BT And SOS Children's Villages Bring 20 African Communities Online

      BT And SOS Children's Villages Bring 20 African Communities Online

Broadband internet delivered to communities across Africa, benefiting 700,000

PR Newswire

IRVING, Texas, May 9, 2013

IRVING, Texas, May 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --BT today announces its 'Connecting
Africa' project, which will bring broadband internet access to communities
across Africa.

(Photo: )

BT is working with SOS Children's Villages, an international charity that
focuses on children at risk, to connect twenty of the charity's sites in
twelve African countries via its global satellite network. BT and SOS
Children's Villages estimate that the project could directly and indirectly
benefit approximately 700,000 people.

The first two SOS Children's Villages in The Gambia have already been brought
online and the remaining Children's Villages are scheduled to be connected by
October 2013.

BT designs and builds the network infrastructure using underutilized or
decommissioned BT equipment in each country. At the same time, BT engineers
train the charity's local IT support teams to maintain and operate the
infrastructure, ensuring the project is sustainable in the long term. BT will
provide connectivity for the Children's Villages for three years via its
global satellite network, run from its operational center in Madley in the UK.

The Connecting Africa project will bring numerous benefits to the children
living in the Children's Villages, enabling them to get online and helping
with their education through e-learning courses and mentoring programs
developed by the charity. It will also bring significant benefits to SOS
Children's Villages as an organization, helping the charity run its operations
more efficiently and better co-ordinate the facilities it operates in the
communities, which include schools, medical centers and community programs.

Meryl Davies from SOS Children's Villages said: "We see the real difference
that IT and connectivity make to our children's lives, opening their eyes to a
whole new world of information, and wonderful education opportunities. The
other significant value of this partnership is the way that BT is helping us
as an organization. BT has the vision to understand that with improved systems
and structures, we will be better able to bring long term value to incredibly
vulnerable children and families."

Speaking at the official launch of the program during the World Economic Forum
on Africa conference in Cape Town, Kevin Taylor, President BT Asia, Middle
East and Africa, said: "We believe that communication is an incredibly
powerful tool and can transform the lives of many people. We've seen the real
impact that broadband internet can have through our projects around the world.
This latest initiative builds on our know-how and on our long standing
commitments to communities in Africa and elsewhere where through technology we
help children and whole communities reach for a better future. This project is
enthusiastically supported by BT employees around the world, who will engage
through volunteering and fundraising activities."

Connecting Africa will directly benefit at least 5,000 people in each
community, with many more benefiting indirectly. By developing the technology
and skills within the Villages, and by running adult education programs in the
wider community, the project will help extend the benefits of internet access
to the children, their families and wider communities.

The project will help boost the charity's fundraising work by allowing photos
and videos to be shared with the people who have chosen to sponsor children in
the Children's Villages. It will also be instrumental in raising awareness for
emergency relief work, such as the charity's current relief organized around
the crisis in Mali, to help secure support from the international community of

BT will mobilize its global workforce and skills base to support this project
through a range of volunteering activities. This will build on the BT's
extensive and long term support of the charity's work in Germany, where BT
employees have volunteered 136 days during 2012 in helping young adults
develop computer skills.

The Connecting Africa project is part of BT's Better Future program, which is
a commitment to use the power of communications to improve lives and ways of
doing business. It is one of a number of projects that BT is running around
the world to help people get online and develop the skills and confidence to
use the internet.

About BT's Better Future program
Better Future is BT's commitment to use the power of communications to improve
lives and ways of doing business – without it costing the earth.BT has set
itself three goals to achieve by 2020 which will help it to grow sustainably,
especially in new emerging markets. The goals focus on connecting people
digitally ('Connected Society'), using our skills and technology to help
society support good causes ('Improving Lives'), and ensuring BT makes a net
positive contribution to the environment ('Net Good'). They are rooted in what
BT does best – bringing together our networks and technology with the
expertise of our people to make a better world. Being a responsible and
sustainable business leader is one of BT's six strategic priorities for
growth. For further information, visit

About BT
BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications services and
solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal
activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local,
national and international telecommunications services to its customers for
use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and
services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists
principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT
Wholesale and Openreach.

In the year ended 31 March 2012, BT Group's revenue was £18,897m with profit
before taxation of £2,445m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group
plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT
Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York. For more
information, visit

About SOS Children's Villages
SOS Children's Villages is a global charity which provides orphans and
vulnerable children with a stable and positive family life. The charity
protects and improves the lives of children in 125 countries, working with
communities to keep fragmenting families together, and where this is not
possible, building new families for children at risk.

Working together with deprived communities, SOS Children's Villages identifies
needs and provides practical and emotional tools for parents and caregivers to
prevent family breakdown. When children lose their families and have nothing
and no one, the charity ensures that they can grow up in a safe environment by
creating new families. Headed by SOS mothers, families live together in unique
SOS Children's Villages, which are located in the heart of communities. The
charity establishes schools and medical centers to ensure that more children
have the opportunity of an education and access to quality medical care. Every
year, SOS Children's Villages' programs reach over two million people.


Contact: Kris Kozamchak, Head of PR and Corporate Relations U.S., at + 1 972
310 9055 or
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