“Better Connections” - New Milestone Reached by Opening 750th ICT Facility for Migrant Workers
Doha – Qatar
HE Minister of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs (ADLSA), Dr. Issa bin Saad Al Jafali Al Nuaimi, today opened the 750th Better Connections ICT facility. The event marks the halfway milestone on the program, which aims to equip and open 1500 ICT facilities for migrant workers at their accommodation sites to sharpen their information and communications technology skills and enable them to better participate in Qatari society.
The “Better Connections Program” raises ICT awareness and skills among migrant workers with little or no prior knowledge and provide them with easy access to multilingual training in technology tools and the Internet where they live.
The 750th ICT facility was opened at the workers’ residences at the Asian City Accommodation Asian Town, under the umbrella of the Private Engineering Office, after having been equipped with computers, software and wireless internet.
The program is a joint initiative between the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC) and Ministry of ADLSA and supported by multiple partners across Qatar.
The event was witnessed by MOTC’s Assistant Undersecretary for Digital Society Development Affairs Ms. Reem Al-Mansoori and ADLSA’s Assistant Undersecretary of Labor Affairs Mr. Mohammad Hassan Al-Obaidly.
First launched in 2014, “Better Connections” gives employers of migrant workers in Qatar a practical framework to provide their workers with access to information and communication technology tools. It aims to ensure that migrant workers in Qatar have access to and are well trained in using ICT and the Internet at their accommodations. Toward this goal, it helps employers provide ICT rooms where workers live and give them the knowledge, awareness and training they need in their own languages under the supervision of trainers and volunteers.
In her presentation, Ms. Al-Mansoori said the number of employers who have joined the program to date has risen to 350 and the donated computers to 9000, of which around 7500 were refurbished and updated by both high school students at the “Green Computer Clubs”, another supportive initiative, and volunteers.
She added that there are now 25 Green Computer Clubs where donated computers are refurbished and updated with new software and wireless internet connectivity.
The number of program volunteers, who train workers in their own languages, has now risen to almost 1000.
A Nov. 2017 Impact Analysis Study conducted by the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute at Qatar University (SESRI) reported that 93% of migrant workers said using the ICT facility was helping them to reduce stress and become more productive, while 99% said the internet has improved their ability to communicate with family, friends and other important people in their lives back home.