CHOICE Humanitarian is a non-profit organization with a vision to free the world from the ravages of extreme poverty, where all people are treated with dignity and valued for who they are and the unique contribution they bring. They have been working to eliminate extreme poverty, defined by the World Bank as living on an average of $1.90 USD a day, for 35 years.
Today, we are excited to share a new web-based learning tool we have created with the Microsoft Edge team, called Accent.
“The CHOICE partnership offered the Microsoft Edge team a remarkable opportunity to take our browser technology and create an education solution to meet the unique literacy needs of communities worldwide. Working with CHOICE, we utilized the native support for touch and inking in Microsoft Edge to build an interactive curriculum for their literacy program and helped them deploy the platform for the first time to the women in underprivileged regions in Guatemala. We worked very closely with CHOICE to create a solution that empowers their mentors to continue to expand and scale Accent with new courses, new languages and new skills without needing programming expertise. We are extremely excited to contribute to the CHOICE work to eradicate poverty through literacy worldwide,” says Divya Kumar, Microsoft Edge Product Marketing
Extreme poverty is multidimensional and measured beyond income. Some of the additional indicators reflecting acute deprivations are with respect to health, education, and standard of living. But, we know when a community focuses on literacy, the general health and standard of living naturally increase. That is why we’ve partnered with Microsoft Edge to create Accent, a browser-based, digital literacy platform that will help women in remote Guatemala gain access to their country’s economy, government, culture and language.
Accent will help women in Chulac, Guatemala learn Spanish as the first step toward economic empowerment. The sequences are structured like a game to make learning more fun. The program is easy to use and customized for individual learning; the students will also have the oversight of a local woman fluent in Spanish to mentor the group as they progress in their learning. The 18 women who will be the inaugural class are excited knowing that literacy will open the door to opportunities in businesses and their local government.
Accent is an open-source, scalable solution to literacy. “CHOICE Humanitarian is launching this first in Guatemala, but we plan on incorporating it into all seven countries where we work. We are also thrilled that other NGOs can use this tool to support their own literacy goals,” says Leah Barker, CHOICE Humanitarian CEO.
Microsoft has a long history of supporting education, as Microsoft Philanthropies uses technology as a force for inclusion. Because of Microsoft’s history and dedication to increasing access to technology, the opportunity to partner with Microsoft Edge in developing browser-based technology to benefit women in rural Guatemala is very exciting and promises great outcomes.
Education and literacy programs have been paramount in our focus through the years as has gender equity. Women are the key to lasting change. Research shows that when you invest in a woman, she will invest in her family and community. There is a clear link between parents’, primarily mothers’, literacy and the welfare of their children. Research shows that children whose mothers can read have better nutrition and better results in school. Literacy and gender equality work in tandem to eliminate extreme poverty. We are honored that Microsoft Edge would create a tool that works both online and offline connecting women in rural Guatemala to the world.
About Microsoft Edge Web Showcase
Microsoft Edge Web Showcase is dedicated to partnering with organizations around the world to highlight extraordinary and exciting new ventures. This program explores opportunities to contribute to a diverse set of literacy programs and to develop partnerships to showcase web technology.