Today, The Guardian newspaper published an article featuring Cisco partner Digital Divide Data – a nonprofit social enterprise that hires workers for data services jobs in the some of the world’s poorest places, and gives them the education, training, and career counseling they need to rise into the middle class.
“Our ultimate mission is to alleviate poverty,” says Jeremy Hockenstein, 42, founder and CEO of DDD, in the article. “We focus on students who are finishing high school, who are very motivated and very smart and who come from low-income homes.”
One of those students is Masy Sou of Cambodia. Masy’s father died before she was born, and when her mother was hospitalized, Masy sold fruit at a local market to support them. She responded to a roadside recruitment announcement for Digital Divide Data and became a trainee in 2006. She was quickly promoted from operator to trainer, then to a project management administrator. She graduated from university in accounting and finance in 2011.
Cisco has supported Digital Divide Data since 2010, providing cash and product grants to help improve their technology infrastructure and expand programs in Kenya, Cambodia, and Laos. The donated equipment helped DDD grow its business while training and employing more young people. The use of Cisco products helps Digital Divide Data reduce downtime and support 24/7 connectivity.
According to the Guardian, Digital Divide Data now employs about 500 people in Cambodia, 250 in Laos and 450 in Nairobi, Kenya, its fastest growing operation. Its clients include the British Library, the online genealogy firm ancestry.com and the watchmaker Fossil.