Center of excellence. Director Sreenivas Narayan (left) of ASSIST and Digibayan managing director and program director Maryanne Mendoza explain the aims of their program. (SunStar Foto/Ruel Rosello)
THE Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (Assist) launched their flagship program, DigiBayanihan, an initiative focused on educating sari-sari store owners on digital literacy.
According to Maryanne Mendoza, DigiBayan’s program manager, they want micro entrepreneurs, such as sari-sari store owners, to maximize their technology, not just to learn new skills in business, but also develop personal digital knowledge.
They aim to achieve this by creating content and eventually training them.
DigiBayanihan’s personal financial management learning manual is one example, teaching budding entrepreneurs to be more efficient when dealing with their finances, insurance, and paying debts.
“We started touching entrepreneurship mainly because of the different partnerships we’ve created,” adds Mendoza.
Mendoza explains that they cocreate specific content in accordance with the need of the community with the help of collaborating organizations like the National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO), Hapinoy, and Vilgro. These organizations help Assist in coming up with videos, testimonials and written content to link with different organizations who are interested to learn and train with them.
Mendoza strongly believes that by associating with organizations in the grassroots, they could determine real problems that spring in communities. “We are looking towards partnering with organized cooperatives. The dissemination of information is much more systematic.” The content and modules will be accessible through their website.
The managing director of ASSIST, Sreenivas Narayanan, still hopes that the content will be localized as time passes.
Narayanan also promises the public that DigiBayanihan, as an ongoing program, will be more active in the following months, as they are talking with different organizations.
DigiBayanihan as a program funded by Google.org aimed at empowering Filipinos, especially the youth and those with less technological know-how, with information to better their lives.
Assist inaugurated its first DigiBayanihan Center of Excellence at the Department of Science and Technology compound on Gov. Cuence Ave., in Cebu City on Tuesday. They will launch three more centers in Bacolod, Butuan, and Davao. (Tessa Frances Aguilar and Liza Marie Caube, USJ-R Interns)