Press Release - November 15, 2016 12:00PM EST

Equal Access International Wins 2016 Tech Award In The Microsoft Education Category

Award celebrates the "Best of the Best" Tech Award Laureates Using Technology to Benefit Humanity

- Equal Access International, an innovative non-profit creating positive social change for millions of underserved people across the developing world, today announced it is the recipient of the 2016 Tech Award in the Microsoft Education Category. The award recognizes Equal Access for its dramatic expansion and significant global impact since first being named a laureate in 2003. Equal Access will receive a $50,000 cash award at the Tech Awards Gala on November 17 to further its programs which reach more than 137 million people in 21 languages in nine countries across Asia and Africa.

Since its inception in 2000, The Tech Awards, sponsored by Applied Materials, Inc., are considered the "Oscars" of Silicon Valley. To mark the award's fifteenth anniversary, former laureates were invited to compete again in their respective categories with the judging committee selecting the "best of the best" Tech Award laureates who continue to address the world's most challenging problems.

"This award means so much to our worldwide staff across Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, and Pakistan, who leverage the power and reach of interactive media, innovative technology and community action to inspire the voices, stories, and movements driving positive change when our world needs it most," said Ronni Goldfarb, Equal Access President and CEO. "We are thrilled to be recognized for our work."

Dan'l Lewin, Corporate Vice President of Technology and Civic Engagement at Microsoft Corp, said, "It is an honor to further recognize Equal Access International for its life-changing work, which has successfully scaled beyond the initial 2003 program launch in Nepal. It has provided the ideal mix of innovative communications technology and direct community engagement to produce lasting education and social change that is beyond impressive."

Equal Access Programs and Impact Areas
Equal Access previously won the 2003 Tech Award in Education for providing life-changing education on women's and girls' empowerment and HIV/AIDS prevention to 10,400 Nepalese living in remote and marginalized regions of the country. Overcoming barriers of illiteracy and poor infrastructure, Equal Access launched a pioneering educational satellite radio platform/distribution system providing original, locally-produced programming to low-cost receivers in remote villages for the very first time. Today, Equal Access has replicated this model, expanding impact across nine countries in Asia and Africa where they implement large-scale country programs in six inter-related areas ranging from Youth Life Skills, to Women's and Girls' Empowerment to Peacebuilding and Civic Engagement.

Last year, more than 67 million people listened, viewed, participated and benefitted from Equal Access programming. And more than 102,000 people participated in community engagement activities.

Over the years, Equal Access has continued to develop new, innovative platforms to reach beneficiaries in ways they prefer, including mobile and online platforms and TV programs delivered via satellite, YouTube and mobile apps. Additionally, Equal Access provides annual organization metrics that demonstrate continued global impact, found at

About Equal Access International
Founded in 2000, Equal Access (EA) is an international non-profit organization dedicated to creating positive social change for millions of underserved people across the developing world by providing critically needed information and education. With award-winning expertise in communications for social change, EA combines innovative media programming with direct community engagement activities to inform, educate and inspire individuals and communities, providing them with the skills and tools they need to improve their lives. Dedicated to supporting locally-driven solutions and lasting positive change, EA has a lean headquarters staff of 20 in San Francisco, CA, and an international staff more than 200 worldwide -- more than 99% are host country nationals.

About the Microsoft Education Award
Microsoft is pleased to sponsor the Award for Education. We believe that people can do amazing things if they have the necessary tools and resources. Microsoft is committed to helping individuals, communities, and nations gain access to the technology and skills they need to realize their full potential in all aspects of life. The company is working to help make software more accessible and easier to use, to promote digital literacy, and to create global economic opportunity through technology. Microsoft (@microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

About The Tech Awards and the Tech Museum of Innovation
Key sponsors supporting The Tech Awards include Applied Materials, Intel, Microsoft, The Sobrato Organization, The Swanson Family, PayPal, Qatalyst Partners, Qualcomm, Adobe, NASDAQ Inc., Accenture, Bank of America, Ernst & Young, GoDaddy, KPMG and Charmaine and Dan Warmenhoven. The Tech Awards were launched in 2000.

The Tech is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum — located in the Capital of Silicon Valley — is a non-profit experiential learning resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing applied technologies affecting their lives. The Tech's mission is to inspire the innovator in everyone.

Media Contact
Leigh Anne Varney
Varney Business Communication

SOURCE Equal Access International

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