In the backdrop of UNICEF’s International Day of the Girl Child, Mastercard has pledged to reach five million girls globally by 2025 as a part of its Girls4Tech Program. The program has already reached its initial goal of educating one million girls.
In India, Mastercard in collaboration with the American India Foundation, will train around 1200 teachers in over 350 villages and five cities including Gurugram, Pune, Vadodara, Mumbai and Chennai by 2021. The initiative will be backed by the Mastercard Impact Fund as well. The joint partnership between the two organisations also seeks to educate 100,000 girls (8-14 years of age) across 475 schools in the next ten months.
Holding to the ethos of Mastercard’s ‘Doing Well by Doing Good’, since 2019, over 200 employees of the company have volunteered to host multiple Girls4Tech events across various cities, including virtual sessions for young girls. While the program initially started off as in-person sessions, Mastercard, in its bid to reach more children, has extended it to STEM curriculum through online resources on Girls4Tech Connect. The curriculum also includes topics on AI and cyber security that are available in Hindi as well.
The partnership between Mastercard and American India Foundation for Girls4Tech couldn’t have come at a better time considering the prolonged school closures due to covid-19 that are gravely impacting students’ academics. “Due to the circumstances, child marriage and child labour are on the rise, so a large portion of the students that won’t return are girls. More than ever, AIF is focused on bridging the digital divide and education continuity for girls,” said AIF CEO, Nishant Pandey.