Building Inclusive and Digitally-skilled Communities

In my line of work, I constantly witness the stark realities faced by people in rural areas and underserved communities. The digital space has opened countless possibilities, but for many, these opportunities remain frustratingly out of reach. The digital skills gap isn’t a simple matter of internet access; it’s a formidable barrier that restricts them from a future brimming with connection and empowerment.

G Consumer Goods Trading, Ipil, Zamboanga

We talk about closing the gap, but the true impact lies in what we build on the other side. It’s about the community sari-sari store, using social media to share their goods and connect with potential customers. It’s about the artist who discovers a passion for digital illustration and finds a creative outlet.

Dindin Makes Art

Bridging the gap requires more than just tossing a device their way. It’s about:

  • Building Trust. We need to establish a foundation of trust by demonstrating the tangible value the digital world holds for their specific needs and aspirations.
  • Patience and Tailored Guidance. The learning curve can be daunting, so offering step-by-step support that caters to their individual pace is crucial.
  • Celebrating Milestones Big and Small. Every step forward, from mastering a new software program to navigating an online platform, deserves recognition and encouragement. This fosters confidence and motivates them to keep climbing the digital learning ladder.

Here are some ongoing efforts we champion to keep building this bridge:

  • Community Workshops: Organizing interactive sessions on basic computer skills, online marketing strategies, and social media management can equip residents with the necessary tools to grow their businesses.

Workshops you can check out:

Grow Digital ASEAN

YOVEO Digital Skinny Workshop™


  • Digital Mentorship Programs: Matching tech-savvy volunteers with community members can provide personalized guidance and support. Receiving one-on-one help from a mentor to create a compelling online portfolio for their business endeavors. This kind of personalized approach can help build practical and results-based roadmaps.
  • Affordable Internet Access: Advocating for policies that make the internet more accessible and affordable plays a vital role in ensuring long-term success. By working towards this goal, we’re not just connecting these communities; we’re empowering them to flourish using available technology.

Closing the digital skills gap isn’t a one-time fix. It’s about continuous efforts to empower communities with the tools and confidence they need to thrive online.