Annual Report 2019


Along 2019 the major scopes of the ST Foundation were: 1) increase the efficacy and the professionalism of the DU Program to respond to an evolving international context; 2) strengthen the attention of the organization towards underprivileged population in all intervention countries.

The Digital Unify Program offered free computer access and training to 729’865 beneficiaries since its inception and as of December 2019.

2019 Milestones and Report Summary:

  • Change in the Board
  • Update on DU activities
  • Finalization of two new Educational Paths
  • New expansion strategy
  • The ST Foundation communication activity
  • Fundraising Activity
  • ST Foundation India
  • ST Foundation Morocco
  • Launch of the Tablet for Kids in Malaysia
  • Online data reporting system
  • ST Foundation’s expansion activity
  • DU pictures

Change in the Board and in the organizational structure
On March 28, 2019 the ST Foundation Board elected Patrice Chastagner as the new President. The Board members and the ST Foundation’s staff sincerely expressed their gratitude to Mr. Fox for his commitment to the Foundation and welcomed Mr. Chastagner in his new role. On September 24, 2019 two new Directors were appointed to help the Foundation cope with the growing activities and projects. Patrick Dureault and Pietro Palella were invited to join the organization.

In parallel with the changes in the Board of Directors, the Foundation finalized a revision of the organization where the following functions were clearly defined:

  1. Geographical areas: managed by either Board members or ST volunteers, formally appointed by the president.
  2. Operations activities: managed by an external consultant with the support of ST volunteers for specific activities like accounting, logistics and web designing.

Central missions: mostly related to the update and development of the educational material, managed by ST volunteers and Board Members.

Organizational Chart of the ST Foundation as of December 31, 2019

  • Update on DU Activities

2019 represents a positive year for the ST Foundation. The slight decrease of the activities was globally planned and was due to two major reasons: 1) closure of the majority of the labs in Congo DR; 2) creation of ST Foundation India that brought with it a revision of the ongoing partnerships.  The implementation of the model lab concept in the areas of intervention helped the organization reaching two important objectives: 729’865 trainees were reached since the inception of the program, and 109,025 students took part in the ICB and Tablet for Kids classes only in 2019.

In 2019, the trainee breakdown by country is shown below:

Along the year two new educational offers were finalized with the scope of replying to new needs encountered in the implementation of the DU Program:

  1. Tablet for Seniors Course realized in close collaboration with a Swiss organization it has the scope of replying to the arising need of the elderly of using IT tools. The project has been designed having in mind the rapidly aging population of European countries that is called upon to adapt to new technology and the demands of modern society. The course will be divided into a first set of five classes of two hours each where the participants will experiment basic activities with tablets link surfing the Internet, taking photos and shooting videos etc.; these basic competencies will then be completed with more advanced activities like organizing trips, using customized apps for the organizations of the day to day activities. The first pilot projects of the T4S course will be organized next year after the identification of committed partners.
  2. ICB for visually impaired people, the course has been developed to complete the already existing activities in Sierra Leone which is of one of the least developed countries of the world. The Foundation started operating there in 2009 reaching remarkable results helping more than 146,000 people become e-literate. Being present as a privileged observer, soon the organization realized that the country was totally lacking infrastructures and good education systems with a situation that becomes worse for visual impaired people. For this reason, it was decided to translate the already existing courses into a format that could be customized for the weakest audiences: disabled people. The pilot run was launched in October 2019 with an ad hoc field mission. The final result achieved with the support of Sustain for Life, English nonprofit organization that supported most of the costs, and Dr. Bernareggi from the University of Milan was the creation of a 48-hour course tailor-made for visually impaired people. The course has 24 lessons of two hours each and is made of six modules to learn how to type with 10 fingers, write Word documents and save them, use a browser to look for information on the net, create and fully manage an email account and create Excel sheets. The course will be available to be implemented in Sierra Leone and wherever the Foundation will find good conditions to further cascade it in the coming months.
  • Strategic orientations

2019 was a fruitful year for many aspects and we can acknowledge the strong commitment of the Board of Directors to review the strategic priorities in terms of interventions areas, partnerships and new learning paths. More in details:

  1. Country coverage, the Foundation decided to strengthen its presence in ST countries looking more for needy populations rather than needy countries while maintaining the current level of activities in non-ST areas. In Europe a particular priority is given to improve the activity in Italy and France; in North Africa further development will be pursued; in Africa the activities will be stabilized; and in Asia a strong development is envisaged; and Americas are not a priority for the time being.
  2. Partnerships – the partnership model has been confirmed to be a prerequisite to start any operation. Its interpretation has been enlarged in order to create customised agreements contributions, and durations. In order to allow this approach a new Partnership Agreement template has been introduced.
  3. Countries and services – the two pillars of the organisations still remain the ICB course and the T4K. In parallel in order to reply to new needs of very specific beneficiaries it was decided to develop new learning paths like the Tablet for seniors and the ICB for visually impaired people.
  • The ST Foundation communication activity

