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Taking The Lead In Bridging the International Digital Divide
An innovative NGO, with support from major corporations, is providing opportunities and improving lives throughout Brazil. The Committee for Democracy in Information Technology (CDI), is providing computers, training and civic education with the aim of making fundamental social improvements throughout Brazil and other countries.

As Business Week explained, there are almost 1,000 education centers "created in Brazil and eight other countries over the past 11 years by [CDI], a Rio de Janeiro-based nonprofit group." However, CDI goes beyond computer training.

CDI's founder explains that "the idea is to teach the underprivileged basic concepts of self-esteem, citizenship, and their rights as individuals—essential building blocks for a fairer society." The article states that "CDI has won international recognition for its unique approach of combining digital and civic education."

CDI receives crucial support from companies such as Microsoft and AOL. The NGO's students include disadvantaged youth and in "some centers, the physically and mentally disabled, prostitutes, and housemaids learn skills that may enable them to open home-based businesses."

Brazil has other technology-based initiatives to improve their citizens lives and demonstrate global leadership in using technology to advance society. As Business Week explained, "Brazil...boasts one of the highest numbers of Internet users in the world—around 26 million. It was the first country to introduce electronic voting, and it long has had one of the world's most computerized banking systems."

CDI is demonstrating that a partnership between NGOs, corporations and governments can make real progress in improving the lives of millions of the world's neediest citizens.

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