Letter From the President
Access to computers, to the Internet and the ability to use technology effectively are becoming increasingly important for a full participation in any country’s economic, political and social life.
Nowadays Information and Communications Technology (ICT) tools are, as a matter of fact, precious elements that can simplify everybody’s life. People are using the Internet to find lower prices for goods and services, work from home or start their own business, acquire new skills using distance learning, make better informed decisions about their healthcare needs, communicate with friends who live aboard, just to name few examples.
Information and communication technologies are, therefore, more and more vital to assure a real social and economic development. They are somehow transforming society, improving our mutual understanding, eliminating power differentials, realizing a truly free and democratic world society.
Conscious of the social value of ICTs we want to do our best to fight the Digital Divide Phenomenon that we intend not only as a divide between people who have access to ICT and people who don’t. According to the STFoundation it’s also a divide between people who have knowledge of ICT and those who don’t, between people who realize the opportunities presented by ICT and those who don’t. In other terms it is an infrastructure gap, a knowledge gap, a psychological gap that becomes a barrier to an equal development.
Considering this situation we decided to do our best to increase the access to the equipment, knowhow and broadband connectivity across the world, with a specific focus on remote and disadvantaged countries and with it to contribute creating a more developed society.
To achieve this ambitious goal, the STFoundation, together with its partners and truly committed STMicroelectronics volunteers supporting its cause, has continued boosting its core activity, the so called Digital Unify Program, all along 2015 setting up informatics centers (DU labs), bringing internet connection to needy areas across the world and teaching informatics courses to disadvantaged people.
During the year the Program grew steadily reaching a total of 327.189 beneficiaries since the inception. Brazil and Germany became fully operational. Malaysia was added to the list of countries where we operate. In addition, the Foundation signed two Conventions of collaboration to add Ethiopia and Haiti to the intervention areas in the beginning of 2016.
In parallel the breaking news of the year has been for sure the creation of a new informatics course devoted to children from 9 to 14 years: The Tablet for Kids Course. With this new tool we can now tackle the digital divide phenomenon for younger generations, showing them how they can develop basic ICT skills having fun and experimenting new challenges.
It is for me exciting and gratifying to see the results of our work over the last year. Not only we continue increasing the activities both in our interventions areas and in new countries, presenting new projects but we are also working more effectively than ever with our partners to improve lives in the communities we serve.
I am proud of what the ST Foundation has accomplished so far and I’m honored to be part of the Foundation’s journey. As we continue to find innovative ways to respond to the world’s needs, we look forward to working closely with partners, volunteers and staff ready to share our mission. Together, we can make a difference now and for generations to come.