One of the UK’s fastest-growing tech companies is enabling internet access for some of the world’s poorest students in Central America to improve their life chances through IT skills training.
Virtual private network provider Hide my Ass! is helping to transform the internet access and education of a school in Guatemala with a £20,000 donation to Nottingham-based charity Education for the Children (EFTC), which provides schooling, nutrition and social support for children and young people in Guatemala, Central America.
The donation will fund an IT programme, which will give students access to the internet and specialist IT training, – many for the first time. That includes the provision of internet and WiFi for the whole school, a full-time IT teacher for the year, a server and a mobile computer lab, amongst other things – enabling them to compete effectively in the jobs market and develop the tools they need to break free from the cycle of poverty.
The Charity was inspired by what Jack Cator, the CEO of Hide My Ass! achieved from a young age as well as the company’s unwavering dedication to the principles the internet was founded on: that it was created for everyone.
Jack developed Hide My Ass! when he was 16, spurred on by the frustration of having social media sites blocked by school WiFi. As he experimented he found a deeper understanding of how access to the internet enables a more just and equal society.
Hide My Ass! started as a simple free tool in 2005 and later added a paid VPN service in 2009, which was an overnight success. Hide My Ass! now employs nearly 100 people worldwide, has servers in more countries around the world than any other VPN provider and is a global leader, with over 130,000 VPN customers and 6 million free proxy users worldwide and a spot on the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 list.
Jack Cator commented, “No matter how far Hide My Ass! has come or will go, I will always stay true to the principles that spurred me to start it. Access to the internet is a right everybody should have, no matter where they are in the world – and with this donation I believe we are empowering kids to achieve amazing things, and take their lives in a direction that might not otherwise have been possible. It’s incredibly exciting and to me embodies the promise, opportunity and equality that the internet creates for everyone.”
Danvers Baillieu, COO at Hide My Ass! commented, “Here at Hide My Ass! we can be proud that our service allows millions of people around the world to connect to the internet safely and freely, without restrictions. With this donation, we are ensuring that 560 children will have a basic internet connection so that they can learn.
Hide My Ass! was originally built by people from all over the world – and we hope that one day one of these children will be able to contribute to products such as ours and learn a better living by doing so.”
Young people in Guatemala face limited life opportunities. The country has the lowest literacy rates in the whole of Latin America, over half the population live in abject poverty and almost 50% of children under five suffer from chronic malnutrition. EFTC has built a school in Jocotenango, an urban area where extreme poverty, gang crime, domestic violence and alcoholism are everyday realities.
Lizzie Wright, Corporate and Major Donor Manager at EFTC said: “We are so excited to have the support of Hide My Ass! With their incredible story, they’re the perfect match for our new IT project. Jack Cator’s talents have enabled him to be hugely successful in the IT industry, and we can’t help but wonder if some of our students have that same talent but sadly no facilities to realise their potential. Hide My Ass! has opened so many doors for our students, and with this donation, significantly changed many of their futures for the better.
Education for the Children welcomes the support of companies as their chosen Charity of the Year. Lizzie explained: “It’s an excellent way of engaging customers and inspiring employees, through demonstrating your company’s commitment to making a difference.”
If you are interested in supporting Education For the Children you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0115 9584876.