We’re excited to announce the launch of a new phase of Beyond Access’s work in Myanmar. This week the Myanmar Book Aid & Preservation Foundation (MBAPF), in cooperation with the Myanmar Ministry of Information, Ooredoo and IREX, launched the Beyond Access Myanmar program. The program will expand upon the work of MBAPF and Beyond Access in Myanmar over the past year to transform the country’s public libraries into modern community hubs that provide the access to information and technology that a 21st century society demands.
“We are delighted to partner with Myanmar’s libraries to help everyone in Myanmar gain access to and learn how to use the Internet effectively,” said Ross Cormack, CEO of Ooredoo. “With the launch of Ooredoo’s services, information is becoming more accessible for more people than ever before — for many for the first time. We think Myanmar’s public libraries are a great starting point for people to enter the information society.”
In 2014, Beyond Access Myanmar will equip 55 public libraries with tablet computers and fast internet provided by Ooredoo. Librarians will build the skills they need to help people in the community use technology to improve their lives. They will learn to support library users who want to access the internet, assist community members to access government services online, and help children learn to read using the latest technology. Anyone will be able to visit participating libraries to use the tablets and internet free of charge. Through the program, libraries in Myanmar will have the power to connect, educate, support and engage everyone through a culture of cooperation and innovation.
For this stage of the program, MBAPF selected 11 “library clusters” based on an application process that gave communities and librarians the opportunity to express their commitment to the program’s goals. Each cluster includes one district or township-level library and three to five smaller, community-level libraries. The list of libraries participating in this first stage will be announced in October. Program partners will aim to bring many more libraries and communities into the program in 2015.
U Ye Tint, Director General of the Union Ministry of Information, said, “Making the Internet access available to the people of Myanmar is educating the people of Myanmar in a way. Therefore we really appreciate and welcome such support. We’re giving our support for the first 55 libraries and we’ll support more libraries in the future as well. We thank all the organizations involved in this program.”
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the project’s webpage.