Francesco Rulli, President of MTI USA inc, founder of bitLanders, Film Annex and Women's Annex Foundation recently wrote a blog, entitled: "Thanksgiving from Afghanistan, with Roya Mahboob, Sheryl Sandberg, Biz Stone, Craig Newmark and 55,000 Afghan Girls". I first asked him about how hard it was to create 13 classrooms and connect 55,000 Afghan girls to the world wide web. Here is the link for this first question of the interview: Francesco Rulli's Gift Of Digital Literacy For Afghan Girls, Interview by Matthew Gudwin.
Here below is the second question I was able to ask him. Enjoy!
Matthew: Can you give details or elaborate on future plans with helping these afghan girls, specifically your Superhero project and how it originally came about?
Francesco: Every person in today's World can be a mentor, inspiration, supporter and possibly a Superhero; thanks to the World Wide Web we can all make a difference without geographical limitations and at a minimum cost and risk.
I am a believer in the Spiderman motto "With power comes responsibility"; this is why three years ago I decided to put my experience in Digital Media at good use and I contacted Roya Mahboob; following her advise, Roya and I partnered for the construction of 13 Internet Classrooms to connect 55,000 female students in Afghanistan. Thanks to this great project we found confirmation that Digital Literacy is the most efficient solution to provide Educational and Vocational training to girls and women in developing countries like Afghanistan. Together we created Women's Annex Foundation, a non for profit organization with the mission to support Women's Digital Literacy, Sustainability and Community Building. For the last three years Ms. Roya Mahboob educated me on the Afghan Culture and helped me to understand how to best utilize my knowledge for this good deed.
I am originally from Italy and my home town is Florence, the capital of The Renaissance. My heroes have always been people like Cosimo De' Medici, Lorenzo il Magnifico, Leornado da Vinci, Dante Alighieri and Michelangelo Buonarroti; but I am also aware that most countries, outside of the USA, do not have their own native Superheroes, and just like Spiderman, most Superheroes are part of the Western entertainment industry; this is a huge hurdle to motivate young people from other countries and cultures to find inspiration. I saw the lack of Superheroes in developing countries like Afghanistan as an opportunity not a problem, this is why a year ago I decided to initiate and sponsor the Superhero Project. Starting from Afghanistan where young girls can brainstorm, create and promote their own Superheroes and find new inspirations.
Today's Superheroes can travel the limitless frontiers of the World Wide Web and make a big difference in the lives of Billions of young people, especially those that suffer the consequences of war, discrimination, poverty and lack of education.
Here below one of my favorite drawings; by Parigol 12th grade from Hoze Karbas High school, Herat, Western Afghanistan:
Please stay tuned for my next question and Francesco's response. Here is a short video also elaborating on the Superhero project in Afghanistan:
Please visit Women's Annex Foundation for more information or to express your support to this admirable philanthropic initiative: Women's Digital Literacy, Sustainability and Community Building.