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UNICEF to Provide Internet to Schools in Kyrgyzstan Through Blockchain

Saad Ullah

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The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is exploring the possibility of using blockchain to provide internet to schools in Kyrgyzstan.

Project Connect

The initiative is being done under the nonprofit organization’s broader program called Project Connect. Under the project, the organization intends to connect every school in Kyrgyzstan to the internet. The intention is to give access to information that can help the children learn and grow. Munir Mammadzade, the Deputy Representative for UNICEF in Kyrgyzstan said, “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,”.

Under the Project Connect, UNICEF looks at connecting more than 1,500 schools in the country which are identified as having no internet connectivity. The Kyrgyzstan initiative is just a small part of a global 150,000 schools.

Chris Fabian, a prominent person from the UNICEF Ventures, said, using blockchain could “improve the monitoring of the quality of Internet in schools and other vital facilities,”

Other Blockchain Projects

UNICEF has been investing in other blockchain projects besides Project Connect. Last year, it announced that it will be funding a number of blockchain related startups with seed money of USD 100,000 each. Out of the six selected, two have already received their funding and are developing their products.

One project is called Utopixar, a social collaboration tool that “enables communities to issue, distribute, and exchange their own impact tokens,” The tokens will be gifted to people who have made significant impact social and other challenges in their communities. The Tokens can be later redeemed for money.

The second project is a by a Bangladeshi W3Engineers. It is an offline networking platform that can work without the need of a traditional internet connection.

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