access for the disconnected remains the cost of a data plan. People shouldn’t have to choose between buying necessities and accessing essential information on how to raise healthy children and protect their family during emergencies.

We have a lot of work ahead of us but it’s very exciting to envision the potential. It’s truly a historic opportunity to be able to reach as many people in such a direct and personal way with information that can help them live better.

Print This Story