In August of 2013, an initiative started by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg together with several founding members that include Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung launched Internet.org with the purpose bringing digital connectivity to all corners of the globe. The main target for this effort is more than 4 billion people who live in poverty (mostly in third world countries) and rural areas that don’t have access to the Internet.
Like I mentioned in one of my recent reviews, I get excited whenever I read stories about new gadgets and technology but what gets me more excited are stories about how technology is used to help people or make people’s lives better like how one boy gets a 3D-printed prosthetic hand. Another good example is this story which was shared by Mark Zuckerberg on his official Facebook account.
It is about a woman named Riza Mae Tachado who lives on a small island in the Philippines where the only job for women was gathering seashells. With sheer determination and perseverance to achieve a better future, she was able to earn her degree in Computer Science. Riza got through some rough times during her studies by using Internet.org to communicate with her groupmates via Facebook, enabling them to finish their thesis. Free data connectivity on mobile phones via Internet.org is offered through Smart, Globe, TM, and Sun Cellular carriers in the Philippines. Check out the video below to see her story.
I don’t think this is the end of Riza Mae Tachado’s story though because, in the video post on Mark Zuckerberg’s account, one person left a comment and suggested that the Facebook CEO should hire this amazing woman and he replied “That’s a good idea!“.
If she gets hired by Facebook, it would be an awesome “highlight” to this success story and will definitely be an inspiration not only to the folks in the Philippines but all over the world.
Stories like these show us that anyone can achieve something better or greater with enough determination and perseverance. We also have to acknowledge the importance of tools & projects like Internet.org which played a vital role in this success story. Kudos to the folks behind Internet.org and other similar efforts that help people like Riza achieve their full potential.