Changing Lives. One Text Message at a Time.

Funders + Partners

Souktel receives funding for research and development from several generous organizations, including:


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The Synergos Institute

For more than 20 years, The Synergos Institute has worked to address global poverty and social injustice by supporting and connecting local leaders so they can change the systems that keep people poor. In 2009, Souktelís Mohammad Kilany was chosen as one of 20 Synergos Arab World Innovators. Funding from this fellowship supports the scale-up of SMS JobMatch services in Palestine and other regional countries. Souktel is also grateful to receive pro bono strategic advising from Booz Allen & Co. as part of the Synergos program.


The King Abdullah Fund for Development – King Abdullah Award for Youth Innovation and Achievement

The King Abdullah II Fund for Development was established by a Royal Decree in 2001 as an NGO that provides underprivileged communities with new and innovative economic opportunities. In 2009, Souktel’s Lana Hijazi was the only Palestinian to win the fund’s prestigious Award for Youth Innovation and Achievement. Presented by HM King Abdullah II of Jordan at the World Economic Forum for the Middle East, the award now funds Souktel’s development of voice-based JobMatch services for low-literacy and blind communities.


More than 20 global aid agencies and local non-profits use Aidlink daily, including:

Education Development Center, Inc. – Darfur SMS News and Information Service

EDC is an international non-profit organization with more than 335 projects that enhance learning and promote health around the world. In Darfur and Southern Sudan, EDC uses Souktel’s AidLink software to send SMS breaking news updates to local communities, promote community radio broadcasts, and poll area residents on key issues.


Al-Jazeera Television/Ushahidi – SMS Citizen Journalism and Crisis Reporting in Gaza

The Arab World’s leading news network, Al-Jazeera is watched by millions of viewers each day. Ushahidi is a platform that allows anyone to gather distributed data via SMS, email or web and visualize it on a map or timeline. During the 2009 Gaza conflict, Souktel worked with both organizations to create a “citizen journalism” crisis reporting service that let Gaza residents text in eyewitness accounts of unfolding events. Once verified, the reports were posted on an al-Jazeera site with Ushahidi maps, and included in the TV network’s Gaza coverage.


Mercy Corps – Empowering Women Peace-Builders in Iraq through SMS Info Services

For 30 years, in the midst of economic collapse, armed conflict, and natural disasters, Mercy Corps has been helping millions of communities turn crises into opportunities for sustainable, positive change. Today, in Northern Iraq Mercy Corps uses Aidlink alerts and surveys to connect more than 150 leaders of regional women’s organizations—providing them with training and event updates, and helping them report project impact via SMS.


CHF International – Coordinating UN World Food Program Aid Delivery by SMS

In the 2009 Gaza conflict, US-based non-profit CHF International was the largest distributor of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) food aid in the Gaza Strip. To streamline aid distribution, CHF used AidLink to alert over 11,000 families about deliveries of emergency food baskets, cooking supplies, soap and shampoo.


UN-OCHA – SMS Human Rights and Security Alerts

The United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) is the arm of the UN responsible for coordinating international humanitarian aid delivery to communities in need. Since 2007, UN-OCHA has used Souktel’s AidLink platform to send SMS security and human rights violation alerts to more than 150 local and international aid agencies working in the West Bank and Jerusalem.


UNICEF – Building Open-Source Developer Skills Across the Middle East

The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, water and sanitation, basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. Recently, Unicef’s Innovations Team has led the development of RapidSMS, an open source mobile software platform that lets users collect, map, and analyze field data quickly. In 2010, Souktel began working with Unicef to train Middle East software developers on the RapidSMS platform, and build a regional open source community that can create Arabic RapidSMS tools for use across the Middle East.


World Vision – Life Skills Training for Youth in Gaza, via AidLink

Active in more than 100 countries across the globe, World Vision helps children, families, and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. In 2010, World Vision launched an “SMS quiz” and polling service that helps youth in its Gaza training programs test their life skills knowledge via mobile phone.


PlaNet Finance – Helping Microfinance Borrowers Get Loan Info by SMS.

Based in France, PlaNet Finance is a leading international NGO which aims to alleviate poverty through projects that increase the unbanked and underbanked’s access to financial services. In 2009, PlaNet Finance and its Palestinian partners launched an AidLink service that gives microloan borrowers automatic, custom SMS alerts about payment due dates, loan balances, and business development services.

Academy for Edcuational Development (AED) – Connecting Palestinian Youth Leaders

The Academy for Educational Development (AED) is a nonprofit organization working globally to improve education, health, civil society and economic development in more than 150 countries. In 2009, Souktel worked with AED to create a mobile version of the popular USAID-funded “Shebabgate” Palestinian Youth Web Portal. By making the portal’s training courses and volunteer opportunities available by SMS, Souktel and AED helped 2,000+ youth with low web access become more active leaders in their communities.

Wa’ad: The Palestinian Council for Dialogue, Development, and Democracy – Improving After-School Programs through AidLink

Since its start in 2005, Wa’ad has emerged as a leader in the field of youth-led community service: Its ‘Planting Seeds for a Better Future’ initiative saw 2,000 youth plant 78,000 tree saplings across the West Bank. Today, Wa’ad uses an AidLink SMS network to connect staff from 20 youth clubs in the rural areas around Ramallah, in a drive to improve after-school programming. In an area that has low web access, Wa’ad’s AidLink network is creating a strong “virtual community” where club staff can exchange news, program ideas and training information through SMS.


Souktel directly runs a nation-wide JobMatch service in Palestine, in cooperation with over 200 local employers. We also help organizations run their own JobMatch services in Morocco and East Africa. Current partners include:


Birzeit University/World Bank Group: Palestine JobMatch Service

In 2007, Souktel rolled out its first JobMatch service across Palestine, in partnership with Birzeit University and three other leading Palestinian colleges. Funded by the World Bank through late 2009, the Palestine JobMatch service now helps more than 6,000 young job-seekers connect with 200+ employers. In 2010 the service will expand to reach low-literacy youth at national technical colleges.

Education Development Center, Inc.: Somali JobMatch Service

In late 2008, Souktel launched its SMS JobMatch service in East Africa, as part of the USAID-funded Somaliland Youth Livelihoods Project. Delivered in partnership with non-profit Education Development Center (EDC) Inc., this new service will help 6,000 Somali job-seekers find work and training through their mobile phones.


Near East Foundation: Morocco Job Information Service

The Near East Foundation has been helping people in Africa and the Middle East find solutions to poverty and conflict for over 90 years. In late 2009, Souktel and NEF launched a Job Information Service that sends SMS updates about jobs and skill-building courses to 500 youth in low-income areas of Casablanca.




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