Annual Report 2013

ST Foundation presents the 2013 Annual Report (PDF)


In 2013 ST Foundation emphasized its attention in maximizing the efficacy and efficiency of its key program, the Digital Unify, which has the goal to help bridge the digital divide: the gap between those who have access, and those who do not, to modern digital technologies. The Digital Unify offered free computer access and training to over 218’729 beneficiaries since its inception and as of 2013.

2013 Milestones and Report Summary:

  • Nomination of a new Board Member
  • Update on DU
  • The axis of DU strategy: South-Saharan Africa and ST countries
  • Local Representatives
  • ST Foundation reporting
  • New training material: ICB manuals.
  • Finalization of the Microsoft License request
  • ST Foundation’s expansion activity
  • DU pictures
  • Nomination of a new Board Member

On March, 26 2013 ST Foundation’s Board members met in order to review the development of the Program. In addition, they approve the participation of a new member. Board members and ST Foundation’s staff have warmly welcomed Mr. Renato Sirtori onboard the Foundation to give a great contribution to the cause of the Digital Unify.

  • Update on DU.  2013 was a year of major achievements:

30 DU Labs installed according to the “Model  Lab” concept in Sierra Leone, Senegal, Congo and Burundi; China and the Philippines were added to the list of countries where we are present; since the inception of the program we trained 218’729 trainees.

Digital Unify Program: 218’729  Trainees since 2003

Digital Unify Program: 218’729 Trainees since 2003

In 2013 the trainee breakdown by country is shown below

In 2013 the trainee breakdown by country is shown below

DU strategy’s areas of expansion: South-Saharan Africa and ST countries

The expansion’ strategy of ST Foundation, approved by the board members in 2012, and based on the two axis of targeting countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and at the same time, of strongly refreshing ST Foundation’s activities in ST countries, was fully implemented during 2013.

In fact the DU program was strongly boosted in Burundi, Congo, Senegal and Sierra Leone (surly among the most needy countries of the world) on one side. And on the other the Foundation reinforced its presence in  ST countries, becoming fully operational in the Philippines, China and setting up the first base to start the activity in Brazil.

  • Local representatives

In order to facilitate the program expansion and the monitoring of the on-going ST Foundation activities, in the key areas of intervention, a specific ST Foundation representative was appointed with the role to overview, monitor and report to the Board how the local activities are running and evolving in their respective area of competence. The following attributions were proposed and approved by the Board:

Responsible for Morocco: Patrice Chastagner (Board member)

Responsible for Equatorial Africa: Mauro Decca (Board member)

Responsible for Far East Asia: Renato Sirtori (Board member)

Responsible for the Americas: Ruben Sonnino (volunteer)

Representative for Senegal: Tafsir Diop (ST Agrate employee)

Representative for Sierra Leone: Enrico Riva (ST Agrate employee)

  • ST Foundation reporting

The Foundation worked hard in 2013 in order to review the reporting tools used to control the progress of the activity and the transparency of the accounting among the partners.

For this reason the Foundation finalized a new version of quarterly reporting files. The different countries have to collect the data per course and then to consolidate them with the support of the provided tools. This approach will facilitate the data collection and the benchmark among countries.

Moreover the Foundation, at the end of Q3, has focused its attention to the accounting procedure used by the different partners. A standardized procedure and tools was implemented with the partners to present all the

expenses of the quarter in a consistent way that can facilitate the evaluation of the efficacy of the funds management.

  • New training material: ICB manuals.

In 2012 the training material of the Foundation was totally renewed, with the support of an educational techniques expert in developing countries, to be more adequate to the local needs. After having been tested in Africa in Q1 and Q2 2013, and on the base of the good feedback received, the ICB manuals have also been translated and implemented in non-African countries. The new training material is now available in Portuguese, Chinese and Spanish.

Together with the renewal of the Manuals the Foundation has also started working on a database, directly linked to its website, to collect all the training materials that might be useful to the staff and trainers to organize the courses. Together with the manuals, in all the languages of the countries of intervention, also the quarterly reports and the tests will be available to be downloaded. The tool will be finalized by the end of Q1 2014.

  • Finalization of the Microsoft License request

During the month of December the Foundation was able to finalize the process to get the Microsoft Licenses needed to boost the program in the different countries of intervention. We received from the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center 600 Office professional plus 2013 and 300 Windows 8.1. licenses.

This will allow the Foundation to align the different countries of intervention with the new training material that has been prepared.

