STMicroelectronics Foundation’s 2022 Activity Report
ST Foundation’s 2022 major projects and goals were:
- develop a new course on computational thinking to give a contribution to the emerging issue of digital education poverty that emerged with the pandemic;
- restart existing programs, wherever possible going back to pre-Covid 19 paces, and;
- focus on the elderly population by testing of two new courses explicitly dedicated to them.
As of December 2022, the Digital Unify Program’s standard activities have reached 972,081 beneficiaries since its inception.
2022 Milestones and Report Summary:
- Update on Standard DU Programs
- Insights on ST Foundation India activities
- Insights on ST Foundation Morocco activities
- “Society‘s Digitalization” Program: Focus on Italy and France
- Coding & Learning
- Core Course Update
- Tablet For Senior cascading in Italy
- Launch of the Introduction to Computer Basics Course for Visually impaired people in Senegal.
- The ST Foundation Communication Activity
- The Online Data Reporting System
- Policies and Procedures
- DU Pictures
1. Update on Standard DU Programs
COVID-19 has aggravated the existing disparities connected to digital exclusion and brought revived awareness of the digital divide issue and the need to fight against it. With much of the world quickly turning, for over two years, to study, work, communicate, and even have fun online, people who did not have the right competencies and tools to stay connected increasingly find themselves left behind. And this condition was true for every angle of the planet, both for developed and developing countries, showing hidden fragilities that could hardly be imagined before the pandemic.
In such a complex situation, the Foundation confirmed its efforts in giving its contribution to providing precise replies to the “old” and “emerging” digital divides, demonstrating its attention on:
- Restarting the standard Digital Unify Activities wherever possible.
- Supporting the groups of beneficiaries that were hit the most by Covid 19 impact, and more in detail, the elderly and the school systems.
After two years of repeated lockdowns and DU labs’ closures, in 2022, slowly but steadily, the DU courses resumed in every country. Throughout the year, we can count thirteen operational countries in more detail: Brazil, Burundi, China, Congo DR, Guinea Bissau, France, Haiti, India, Italy, Morocco, the Philippines, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. Through the standard courses, such as the ICB (Introduction to Computer Basics), the Advanced, and the Tablet for Kids courses, the organization wanted to reach marginalized communities and help them go back to normal. The classes were planned mainly in presence. Only India still managed a mixed approach, organizing 74 online courses and having 870 beneficiaries following the activities online.
The numbers at the end of 2022 reveal that 972,081 trainees were reached, and 50,937 courses have been organized since the program’s inception. 110,621 students participated in the ICB, Advanced Courses, Tablet for Kids, and Tablet for Senior classes only in 2022, with 6,946 organized courses.
Evolution of the DU Program since the inception
In 2022, the trainee breakdown by country is shown below:
2. Insights on ST Foundation India activities
The ST Foundation India has worked intensively to increase the number of operational labs: 6 new centers were set up to deploy the standard ICB course together with 3 for the T4K and 2 for the Advance course. Overall, the organization trained more than 16,000 students and helped them familiarize themselves with technology. Moreover, it launched the exciting “Tablet for Seniors” course to promote and explore new educational opportunities. Oldage Homes and the Delhi Senior Citizen Association helped kick off the initiative, and over 150 older “students” could experiment with how to use this tool.
In parallel, the organization has continued working on the Initiative Tablet for Kids on Wheel course. It was first launched in 2021 to address the challenges posed by the pandemic. This unique approach aimed to bring education to children right at their doorsteps, ensuring uninterrupted learning during those difficult times. Based on its significant reach and tangible impact on the lives of children, it was decided to continue the project to benefit more needy children and ensure they have access to quality education and growth opportunities.
3. Insights on ST Foundation Morocco activities
The ST Foundation Morocco works with a variety of partners to reach more beneficiaries with diverse profiles. In 2022, 14,260 beneficiaries were trained in our 38 operational labs returning to a normal pre-pandemic pace. Among the important activities organized, we have to mention the summer camps, which were significantly reinforced. Through them, the Foundation assists disadvantaged children by offering free educational activities. More in detail, their 2022 edition proved to be yet another resounding success, as evidenced by the key indicators below:
- Over 4,500 children benefited from the courses. This increased participation demonstrates the positive impact of the collaboration with partners and the involved stakeholders and the relevance of the education approach.
- Social impact: the summer camps also strengthened social bonds and promoted the inclusion of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. By offering a playful and stimulating learning environment, the ST Foundation Morocco created opportunities for personal and social development for the participants.