The ST Foundation and the ST Corporate External Communication team continued to collaborate also in 2019. Thanks to their precious help the 2018 Annual Report was prepared and distributed to ST Foundation key stakeholders, giving them specific insights on the key moments that characterized the activities along the year.  In close cooperation with the ST Volunteers (Italy) and the ST Site of Agrate Brianza the fourth edition of the Energy Run was organized in the Aldo Moro Park on September 22. It has showed a renewed and enriched “look” compared to previous years, allowing over 1,000 registered participants, including children and adults, to give their best to reach the finish line dirty and happy.  The Foundation welcomed the ST teams, composed of ST employees of Agrate site, which contributed to animate the run. Thanks to the good participation of public and sponsors the Foundation collected extra funds to support the ongoing activities in Italy and its intervention areas

  • Fundraising Activities

2019 can be considered as a positive year in terms of partnership initiated and supported by external partners. Two major projects have to be highlighted:

  1. The AICS project has finally entered in the operational phase and the Foundation with the 27,958 euros received from this institutional donor set up during Q3 and Q4 three new informatics hubs in Senegal and Guinea Bissau. The key target of this three-year project is to contribute to the limitation of the migration phenomenon in the Senegalese-Guinean corridor among the regions of Kolda (Senegal) and Gabu (Guinea Bissau).
  2. The ICBVI project was developed and tested in Q3 and Q4 with the precious support of the English organization Sustain for Life, that donated 13,993 euros to bear part of project’s activities.
  • ST Foundation India

In March 2018, the Section 8 Company, ST Foundation India, was officially registered and have become fully operational in 2019 being inspired by the following vision: “Bridging the Digital Divide. We will be a nation where at least one person per household will be empowered with basic digital literacy skills and to work as a leading NGO working on reducing Digital Divide throughout the world”.  Along 2019, directed by this guideline ST Foundation India finalized the transition of all the projects formerly carried out by the liaison office and was able to guarantee a good transition of all the activities and running programs. This very specific moment was also taken to review all the existing collaborations terminating those ones that were no longer in line with the expectations.

  • Fondation ST pour le Maroc

In February the procedure to establish Fondation ST pour le Maroc under the form of declared association has been completed. Accordingly, the new association started all the needed procedures to become fully operational under the guidance of the new board consisting of Pietro Fox, President, Patrice Chastagner, Treasurer, and Ilham El Gaf. Alessandro Orsucci appointed as secretary.

All the activities will be gradually managed by the new organization staring from January 2020.

  • Launch of the Tablet 4 Kids in Malaysia

With the support of the representatives of the ST Foundation India and of the ST volunteers of Muar, the T4K course was made available also in Malaysia and proposed totally free of charge to interested partners. The local ST volunteers first helped the Foundation to customize the training material to the local context and needs so that the course could be really efficient and tailored to kids’ culture. As a second step, on October 9 for 3 days, a train the trainer course was organized under the guidance of Kamal Deep Jain and Bhavesh Upadhay. It was attended by 21 participants that, from now on, will further cascade it to the kids. The operational phase will be kicked of early next year in the local schools.

  • ST Foundation ‘summer camps in Morocco

For the third year in a row, ST Foundation begins the season of summer camps 2019 in Morocco.  In collaboration with its various partners, mainly the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the city of Casablanca and other associative partners, ST Foundation offers ICB courses as free of charge educational activity to children participating to summer camps. Once again, the program continued its development by increasing the number of labs from 11 in 2018 to 21 labs in 2019, in different regions of Morocco training over 7,600 children. In this context, the Foundation is pleased to welcome the OCP Group as a new partner.

  • Online data reporting system.

The ST Foundation monitors its activities using a real-time reporting system that was designed by Davide Brambilla, ST volunteer who preciously supported us for over 4 years. Along 2019 the task was given to an external supplier since the activity has become too demanding.

Courses organized and students trained during 2019


With the same tool, the organization we can collect personal data of the beneficiaries attending the courses and therefore understand the coming trends and specific needs of the different publics.

Example of statistics showing the age of the participants together with the occupation and level of education

At the end of the ICB classes students are asked to take a test and reply to dedicated questionnaire designed to monitor the impact the course is having on their habits. The results are remarkable:

  • 91% of students would cascade what they have learned to family and friends;
  • 90% of students would suggest to their friends to attend the course;
  • 69% of the students are comfortable to use a PC after having attended the course;
  • 65% of the students are no longer hesitating in performing different activities with a computer.

Students, who before joining the ST Foundation ICB courses were mainly illiterate from an informatics point of view, at the end of this educational path use independently computers mainly to: surf the Internet (75%), communicate with friends and use social media (70%), write documents (67%), doing easy calculations (66%) and read emails (64%). It is also interesting the fact that 53% of our respondents are using the ICB competences to look for a job.

