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Fundación Telefónica contributes to the development of the societies in the countries in which it is active through a range of projects that aim to improve the lives of some of the most underprivileged groups.
Fundación Telefónica carries out several local development projects, including an initiative called Conexión Amazónica (Amazon Connection), which is being developed in Belterra, in Brazil's Amazon region.
This zone is more connected to the world thanks to Telefónica's technology, through an antenna that delivers broadband Internet access and third-generation cellular technology to a community of almost 20,000 people, who up until now lived "isolated", without mobile connection or Internet, in the deepest realms of the Amazonia.
The arrival of the new technology triggered a positive revolution in the lives of these riverside communities, actively contributing to the development of a region where, according to UNICEF data, there are still over 90,000 illiterate adolescents, and approximately 160,000 children between the age of 7 and 14 who are not attending school.
The results of Conexión Amazónica have been totally satisfactory. Thus, according to an independent report, about 90 per cent of the people believe that the mobile telephone changed their daily lives for the better, 53 per cent consider that it has actively contributed to the creation of enterprises and the generation of jobs, over 40 per cent of students use Internet for their studies, and 20 per cent of them have enrolled in distance learning courses.
In Brazil, Fundación Telefónica is also present in Parque Santo Antonio, in Sao Paulo and in Santa Cruz de Cabralia, in Bahia. The purpose of those projects is to improve the quality of life of the populations in a sustainable manner, by providing access to technologies.
From Fundación Telefónica similar new projects are going to be implemented, including local training initiatives intended to help young people to access the job market. Also, the local development initiatives are going to be systematised in a social technology bank, so that they can be used as a template for new activities.