4. “Society’s Digitalization” Program: Focus on France and Italy
The Society Digitalization Program entered the third year of activity, maintaining its focus on France and Italy.
The close partnerships established in 2021 between the Foundation and ST sites in France were further strengthened in 2022. The initiatives stemming from these partnerships were multiplied during the year. We estimate that through these partnerships, the Foundation has been able to reach over two and a half thousand indirect beneficiaries who would otherwise have had no access to digital technology:
- Donations to schools and associations were more than tripled, resulting in 338 PCs and 78 Smartphones being given a new life to help fight the Digital Divide in France.
- New partnerships established between the Foundation and organizations or associations in connection with ST sites.
After more than 2 years of Covid, the DU Labs in Paris and Grenoble saw a revival of their activities. To help with this re-launch, the Foundation was delighted to be able to renew the equipment in both DU Labs. Discussions have also been initiated with several potential new partners to launch additional DU Labs in France in 2023.
Regrettably, 2022 saw the beginning of the war in Ukraine. Through various organizations and associations, the Foundation was able to reach out to a number of Ukrainian refugees in France and provide them with much-needed material support to enable them to communicate with their families back in Ukraine and to be able to continue their studies at a distance.
One-third of the PC donations in 2022 were aimed at children through schools or children’s digital clubs. By targeting schools and children’s clubs, the Foundation ensures that young children throughout France can be made aware of new technologies and their uses.
- Q1- 83 PCs were sent to the Foundation in Morocco to support the restart of activities in Morocco and setting-up new DU labs.
- Q2 – Over 60 PCs were dispatched to primary schools and high schools in Grenoble and Rennes
- Q3 – Some 30 PCs were allocated to various associations to support Ukrainian refugees in France, including 18 PCs to the Red Cross for its “Ukrainian Village” in Tours.
- Q4 – More than 30 PCs were donated to associations to bridge the digital divides of adults and older people.
In 2022 it was confirmed the Foundation’s willingness to continue working on those educational needs that emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic. More in detail, it continued the partnership with ACRA Foundation with the scope of fighting against school dispersion and digital education poverty. The #ConnectedtotheFuture project was therefore designed working on three main axes:
- Strengthening STEM and digital citizenship skills through an interdisciplinary application of coding in formal education.
- Boosting the digital skills of the entire educational community (youth, teachers, family members) as a tool for social inclusion and intergenerational dialogue.
- Fostering the re-motivation of youngsters together with confidence in themselves and their professional future.
The Coding & Learning project
The Coding & Learning course was developed, tested, and further cascaded in collaboration with our Partner Acra Foundation under the scientific supervision of the Research Center on Media Education, Innovation and Technology CREMIT of the Catholic University throughout 2022.
According to Albert Einstein, Education is not the learning of facts. It’s rather the training of the mind to think.” This was the Foundation’s ultimate goal when we decided to develop this learning path. The pandemic unveiled the issue of digital educational poverty that, in countries like Italy, has left behind over 1/3 of Italian children who did not have the right tools to continue studying. For this reason, we wanted to create a new course that could support elementary and secondary school students to regain creativity, problem-solving skills, and the happiness of working using coding as a possible approach to achieve these goals. With the support of our partners and 16 ST volunteers, we created this new learning option, and that is ready to be cascaded in Lombardy and Sicily both for teachers and students.
- During the pilot phase of the Coding and Learning course, 4 schools were reached and more in detail: Achille Ricci Institute (Milan), Da Vinci Institute (Cornaredo), Gonzaga Institute (Milan), and Nicolosi Institute (Catania). For a total of 182 trained students.
- During the implementation phase that started in November in Lombardy and Sicily, 38 teachers were trained in Catania, 4 workshops were completed in Lombardy, and 80 students were reached.
Boosting the digital skills of the educational community
To improve educators’ e-skills and encourage student engagement on the 2030 Agenda concerns, the Foundation has been working throughout 2022 to organize teacher training courses on digital citizenship with the assistance of its partner.
This project was divided into three main axes of intervention:
- Digital citizenship and social media courses for teachers. They aimed at secondary and junior high school teachers to introduce topics like the relationship between teaching and the use of social networks and digital technology, emphasizing the idea of “on life” and the key functions of the network and technological devices. Furthermore, included were topics like relationships, sexuality, emotion, and minors in the online world.
