Social media giant Facebook announced a digital skilling, mentorship programme called Going Online As Leaders (GOAL) to digitally empower tribal girls in five Indian states such as West Bengal, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh.
The programme will bring 25 well-known personalities onboard from different backgrounds like business, education and health to politics, arts and entrepreneurship volunteering to mentor four girls each from tribal communities in these states.
In order to participate in this programme, applicants should be at least 18 years or above and of tribal origin.
"Spanning across West Bengal, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, the initiative seeks to nurture and train young girls from India's tribal heartland across three core areas - digital literacy, life skills, leadership and entrepreneurship," Facebook said in a statement.
Furthermore, Facebook said in its statement the programme will be aimed at girls who have dropped out of school due to financial constraints and those who stay close to the skilling centre in order to ensure regular participation.
As part of this initiative, the digital training of the selected girls will be taken care of by Osama Manzar-led Digital Empowerment Foundation. The foundation has pre-established community digital infrastructure hubs across the country's tribal areas.
"Spanning a period of one year, the programme will see on-ground trainers impart digital literacy to the identified girls through a dedicated digital skilling curriculum while the 25 women leaders mentor them via Facebook or WhatsApp on a fortnightly basis," the statement added.
GOAL programme will further provide tribal girls with functional digital marketing and safety skills, in addition to basic digital tools.
GOAL is a year-long project, and by the end of it, Facebook is looking to reach 100 young girls from tribal communities to empower them with digital and life skills.
(With agency inputs)