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How One Woman is Using Technology to Fight Human Trafficking

Njideka Harry was born in Nigeria and studied in the United States. After graduating, she worked for Microsoft. There, she says, the power of technology opened her eyes to the inequalities that existed back home.

"I could see how young people growing up in peri-urban and rural communities in countries in the developing world have little or no chance of competing with young people growing up in developed countries because they don't have access to technology that provides them a gateway to better educational opportunities and better employment opportunities," she said.

Founding Youth For Technology Foundation

This realization led Harry to found the Youth For Technology Foundation (YTF) in 2000. YTF is a non-profit organization that provides digital and life skills training to young people and women in developing countries.

YTF has worked in countries including Kenya and Nigeria and has provided training to more than 1.6 million people. The organization's goal is to equip young people with the skills they need to succeed in the digital age and to help them avoid falling victim to human trafficking.

Fighting Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a major problem in Nigeria, and many of the young women YTF works with are at risk of being trafficked. The organization's programs help to keep these young women safe by providing them with education, training, and support.

"We ensure that these young women have things to do during this transition period," Harry said. "And one of those things is continuing them on that lifelong learning of education and then equipping them with the necessary digital skills for them to really transition into further education as well as the world of work."

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Preparing for the Future of Work

In addition to fighting human trafficking, YTF also aims to prepare young people for the jobs of the future. The organization's programs teach young people about emerging technologies such as 3D printing, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence.

"We very much know that 60% of the jobs that we have today were not in existence 40 years ago," Harry said. "So we don't really know exactly what the future of work will look like. But we do know that these transformative technologies, these industry 4.0 technologies, will have a place in the future of work."

Topics:
Humanitarian ActionHuman Rights
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