Hajo van Beijma

Social Entrepreneur, Co-Founder TTC

Everyone has a right to high-quality information. But not everyone in the world is as easy to reach, especially in the developing countries. That is, until recently, because mobile technology has changed everything. Mobile subscriptions, totalling almost 7 billion worldwide in 2014, have become increasingly affordable and available to even the world’s poorest. Ready access to mobile networks is now available to more than 90 percent of the world’s population with almost 700 million mobile subscriptions in Africa, the world’s poorest continent.

Impressed by these numbers, Bas Hoefman and Hajo van Beijma realized the potential of mobile dispersion for spreading reliable information on HIV/AIDS throughout the African continent. Together they started Text to Change (TTC) and on 14 February 2008 they sent out their first interactive SMS campaign to create awareness around HIV/AIDS to 15,000 people in Uganda. The goal of the campaign was to get people tested. As a result of the mobile intervention, the number of people that were tested doubled.

Since then, TTC has implemented more than a hundred projects in 17 countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia; ranging from health, agriculture, education and even to economic development. In total, over 64 million text messages have been sent to date.

Before joining TTC, Hajo van Beijma had his own ICT company in Amsterdam. He now is a member of the World Economic Forum of Young Global Leaders Class of 2014. With Hoefman and a team of 30, Beijma has received numerous awards for TTC including a ranking in the FD Gazellen Netherlands list of the top 100 fastest growing organisations in the Netherlands.

Society, Culture, Activism, Technology, Netherlands PINC.16