Fundación Cibervoluntarios (Cybervolunteers Foundation) is a atypical non-profit organization made up of social entrepreneurs whose vision is to use new technologies as a means for social innovation and citizen empowerment, alleviating this way social gaps i.e. we work to increase the rights, opportunities and capabilities of each person within their environment, through the social use of technological tools and applications within their reach. We started our workout in December 2001 and, after 3 years as an association, in 2005 we became a Foundation under the protectorate of the Ministry of Culture of the Spanish Government. We have been working for more than 12 years with a main goal: to empower people through the social use of ICTs.
To achieve this goal, the Foundation counts with the cybervolunteers. Curious, proactive persons willing to learn, with a passion for sharing and enthusiasm about ICTs, who offer part of their time and knowledge to teach other people the possibilities of the use of technology tools and applications to improve their lives in a simple and useful way. They do it through both online and onsite courses, lectures, workshops, events.
They direct their action to groups of people that may be excluded from information society based on gender, age, professional and social environment, lack of time, knowledge, skills, motivation and/or material or economic resources. They manage to adapt the use of technological applications to alleviate these social gaps at working, participation or health levels, among others. A challenge, 12 years of work that without going any further than last year received from the hands of the Prince and Princess of Asturias a recognition for “the creation of new forms of participation and social innovation in support of groups at risk of exclusion”, and the economic and social recognition of Google.org, for being one of 50 entities that are changing the world, the first and currently the only organization recognized with such merit in Spain (http://bit.ly/sM5CLM).
Foundation goals are:
1. To encourage the adoption and use of ICT by citizens, NGOs and institutions.
2. To promote a responsible and appropriate use of the contents, services, tools and access to Information Society and Knowledge.
3. To promote the creation, training and mobilization of a technological volunteer: the cybervolunteers.
4. To create a social conscience: to generate positive social and cultural attitudes towards the importance of New Technologies for the development and advancement of society.
5. To remove any barriers that prevent knowledge and use of new technologies, especially the physical, social and cultural ones.
6. To encourage participation through ICT and the responsible use of these tools among the youth
The Cybervolunteers are social change agents conscious of the power of new technologies to bring about this change and empower people. We use technologies from a social perspective and we contribute to eliminate other gaps through awareness, information and training (in classroom and on line) and satisfying the needs of each individual or social group which we work with. So our actions are highlighted by social innovation, by the use of new tools to solve old problems in a different way, because new technologies should not create more gaps, but to help eliminate existing ones.