The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in partnership with Econet Wireless and ZiFM Stereo last Friday launched The Internet of Good Things (IoGT) through a virtual live music show that featured Jah Prayzah, Gemma Griffiths, Tamy Moyo, Long John, Nutty O and Asaph.
The event was streamed through UNICEF Zimbabwe and Econet Wireless Facebook Pages on Friday June 5.
The IoGT features mobile-packaged content from UNICEF and partners designed to make life-saving and life-improving information available for free, even on low-end devices and basic web-enabled mobile phones.
In a statement, UNICEF said they partnered Econet to have the IoGT website zero-rated – meaning it is free to access for any Econet user through their mobile phones. Econet has around 13 million mobile subscribers in Zimbabwe.
“While Zimbabwe has high mobile penetration, access to data is a challenge for many. The impacts on all people, particularly women and children across Zimbabwe from the rapidly escalating global COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented and far reaching, and access to factual information is vital,” Unicef said in the statement.
The IoGT is delivering essential information and lifesaving recommendations about diseases such as COVID-19 and Cholera, maternal health, hygiene, HIV and sexual health for adolescents, child online protection, positive parenting, education resources and more.
“Providing quality education, messages and information will help children grow and develop to their full potential. It will also help mothers, fathers, other family members, frontline workers, caregivers, service providers and communities stay safe and protect the lives of children across the country,” added Unicef.
In Zimbabwe, updated content distributed on IoGT is localized and is evolving to include content in the main languages – English, Shona and Ndebele. To date, almost 50,000 users have accessed the website and this is expected to grow.
Some of the popular sections include COVID-19 information and advice for students about the disease, as well as career advice content, and the “All In” section – a special section for adolescents.
The platform and much of the content featured was made possible with the support of UNICEF’s donors in Zimbabwe through the Health Development Fund, Child Protection Fund and Education Development Fund.