New Delhi: Shri Arjun Munda, Union Minister of Tribal Affair announced the second phase of GOAL (Going Online as Leaders), a Facebook program aimed at inspiring, guiding and encouraging tribal girls from across India to become village-level digital young leaders for their communities. Launched earlier this year in March, GOAL connects underprivileged young tribal women with senior expert mentors in the areas of business, fashion and arts to learn digital and life skills. In the second phase of the program, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Facebook together will digitally mentor 5000 young women in India’s tribal dominated districts.
Speaking at an event to commence the next expanded phase of the program, Shri Arjun Munda said, “Through this partnership the GOAL program will provide economically and socially marginalized young women with the tools and guidance they need to succeed, using technology they may otherwise have not had access to. It is my pleasure to be here to launch the second stage of this initiative with Facebook in Delhi today”. The Minister was joined by Ms. Anna Roy -Senior Advisor Data Management & Analysis and Chairperson, Women Entrepreneurship Platform NITI Aayog, and Facebook India leadership team including Mr. Ajit Mohan- Vice President & Managing Director and Ms. Ankhi Das, Director of Public Policy. Participants from the states of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Maharashtra, who are enrolled in the current program were also present at the event.
The program will include weekly one-to-one mentoring sessions, focused on a range of skills such as digital literacy, entrepreneurship and online safety. In total, more than 200,000 hours of guidance will be provided using Facebook family of apps including WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Following the program, the participants will graduate to the GOAL alumni and will continue to receive support and guidance from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Facebook.
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs will also work with district administration and other government agencies to help secure qualified participants with a fellowship, so they can put their newly learned skills to work.
More than 125 young women have enrolled in the program. Most of them are now using the internet to highlight issues their communities face and have expressed a desire to set up their own business.
“Facebook is committed to closing the digital gender gap by enabling more women to get online and access digital services. This program is important because it actively supports these young women to build leadership qualities and encourages them to be champions and help share their learnings with others.” added Ms. Ankhi Das, Director of Public Policy, Facebook India.
“This announcement illustrates the power of partnership between government and private sector, these young women all have a keen desire to upskill, enter the workforce and be active member of their communities – their aspirations supported by the ministry, NITI Aayog, Facebook’s intensive mentoring and training program. Through our efforts at WEP, NITI Aayog is committed to ensuring the success of these bright women leaders.” says Ms. Anna Roy, Senior Advisor Industry and Data Management & Analysis at NITI Aayog.