Nokia and Plan give a voice to Africa's youth

(PresseBox) ( Espoo, Finland, )
Nokia and international children's organisation, Plan, have joined forces to use modern communications technologies in Africa to raise children's awareness of their rights and opportunities. Nokia has provided an initial donation of 1 million Euros for 2006. The first stage of this new joint effort will see Nokia focus on supporting Plan's existing media and communications technology projects for Africa's children and youth.

"We believe that we can have a positive impact through mobile technology as it is used to enable young people to realise their full potential. The aim of our cooperation with Plan is to fight poverty by empowering African youth and giving them a voice through the use of technology. Plan has a good existing network, positive track record and extensive experience in using technology for youth development in Africa and was therefore, a very good value fit for Nokia," said Veli Sundbäck, Executive Vice President, Corporate Relations and Responsibility, Nokia.

"Plan is committed to working in partnerships, not only with local groups or governments in the countries where we work, but also with like-minded corporate organisations like Nokia. I believe that this cooperation will deliver long-term sustainable benefits for hundreds of communities in the developing world," said Tom Miller, Plan CEO.

Access to and use of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) such as radio, the internet, mobile devices and television is a vital element in helping to tackle poverty and improve the respect, fulfilment and protection of children's rights. In this cooperation, ICT becomes an important tool for children and youth to make their voice heard and to learn about issues that are relevant for them.

Involving children in digital media production either on the radio, in video productions or in music helps introduce the potential of ICT to communities affected by poverty in a non-threatening way and links remote communities to a much wider national audience. Producing their own digital media is often revolutionary for many children, providing them with the chance to gain self-confidence and further influence their own future.

About Plan
Plan is a humanitarian child-centred organization working in 46 developing countries, with families and their communities. Founded almost 70 years ago, Plan has no religious, political or governmental affiliation. Plan has 64 child media projects running in 31 countries at present. These projects include radio programs on child rights in West Africa; video projects in India, Kenya and Tanzania; radio and newspaper projects in Central America; TV production in Vietnam; internet projects for teenagers in Burkina Faso; and radio programs in Thailand, the Philippines and Malawi.

Media Enquiries:

Plan
Gary Walker, International Media Manager
Tel. +66 1984 1892
E-mail: gary.walker@plan-international.org
www.plan-international.org
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