- Digital citizenship and social media courses for family members. ST volunteers, with its partner Acra and EDI (Social Cooperative for Children’s Rights Education), organized online activities to improve the digital education of parents with children aged 11 to 19 years old focusing the attention on conscious and responsible use of social media.
- Promotion of digital careers. This initiative was born in 2021 to present positive role models and new jobs to young students in difficult situations. Considering the good results achieved, it was also reorganized in 2022. In this latest version of the project, ST volunteers collaborated with ACRA moderators to plan in-person workshops designed to increase students’ motivation and confidence in their professional futures and encourage boys and girls to make more conscious decisions about their professional future.
Digital Citizenship courses, 3 courses were organized online, reaching 68 beneficiaries.
Promotion of Digital Careers, 4 workshops were organized in presence, reaching 100 students with Acra. 1 workshop was organized online for 10 schools, reaching 170 students in collaboration with the ST HR department. As a general comment for all the organized activities, we would like to underline the fact that they were made possible thanks to the support and commitment of 157 volunteers from the site of Agrate Brianza, Castelletto, and Catania.
5. Core Course Update
Introduction to Computer Basics (ICB) course
In the first quarter of 2022, the new version of the ICB course was finalized and made available in English. In April, thanks to Arnaud Arakaza, former ST Foundation’s country manager for Burundi and Congo, the documents were translated into French and shared with French-speaking operational countries. Later in the year, with the precious ST volunteers’ support of the site of Catania, the manual was translated into Italian and is now ready to be further cascaded. The document did not only go through a complete restyle to be better presented also in online classes but it was also enriched with new content related to security and online platforms.
6. Tablet For Senior cascading in Italy
In January 2022, the first Tablet for Seniors (T4S) and Train the Trainers pilot courses took place at the Avulss Federation in Agrate Brianza. The topics presented during the different modules were chosen to address older people’s needs, which became increasingly evident with the pandemic of accessing information, public services, and keeping an active and engaging social life. Thanks to the tremendous support of 12 ST Foundation’s volunteers, we could help the older generation navigate the digital world and lead an active and connected life. The ST volunteers presented the following contents: introduction to the tablet, Internet and connectivity, communication and media, e-mail, privacy and security, accounts and accounting management, and useful services for an active life. This was just the first step towards the further cascading of the course to help older people familiarize themselves with technology, and why not… have fun.
7. Launch of the Introduction to Computer Basics Course for Visually impaired people in Senegal.
On November 21, Giovanna Bottani (Director of Operations of the ST Foundation) and Prof. Cristian Bernareggi (Professor at the University of Milan, an expert in human-computer interaction and technology for people with disabilities) launched the Introduction to Computer Basics Course for the Visually Impaired People (ICB4VI) in Thies (Senegal).
The initiative’s main goals were:
- Train the first group of 14 teachers to help the organization further cascade the course.
- Present the course to 10 blind or visually impaired students at the National Institute for Education and Training of Blind Youth (Inefja). The experience was highly positive. Teachers and students seemed to learn quickly using the approach developed by Prof. Bernareggi. On the third day, during the lessons dedicated to “Internet Browsing,” teachers made a standing ovation for the ST Foundation team because all of a sudden, they could use something that, from that moment onwards, could eliminate a huge barrier between them and the information and content available on the Internet. To fully understand this initiative’s impact, we would like to give one of the teachers a voice.
“Hello, my name is Alexis, and I am participating in this training course that will allow me to teach as I used to do. I became blind in 2012, and since then, I have never touched a keyboard again. I am delighted with this training. I no longer feel in the dark, blocked by my disability from using a computer and accessing the information my colleagues without a disability can easily reach. The course you are proposing is a success in terms of communication, and particularly an asset for skill building and computer usage. It allows us to improve our skills, eliminating those barriers that can prevent a blind person from doing activities that, for sighted people, are just a routine. I would like to thank the ST Foundation, which introduced us to this program. Now I’m sure I can redefine my career in training and education, and in a way, I will start to see again! ” Alexis Jean Pierre, Teacher at the UNESCO Clubs in Alternative Education and Sociology of Targeted Groups.
8. The ST Foundation’s external communication activity
The ST Foundation and the ST Corporate External Communication team continued the collaboration for writing the 2021 Annual Report to give an insight into the key moments that have characterized the activities of the year.
The organization also restarted participation in various events and conferences. Among the most important moments, we would like to mention:
- On September 26, the Foundation was represented at the Philanthropy Experience by Pietro Palella. The event was organized in Catania by Fondazione Ebbene and Fondazione Milan. The conference was a good moment for networking.
