OnQ Blog

Tech for social good

How are you using your smartphone to make the world a better place?

While Qualcomm is putting its mobile know-how into pioneering 5G and making the impossible possible, Qualcomm for Good, our corporate responsibility team, is also making a powerful difference. Through our Qualcomm Wireless Reach initiative, we’re bringing the benefits of the world’s most advanced wireless technologies to people and communities who need it most.

Innovative mobile technologies can catalyze social change. Every breakthrough has the potential to impact society for the better. Wireless Reach brings to life Qualcomm’s belief that mobile technology plays a crucial role in tackling global challenges and strengthening social and economic development. We’re extremely proud that, to date, more than 17 million people worldwide have benefitted from Wireless Reach programs focused on education, environmental sustainability, public safety, healthcare, and entrepreneurship.

These are some highlights of our impact:

Transforming under-resourced classrooms into cutting-edge learning environments in China

More than 40 million children live in impoverished areas in China. Their development levels in education are far below average. The Qualcomm 21st Century Classroom program, a collaboration with the China Children and Teenagers’ Fund, provides classrooms at participating schools in poverty-stricken areas with broadband internet connectivity, electronic smartboards and mobile tablets; student and teacher access to a classroom management system and diverse digital education resources; and training for teachers in how to use the new technologies to improve student and teaching outcomes.

The lives of 4,000 students and 200 teachers have been forever altered because of this program. Mobile technology is addressing learning disparities by narrowing the digital divide, and it’s enabling greater opportunities to enrich teaching and learning. Eightly percent of teachers who received the training say  their teaching skills and ICT knowledge have improved. Based on this success, we’re expanding the program to additional schools.

Building disaster-resilient communities in Indonesia

Indonesia is in one of the world’s most disaster-prone areas. In 2017 alone, Indonesia was affected by 2,341 floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters that led to 3.49 million evacuations, nearly 50,000 damaged homes and public facilities, and 377 deaths.

Wireless Reach collaborated with Atma Connect in Indonesia to launch AtmaGo, an innovative mobile app that empowers users with information that can help save lives and reduce economic losses from a disaster. The app provides access to a neighborhood-level social network. More than 2.5 million people, most of whom are economically disadvantaged, use AtmaGo to connect, receive and share emergency warnings and real-time disaster news with their neighbors, take action to reduce their risk, and build social cohesion for strengthening their ability to bounce back.

The tool’s emergency alerts have the potential to reduce disaster-related property damage by US $324 per household per year in the Jakarta region. By empowering people to take effective action, AtmaGo has the potential to reduce disaster-related morbidity and mortality by 643 years of healthy life lost per 100,000 population. And, by increasing women’s access to disaster-related information, the app is empowering women as key agents of community change and social cohesion.

Empowering women to become successful entrepreneurs in Vietnam

Entrepreneurship is growing rapidly across Southeast Asia. In Vietnam, women are one-third more likely than men to start a business. These women are often drawn to entrepreneurship out of necessity. However, they face challenges accessing the resources and support they need to develop, grow and sustain their businesses.

Women’s economic empowerment is fundamental to gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth. Through the DevelopHer project, implemented in collaboration with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, female entrepreneurs across Vietnam can benefit from mobile learning tools and online mentoring support to overcome business challenges and take their enterprises to the next level. One of these tools is the HerVenture mobile app. The app provides an inexpensive and flexible means for women who own micro and small businesses to access essential business training, tips and support to become successful business owners.

HerVenture has also been successfully deployed in Indonesia and Nigeria. To date, more than 15,000 women entrepreneurs have downloaded the app.

Improving quality of life for HIV-affected youth in South Africa

Great strides have been made in the fight against HIV and AIDS, yet it remains one of the largest international public health crises. This is especially true in South Africa, which has the world’s largest number of HIV-positive people. Despite significant progress among adults, the most vulnerable populations — children and young people — are being left behind.

The KidzAlive Mobilized program, a collaboration with Keep A Child Alive (founded by singer Alicia Keys) and Zoë-Life, aims to help fill that gap. The program uses mobile technology and creative storytelling in the form of the KidzAlive Talk Tool App to enhance HIV prevention, care and treatment for children and adolescents.

The app is a job aid. It empowers healthcare workers to provide age-appropriate HIV education to youth and their primary caregivers. The app’s use has led to a higher rate of HIV diagnosis and faster treatment for kids participating in the program. The app helps ensure that children who are HIV-negative stay negative and that those who are HIV-positive are supported to lead healthy lives.

 

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