Internet Society Foundation launches new program for internet use

04 May 2023

The Internet Society Foundation has launched a new round of its grant program that expands economic growth and increases educational opportunities by supporting individuals and communities to use the internet more knowledgeably and skilfully.

The Strengthening Communities, Improving Lives and Livelihoods (SCILLS) program is now open to eligible organizations in Senegal. Grants of up to US$250,000 will be awarded to organizations for projects lasting up to two years.

Applications for the program opened on 1 May, with completed applications due by 31 May 2023. Provisional award notifications will take place in August 2023.

According to the International Telecommunication Union’s Data Hub, in Senegal, 58% of individuals use the internet, representing growth from previous years. The Internet Society Foundation is seeking projects in Senegal that aim to capitalize on this expanding access by securing educational opportunities and/or supporting economic inclusion for underserved and unserved communities. This includes leveraging the internet to increase access to high-quality primary and secondary education and improve learning outcomes; improving virtual teaching and distance learning methodologies and skills; building financial opportunities; increasing economic independence; and creating sustainable income sources.

“Internet access has increased significantly in Senegal, however, access to internet knowledge and skills remains out of reach for some,” said Sarah Armstrong, executive director of the Internet Society Foundation. “This new round of SCILLS program grants will support organizations that connect underserved communities with the critical digital skills needed to unlock economic growth and educational opportunities.”

Prior SCILLS grants in Senegal have been awarded to:

  • Simplon Foundation, which trained 420 youth aged 18 to 30 in fundamental digital skills through 5-day training sessions.
  • Association Jeunesse Espore, which connected rural people to improve their agricultural performance and further their economic development.
  • CROISSANCE TIC Dakar, supports project leaders, entrepreneurs, start-ups, young people, and women with training and coaching, improved Internet access and digital infrastructure.
  • Synergie pour l'Education au Numérique et aux Média, which had its grant renewed last year, continues to train teachers on how to use the Internet, and supports students in building ICT skills through ‘tech clubs’ and inter-collegial hackathons.

The SCILLS program operates in countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. With this round, the six target countries are Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Indonesia, and Senegal.