Digital Education for Mexico
In Mexico, we partner with Don Alfonso Foundation in the regions of Veracruz and Guanajuato to provide access to quality education and training for underrepresented girls, women, youth and communities. We power all the programs in Mexico with our own-developed technology O-lab app, accessible and customizable by everyone in any vulnerable community.
The collaboration with Don Alfonso Foundation started during the pandemic. Free of charge, we provide the Mexican grassroot organization with O-lab app to digitally recreate, and also accessible offline, a classroom space called “El Club de Tareas” in partnership with the Calazans Social Center and the University of Veracruz. Thanks to O-lab, 100 primary school students from low-income areas continued learning during the pandemic, reinforced the knowledge learnt during school, and increased their engagement in courses. The support of Don Alfonso Foundation was instrumental in providing Wi-Fi, equipment and safe spaces to enable learning on O-lab in person as well.
Our collaboration with Don Alfonso Foundation continues in 2023. In June, we launched the program “De Lirio” to empower 25 women aged 35-65 in the rural areas of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico, to create handicraft products from sustainable materials, market and sell them to generate regular and legalized revenues.
O-lab can also be used offline, adapts to any language and works on any low-cost device. These features are very useful for the accessibility and inclusion of the project. O-lab makes tradition combined with innovation. Women learn through the platform 3 basic processes prior to weaving & crafting with water Lily (known in Spanish as Lirio, a perennial aquatic plant with densely branched stems) where the project takes its name from: identify the suitable properties of the plant to be processed; disinfecting the final product with eco-friendly cleaners; drying the final craft before marketing.
Curious fact, why do women make products out of water Lily? They live around the Allende Dam, near San Miguel de Allende, and their communities are most affected by the water Lily plague. The aquatic plant causes significant ecological alterations in the invaded community by modifying the habitat. Most of the women’s husbands are fishermen and lost their jobs for that.
The true O-lab’s added value is teaching the women to market and sell the product. A digital lab guides the participants to calculate the price according to processing, production time and size, while training how to find customers, promote the product with online social media pages and carve out space in the local market.
“The ultimate goal of the project is self-employment and we are sure that O-lab will be a great resource for the women involved to have access to new ideas and know the strategic sales points. We have already tested O-lab in other projects that we have carried out with Fundación El Origen and we know how useful it is and the extraordinary results obtained in the users” – Laura Leticia Quintana Hernández, director of Fundación Don Alfonso and head of program for “De Lirio”.