Tigo set to change lives of children through social entrepreneurship
DAR ES SALAAM – Tigo in partnership with Swedish non-profit organization Reach for Change launched today the ‘Tigo Reach for Change’ initiative, which focuses on identifying and supporting local social entrepreneurs with solid ideas on improving the lives of Tanzanian children.
Tigo Tanzania General Manager Mr. Diego Gutierrez said, “Statistics show that children less than 18 years of age constitute almost half of Tanzania’s population. But to date the investment in addressing their needs is not proportionate with their share of the population or their role as tomorrow’s leaders and human capital. Investing in children is the single most important investment in national development”.
Mr. Gutierrez added that “Tigo has for many years been deeply involved in addressing challenges concerning children and youth in Tanzania. We believe the most effective way to bring about sustainable change is to empower motivated individuals with the right tools to bring to life innovative ideas that can change their society. Tigo Reach for Change initiative allows us to do just that!”
According to the General Manager, each application will be reviewed by a panel of experts and the strongest and most promising applicant will be invited to join a three year incubator programme where their ideas will be transformed into sustainable ventures. In addition to this, they will receive funding of USD 25,000 a year for up to three years, as well as mentoring and professional advice from senior employees of Tigo.
For the duration of the 3 years programme the social entrepreneur’s business idea will undergo evaluation to ensure that they attain required key performance indicators until their project is fully developed and self-sustainable.
Children in Tanzania have right to participation, development, protection, freedom from discrimination and an identity. “Despite the progress made to date in fulfilling these rights a lot need to be done to ensure children grow to their full potential hence become contributing members of the society. We are determined to address challenges which hinder children development/realization of their rights by empowering local individuals with solutions that will improve lives of children. We believe that local problems are better solved by local individuals who thoroughly understand the issues at hand. This is the second year in a row that we are partnering with Reach for Change and there has been great impact from the winning projects from last year. We are looking forward to this year’s applications with great expectation”, said Woinde Shisael, Tigo’s Corporate Responsibility Manager.
Last year’s program received over 1000 applications. The three winning projects included an initiative to empower children with disabilities with vocational skills; mobile classes for street children; and a project aimed at bridging the rural-urban digital divide. All the projects are still ongoing and are changing the lives of many children across Tanzania.