Table 1 Replies to the question “Currently do you use computer for?” showing the World Wide overview on the impact of the ICB Course

Not at all Little Moderate Very much Total
Downloading articles 21% 30% 34% 14% 100%
Looking for a job 21% 25% 36% 17% 100%
Reading e-journals 16% 28% 37% 19% 100%
Write a resume 17% 24% 36% 23% 100%
Write a document 10% 23% 39% 28% 100%
Reading emails 13% 24% 33% 30% 100%
Communicate/chatting with friends/social media 9% 21% 34% 36% 100%
Easy Calculations 10% 24% 33% 33% 100%
Internet 7% 18% 32% 42% 100%


Not at all Little Moderate Very much Total
I hesitate to use a computers for fear of making mistakesthat I cannot correct 38% 27% 24% 11% 100%
I feel comfortable to use computers 11% 20% 37% 32% 100%


Yes No
Have you shown to your family and/or friends what you learned? 91% 9% 100%
Would you suggest the course to your friends? 90% 10% 100%

ST Foundation’s expansion activity

  • DU Pictures

Enrico Riva visited Sierra Leone on January 21st for a two-weeks missions for different purposes. He met the Minister of Trade, Peter Konteh, who put the Foundation in contact with the Minister of Education and the Minister of Information and Communication. These connections were helpful to improve importing procedures. Moreover, the Foundation investigated possible collaborations with UNICEF in the country.

Renato Sirtori and Giovanna Bottani organized a week mission to the Philippines and Malaysia to accomplish different objectives. In the visit, to both the ST plants of Calamba and Muar, Renato and Giovanna presented to the management the worldwide activities of the Foundation while giving an overview on the local communities that are currently supporting the DU Program in different countries. In parallel ad hoc meetings were organized with the volunteers to evaluate how to boost activities in the premises of both plants. In Calamba on February 18 a Town Meeting was organized to present a call to action for new volunteers. The day after Renato, Giovanna and ST volunteers were all invited to a ceremony at the Jose Rizal Primary School to celebrate the over 1,000 kids trained with the T4K program in less than 6 months and to meet the Department of the Education of Calamba to extend the T4K to other 6 schools with the added value of having the course embedded in the school curriculum. On February 21 in Muar the ST Foundation representatives together with ST volunteers took part to a small ceremony at Kampung Baru Lenga Primary School to donate 4 laptops.

Mauro Decca organized a 10-day mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi to achieve the common goal to audit and optimizing the activities performed in the two countries. Following this principle, it was decided to activate a roadmap to close those centers where the Foundation has been active for many years and almost all the possible beneficiaries were reached.  It was also decided for the Democratic Republic of Congo to maintain active those centers located in the Uvira area that are managed through the support of our local partner in Burundi.

Patrice Chastagner visited Morocco for a week mission to meet key potential partners of the Foundation to boost the local activity in the near future while verifying the status of the new local Association which is now ready to operate.  The key achievements of his mission were:

  1. Participation at the official kick-off of the activity in Jamal Eddine Afghani public school of Kenitra, inaugurating the class together with the representative of Education Nationale. The ceremony was broadcasted on the Moroccan national TV channel and on other written press. The event became an excellent opportunity to communicate and promote the Foundation’s activities and especially the new program DU4K;
  2. Signature of a new collaboration with Fondation Orient Occident as a first step for possible opportunity of future cooperation with the Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP) which is an influential organization in the country;
  3. Launch a new collaboration with Soleterre, Italian Foundation active also in Morocco, with the signature of a MOU to start a first lab in Rabat for the benefit of needing communities, including young entrepreneurs and immigrants;
  4. organization of a meeting with Fabrice Gomez and Ilham El Gaf to underline the importance of the ongoing collaboration with the ST site of Bouskoura. On June 11 Pietro Fox and Mauro Decca visited Senegal for a 5-day mission. The main scope of the visit was to pass the baton of the responsibility of the country from Mauro Decca to Pietro Fox. In parallel it was carried out an audit of all centers’ the performance. As a result, it was decided to close 5 computer hubs, not working satisfactorily, recovering the material for opening possible new centers.

On September 27, Cristian Bernareggi and Enrico Riva visited Sierra Leone for a one-week mission to launch the pilot run of the ICB for visually impaired in the Milton Margai School for the Blind located in Freetown. The key scope of the mission was to give a “train the trainer” course to the teachers of the school, with the precious support of Dr. Bernareggi, specialist for University of Milan in developing ad hoc training tools for blind, who adapted the ICB course to the needs of visually impaired people. The pilot run of the course was started with a first group of 10 students. Two trainers, among the most promising participants of the “train the trainer” course, were selected to continue the course independently. The pilot phase will end in Q1 2020 and it will give the possibility to officially add this educational option to the DU Program.

On December 2nd, Pietro Fox planned a week mission to Senegal to achieve several objectives. First of all, he organized a meeting with Concept, the local partner through which the Foundation works locally to evaluate the state of the collaboration. He visited several centers to audit the running activities and met the majors of the Grand Dakar area, that could contribute to the expansion of the Tablet for Kids course bearing part of the organizational costs.

Picture 1.Renato visiting
the Philippines

Picture 2. Patrice visting Morocco inaugurates
Jamal Eddine Afghani DU4Kids labs in Kenitra

Picture 3. Pietro, Enrico and Cristian during
the pilot run of the ICBVI in Sierra Leone

Picture 4. Pietro visiting
“College prive Madieye Sall” in Senegal