Welcome back to the second post in our series about increasing impact through educational technology! You can find the first post here.
Over the last year, Venture 2 Impact (V2I) has leveraged educational technology (EduTech) to support our diverse partners. With creative applications of technology, we can increase our reach and positive long-term impact. In this and the following blog post, I will highlight some ways in which V2I has leveraged technology to advance gender equality, employment, and education.
Approximately 80% of human trafficking survivors end up returning to shelters after leaving, due to limited communication skills and a high vulnerability to revictimization.
Empowerment Square is an NGO in New York City that helps female survivors of human trafficking rebuild their lives from the ground up. Many female survivors aren’t able to secure employment due to safety concerns or language barriers, making it almost impossible to find a workplace where they can feel safe and contribute. However, these women have their own valuable skills – they just need a pathway to use them.
In partnership with Microsoft, V2I helped the staff, volunteers, and program participants of Empowerment Square increase their knowledge and skills related to e-commerce to develop Village Square – a curated, socially conscious, online marketplace, that will create opportunities and offer comprehensive business support for female survivors of human trafficking.
The virtual training focused on e-commerce, a necessity given the increasingly digital nature of our world and restrictions created by the pandemic. Additionally, the benefits of virtual work mean that survivors can work from any location where they feel comfortable and secure. Since we delivered it entirely online, participants were all able to access the training from their own devices, eliminating any physical or safety barriers to attendance.
By providing this training, we have not only directly impacted lives, but indirectly impacted them, as the participants will be able to use their new knowledge for widespread benefit. In our post-training survey, 100% of participants indicated that they had an increased understanding of e-commerce and the next steps required to launch Village Square, which has the potential to positively impact female survivors around the globe.
Volunteers also shared the impact that the training program had on them:
After the last 18 months of working from home, virtual training might not seem very innovative – but there are some surprising benefits of educational technology that you can leverage to increase your organization’s impact and reach:
Our partnership with Microsoft and Empowerment Square has supported female survivors of human trafficking, and as Empowerment Square continues to develop Village Square, more women and communities will indirectly benefit from the training and expertise provided.
This demonstrates just some of the benefits to leveraging technology and virtual employment opportunities. If you have any questions, or would be interested in partnering with us, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll touch on more in our next, and final, educational technology blog post!