Government-run development initiative will use $1 million Access to Learning Award to improve technology centres serving the rural poor
Sri Lanka’s e-Library Nenasala Programme (eLNP) won the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation‘s 2014 Access to Learning award of $1 million at a ceremony held in Lyon, France Monday (18).. The award was in recognition of eLNP’s thrust for providing free access to computers and the Internet to underserved Sri Lankans living in remote and rural areas. The Government of Sri Lanka launched the programme as a way to boost digital literacy and encourage economic development throughout the country based on its National Development policy “Mahinda Chinthana”.
The eLNP’s centres, known as Nenasalas (wisdom outlets), have helped Sri Lanka increase its computer usage and IT literacy rate from below 10 percent in 2004 to almost 40 per cent today. Centres are located in rural areas to give residents increased access to high quality equipment, training, and locally tailored information to help them improve their lives. Microsoft, a foundation partner, will make available a donation of software to eLNP, It wll be offered as part of its commitment to bring the benefits of relevant and accessible technology to local communities around the world.