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Literacy – the First Step to Empowering Women

Heidy is 21 years old and lives in rural Guatemala. She is a mentor for Accent, our language learning program built by Microsoft Edge. Heidy wanted to be a doctor, but couldn’t afford to go to school. 


However, she completed her secondary school and has a certificate in teaching. So mentoring 18 women, who only speak their native language of Q’eqchi’, to help them learn to read and write Spanish is very exciting because it’s a way to help them accomplish their goals.

Extreme poverty is multidimensional and measured beyond income. Education is one way to measure extreme poverty. In developing countries, when a mother is literate, there is an 80% probability that her children will be sent to and say in primary school for at least six years.

We’ve partnered with Microsoft Edge to create a digital literacy platform called Accent that will help women in remote Guatemala gain access to their country’s economy, government, culture, and language. Because of Microsoft’s history and dedication to increasing access to technology, the opportunity to partner with Microsoft Edge in developing technology to benefit women in rural Guatemala is very exciting.

“After the women take this course, they will be able to run businesses and participate in their local government and the community will have confidence in their ability because they have an education. They are very excited about this opportunity,” said Heidy.

Heidy understands that being literate in the national language of Guatemala is the first step to empowering women to participate in their local economy, government, and to ensuring educational opportunities for their children.  

Learn more about Accent and how you can help it grow!


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