Annual Report 2008


ST Foundation’s focus was all on the Digital Unify program in 2008. Several new initiatives in the field have been launched and will take off at the beginning of 2009. Particular attention was given to the worldwide standardization of DU main features, i.e. gratuity, use of ICB curriculum, minimum commitment as to the number of trainees. Another milestone was pursued through the responsabilization of partners through the introduction of IT ethical rules. Moreover, logistic reorganization progressed through the use of a rigorous reporting procedure and the introduction of transparent project submission forms and through the careful analysis of existing projects’ weaknesses and difficulties in view of offering constant support for an overall improvement.

Support of deserving NGOs and organizations has once again been part of the Foundation’s effort this past year.

ST Foundation’s website content has been frequently adjourned and a brand new site with enriched material and pictures has been launched in 2008.

STMicroelectronics’s donation for the year, given the difficult market conditions, has been of 500’000 USD.

Report Summary

  • Digital Unify Program 2008 Results
  • 2008 donations
  • On the stocks

Digital Unify Program 2008 Results

ST Foundation donated over 750,000 USD for the Digital Unify program in 2008, with twelve countries contributing to program this year. Twenty-three new labs have been equipped as a result of 2008 activity. Of those, twelve are already operational, bringing the total number of running DU centers for the year at fifty. The remaining eleven are expected to be operational within the first part of 2009. Following 2008 approved projects, thirty-three new labs are to be equipped in 2009.

ST employees have volunteered increasingly for the ST Foundation. Volunteers have primarily been involved in the training of future DU trainers. In addition to that, they have contributed to the program by organizing ICB sessions for their families and for the communities around ST premises. In doing so, they have donated part of their working hours and free time to the cause of bridging the digital divide. Their working hours contribution (meetings, organizations of sessions, on site trips, training) can be estimated at around 4000 hours in 2008.

This year has witnessed the physiological slow down of a few countries, notably Morocco, due the obsolescence process of installed hardware with consequent malfunctioning and the draining of potential beneficiaries in some areas where the program has been active since 2003. These issues will be addressed in the upcoming year through the replacement of outdated material and the moving of labs to new locations. Moreover, increased figures are expected as an outcome of partnerships approved throughout 2008, which will be fully operational in 2009.

The total number of trainees since the starting of the Digital Unify program is 55,271.
1,329 trainers have been trained since 2003 (120 in 2008).

2008 donations

ST Foundation donations for deserving NGO was of around 163,000 USD in 2008:

  • 91,000 Euros have been donated to MLFM (Movimento per la Lotta contro la Fame nel Mondo), an NGO based in Lodi,Italy, for the launch of a telemedicine and distance learning project at Fomulac Hospital in Katana, Democratic Republic Congo . MLFM and METID (Metodologie e Tecniche Innovative per la Didattica), both already involved in several DU projects in Africa, will be STFoundation’s partners, together with AISPO (Associazione Italiana per la Solidarietá tra I Popoli) and the Archdiocese of Bukavu.
    The donation covers the creation of a Wi-fi net on the Fomulac Hospital premises, the set up of a computer lab for medical training purposes, the computer connection of different departments, the training of hospital staff trough ST Foundation’s Digital Unify Programand the set up of an e-learning platform and informatisation of medical records.
  • 37,000 USD have been donated to the Red Cross Society of China for the victims of the Sichuan earthquake that struck China on May, 12 2008
  • 5,000 USD have been donated in support of the UN Global Alliance for ICT and Develoment’s Global Innovation Forum for Education and Development, which took place in Yerevan, Armenia on October, 21-24 2008. In accordance with the indications given by GAID’s staff, ST Foundation’s support has been transferred to ATHGO, GAID’s co-organizer for the event. This donation was done in the context of the Foundation’s membership to the Global Alliance and as a contribution to its mission of creating an inclusive global forum and platform for cross-sectoral policy dialogue on the use of ICT for enhancing the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, notably reduction of poverty.
  • 5,000 USD have been donated to ICWE, the organizers of the eLearning Africa Conference taking place in Dakar, Senegal, on May 27-29, 2009. This pan-African conference on ICT for Development will be the Continent’s largest annual assembly of eLearning and education professionals from Africa and beyond. This donation is meant to be a contribution to its aim of building and expanding a worldwide network for people involved in all aspects of technology-enhanced education and training in Africa, including management and policymaking.

On the stocks

Bolivia and Rwanda’s new labs have been equipped and courses will start in the first quarter of 2009 as per ST Foundation’s Board’s approval of related projects last November. In order to allow smooth running of activities in Bolivia, translation of ICB and ICBF courses into Spanish have been performed by ST volunteers.

In addition, the Board of Directors has approved important expansions for the Digital Unify Program:

  • France, in cooperation with Caritas, Secours Catholique, Grenoble
  • Burundi, on our partner’s WITAR’s Liceo A. Rossi’s premises in Ngozi
  • Sierra Leone, for the equipment of four labs in partnership with the NGO Shine On Sierra Leone

These new projects will go hand in hand with reinforcement of ST Foundation’s existing initiatives in Cambodia, D.R. of Congo, Ethiopia, India, Italy, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, Nepal, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Thailand, Tunisia and Uganda. Moreover, the Foundation plans on pursuing in 2009 the introduction of new tools which will enable a more profitable and efficient management of projects, such as evaluation tools for follow up, multilingual version of the website and creation of an online forum in order to build a multi user platform to share experiences and tips on DU.