With a network of around 775+ Fellows from 96 countries specializing in a diverse array of professional fields, many Atlas Corps Alumni and current Fellows are making inspiring progress with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is time to celebrate the achievements of our amazing network and share advice on how we can all do our part to protect and support each other.
Today we want to talk with our Palestinian Fellow Karam (Class 36, Host: Microsoft) who is providing internet access in rural communities worldwide with his Host Organization Microsoft’s Airband Initiative. According to ITU, around 49% of the world’s population lacked internet access in 2019, making Karam’s work especially important. In an increasingly digital world, the internet is key for unlocking a plethora of opportunities.
Thank you, Karam, for everything that you do to create a better future and ensure the connectivity of people across the world. We wish you all the best with this impactful work!
Name: Karam Yaaqba
Home Country: Palestinian Fellow
Host Organization: Microsoft
Role at Host Organization: Cloud Solution Architect Fellow
Social Issues that you have worked with: Education, Innovation, and Infrastructure
Tell us about your current projects?
I work specifically with Airband, a Microsoft initiative which provides broadband internet to rural areas in the US and the world at large. Some collaborations that I’m really proud of are with AirJaldi and eKitabu. With AirJaldi, I helped to build a better network in rural parts of India and provide internet access. Thanks to this work, people who did not have access to the internet before now do, creating new opportunities for them. Additionally, I worked with eKitabu to provide free e-books to people in Africa, building a software to track devices and report missing ones and using different tools to optimize server deployment.
Why is it important for you to work with these social issues?
The Internet is not a luxury anymore; it is a necessity. People with no internet or slow internet are at a disadvantage in life. The internet opens several doors by providing access to new people, books, subjects to learn, markets and all the information the world holds. Seeing how the internet can change a life gives me the motivation to keep helping people gain access to the internet.
How has Atlas Corps contributed to your professional/ personal accomplishments?
I’m very grateful to Atlas Corps for the opportunity to work with Microsoft, a leading technology company. During my Fellowship, I have learned a lot from my supervisor, my team members, and my colleagues. I increased my technical skills by learning about new technologies and how to use them properly.
Additionally, my experience in Microsoft has helped me to develop solid communication skills. Atlas Corps expanded my network by introducing me to the range of young leaders from around the world with different skills and mindsets who make up the Atlas Corps Family. I will forever be thankful to Atlas Corps for all of the amazing opportunities that this Fellowship has given me.
What message would you like to send to individuals who are thinking of supporting Atlas Corps?
Changes usually start with one person; Atlas Corps gives young leaders the tools to start their journey to change their small world and go from there to change the world at large. Your support is essential to helping these young leaders on their journey.
Atlas Corps Fellows continue to serve in the U.S. and remote, and we reaffirm our commitment to building a network of global leaders, even- and especially- in these times. We need your help to overcome the operational challenges that Atlas Corps faces so we can continue our critical work of training the social change leaders that this world urgently needs. As a special initiative, donations of $100+ will be matched! Will you support our Fellows?