Most early Telecentres started with a modest goal: Giving people a chance to access and learn about technology, a telephone, a photocopier, a computer, the Internet.Yet Telecentres have evolved. It’s no longer just about access and basic digital skills. Today’s Telecentres have become important community and learning facilities, where ideas are transform into projects, services and solutions. Today, telecentres range from modest training locations to advance centers of innovation and entrepreneurship.
TCF traces its beginnings to a global program called telecentre.org, which was launched by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada, in collaboration with Microsoft and the Swiss Agency for Development, during the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunisia in 2005.
The Telecentre.org program aimed at improving the capacity and sustainability of telecentres around the world by training and supporting people in organizations that work directly with local telecentres. With the help of partner organizations, telecentre.org promoted the creation and sharing of content, services, technical expertise and innovations designed to strengthen and expand the telecentre system across the globe, including the establishment of five Regional Telecentre Networks
Five years later in 2010, in keeping with IDRC’s approach of transferring programs that have reached a sufficient stage of maturity to function on their own, telecentre.org was transferred to its new home in the Philippines, and came to be known as Telecentre.org Foundation, a duly-registered independent, international nonprofit organization.
Today, it simply goes by the name Telecentre Foundation or TCF, with San Francisco, California as its new headquarters. Since its early days, TCF has been instrumental in the establishment, promotion, and sustainable growth of a worldwide movement of thousands of organizations managing telecentres, libraries, community information centers, computer labs, and many other public access models that provide critical ICT and Internet services daily for more than one billion people.