The Digital Unify is STMicroelectronics Foundation’s major program. It aims at spreading the benefits of digital technology, by providing free of cost both the technology as well as the basic training to those who have no knowledge of how to use a personal computer and access the internet.
Starting in 2003, DU projects have touched twenty countries: Bolivia, Burundi, Cambodia, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, France, India, Italy, Malaysia, Morocco, Malta, Nepal, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda.
The Digital Unify program has reached 176’443 beneficiaries as of Q4 2012.
It consists of the setting up of computer training centers (Labs), in collaboration with local partners such as schools, NGOs, local administrations and the like, and the spearheading of a free computer literacy course called Informatics and Computer Basics (ICB) created by ST employees. Labs are set up based on a Turn-key Lab Model which typically consists of 11 users, internet connection and, when needed, Photovoltaic System.
The material is to be delivered to the partner with detailed installation description. A contribution to the partner for running expenses is envisaged based on the number of trainees and courses held per project year.
The ICB course covers notions of hardware, software, file system and graphical user interface, personal productivity tools, and internet access, basic quality and security practices, and relevant rights and obligations. The ICB is currently available, free of royalties, in English, French, Khmer, Hindi, Italian, Spanish and Thai.
The course is cascaded to the local community through the Train the trainers program: volunteer ST trainers train staff or volunteers provided by the local partner, through the Informatics Computer Basics Facilitation (ICBF) course, and they in turn cascade the computer literacy course to the community.