  • ST Foundation’s expansion activity

In February Mauro Decca, board member of the Foundation, planned a mission to Burundi and Congo to coordinate the set-up of new labs. During his stay in Burundi he formalized the Agreement with the Bureau National Enseignement Catholique through which the Foundation signed an MOU to install 10 labs in public schools. Moreover the contract (as a consultant) of the Burundi representative René-Michel Munyembari, who is now fully dedicated to the D.U. program implementation, was renewed. In Congo he supported the organization of  the “train the trainers” course to meet the needs of the country and he introduced the new training material.

In April Mauro Decca, together with Giovanna Bottani, visited Morocco to celebrate the 10 years of ST Foundation presence in the country and the good performance of the program. They participated to a ceremony, organized in Rabat, to sign a new framework agreement with the Ministry of interior for the set-up of 12 labs in the coming 3 years.

In April Pietro Fox together with Enrico Riva and Tafsir Diop, visited Senegal to: review the cooperation with the first partner in the country (Agence nationale pour l’emploi des jeunes), improve the efficiency and the outcomes of the program, and initiate a collaboration with a new promising organization (Centre National d’Information et Documentation Jeunesse). During the visit five labs were set-up. The first two with CNID and the other three with ANEJ. Moreover an ICBF Training course was organized for 50 trainers.

In May Pietro Fox, together with Enrico Riva organized a mission to Sierra Leone to review the cooperation with the local partner (Shine on Sierra Leone) and to visit new locations to set up future labs with the scope of enhancing the DU program in the area. During the visit 3 new labs were set-up. Moreover an ICBF Training course was organized at St. Josephs School.

In August Mauro Decca visited Bolivia to review the ongoing activity. As outcome of the mission it was decided to close the three DU labs set up with the local partner and to sign a new agreement with VIS-PDB (Don Bosco) in Santa Cruz.

In August Pietro Fox visited Burundi to set up a new DU Lab with a photovoltaic system and a satellite antenna for internet connection. The lab is located in the Parish of Bugwna, run by the Xaverian Missionaries, and covers the municipality of Gitobe which is part of the province of Kirundo. This was officially dedicated to Carlo Ottaviani and a ceremony was be organized in November.

In October Patrice Chastagner, Mauro Decca and Giovanna Bottani visited Morocco to: analyze the ongoing  activities with the new country responsible: Patrice Chastagner; to meet Najat Zarrouk to review the ongoing partnership with the Ministry of Interior; to attend the opening day of the ICBF course in Rabat, organized for 24 trainers on the new manual that will be implemented  at the beginning of 2014, and to visit 5 DU centers (Wilaya of Rabat;  Commune of Rabat;  ENSAM in Meknes; Elhajeb and Arzou).

In October Renato Sirtori, visited India in order to: audit 5 DU labs (Kailash Charitable trust; DU Lab at ST-India; Rashtriya Inter College; Arya Inter College; Public Inter College); inaugurate a new DU centre at BSSS, Alwar in a small town catering to in-house senior secondary school children and youths staying in nearby hostels;  evaluate the current activity and new possible partners in order to boost the efficacy of the DU Program in the country; present the new ICB Manual that will be implemented in 2014. Renato Sirtori extended his mission to the Philippines too, to set up the base for the cooperation with Antipolo Community.

In November the Foundation officially began its activity in China. The ICBF training was launched between the 26th and 28th November 2013 with the help of the Indian DU Team coordinated by Chhavi Bajpai and Kamal Deep Jain, at the ST site in Shenzhen. This will allow the progress of the program during 2014.

In November Mauro Decca organized a mission to Congo and Burundi with the key objectives of: visiting 9 new labs ST Foundation set up in Congo checking their status;  meeting new potential partners to spread up the  program in Burundi; and inaugurating, on the 27th of November, the Bugwana center to the memory of Carlo Emanuele Ottaviani, former president of ST Foundation. Mauro Decca and Tjerk Hooghiemstra were present to the event as representatives of the Foundation together with the following local authorities: Monsignor Protais Nkubikiye (Muyinga bishop), Emmanuel Ndmeye (Senator of the Republic), Sylvestre Ndibanje (representing the governor of the region), Bonaventure Ndizeye (representing the municipality).

In December an ICBF course was organized in Morocco too. More in detail as it was decided to update the training material used in the country, presenting the new version of the ICB Manual and of the reporting system, on the 29th– 31st of December a specific course took place in Benguerir for all the trainers of the Foundation.

This event was extremely useful and welcomed by the participants, who had the chance to share ideas and challenges learning the updated version of the ICB manual.


  • DU pictures