- On November 11 at the Catholic University, we co-organized the Coding & Learning conference presenting the results of the 9-month collaboration with Acra Foundation and CREMIT to prepare a brand-new course on computational thinking. Giovanna Bottani presented the key achievements of the projects to a public of teachers and possible interested partners.
- On November 29, Claudia Angelini and Giovanna Bottani attended the conference “The future is today” organized by CS&L, Social Cooperative Society that promotes local community development in Monza Province.
The Foundation organized the VII edition of the Energy Run, which took take place at the Aldo Moro Park in Agrate Brianza on September 17, 2022. Thanks to the tremendous support of ST’s Italian volunteers, the “Energy Run” was organized to raise additional funds while increasing the visibility of the Foundation’s activities. Together with 150 children, more than 700 athletes participated in the run. Mud and fun were the keywords for the whole day. All participants crossed the finish line full of enthusiasm for the experience.
The ST Foundation’s internal communication activities
On June 11, STMicroelectronics celebrated the momentous anniversary of its Catania site: the first 60 years of activity. The Foundation was invited to attend the event to tell the unique story of what could be achieved throughout the years, thanks to the excellent collaboration with the ST volunteers of Catania. 654 beneficiaries were reached. Together we had been fighting the digital divide and achieved important goals:
- 86 volunteers are supporting the activities.
- 20 associations and schools have been supported.
Altogether, we had unforgettable experiences. We were able to change the lives of at-risk people while also transforming ourselves both from a personal and professional point of view. And this is not the end because the Foundation and its supporters have ambitious plans for the future.
9. Online Data Reporting System.
The ST Foundation has been monitoring all of its activities in real-time by using its online reporting system since 2016. This allows the organization to monitor all educational initiatives carried out in the operational countries.
Courses organized and students trained during 2022
The online system allows the Foundation to know its target audience better, offering insights into its beneficiary’s profiles to understand their needs and possible requests better.
Example of statistics showing the age of the participants together with the occupation and level of education
The online system also monitors the impact of the ICB course on its participants. Thanks to a dedicated questionnaire developed in 2016 with the support of the Catholic University of Milan, the organization can observe students’ behavioral changes after attending the course through quantitative and qualitative data. The results are quite exhaustive, representing 90 % of the total beneficiaries of the DU Program.
The 2022 replies reaffirm the positive feedback on the course and, more specifically:
- 89% of students would cascade what they have learned to family and friends.
- 89% of students would suggest to their friends to attend the course.
- 75% of the students are comfortable using a PC after attending the course.
Beneficiaries who, before attending the ICB course, were digital illiterates, at the end of the educational path, want to use the newly acquired skills to surf the Internet (79%), communicate with friends, and use social media (76%); do easy calculations (71%), write documents and reading emails (70%). 65% of the students use the acquired competencies to look for a job. This indicates how the ICB course can become a strong driver for employment empowerment, showing an increasing trend of more than 7 % positive replies compared to 2021.
Table 1 Replies to the question “Currently do you use the computer for?” showing the World Wide overview of the impact of the ICB Course.
|Not at all
|Looking for a job
|Write a resume
|Write a document
|Communicate/chatting with friends/social media
|Not at all
|I hesitate to use a computer for fear of making mistakes that I cannot correct
|I feel comfortable to use computers
10 Policies and Procedures
The organization has been working on reinforcing its policies and procedures throughout the year. More in detail, the Foundation has been working on three axes:
- Child Protection Policy
The ST Foundation’s projects are increasingly targeting children to help them better familiarize themselves with technology. As a non-profit organization operating in many countries, the ST Foundation has learned throughout its many years of experience across the globe that children represent a particularly vulnerable group within their communities.
To protect this particular group of beneficiaries, the organization finalized the Child Protection Policy and the related code of conduct in 2021 and adopted them in March 2022. The Foundation updated its operational procedures to strengthen minors’ protection within its projects and implemented concrete actions to prevent all possible forms of violence and abuse against them. The documents were developed in compliance with the best international standards for protecting children’s rights, considering the ST Foundation’s principles and standards and the specifics of each cultural context.
- PSEA Policy
SEA (sexual exploitation and abuse) can happen anywhere and anytime. ST Foundation’s operations typically take place in fragile environments where risks of abuse and exploitation may occur. Therefore, every organization must pay attention and prevent possible incidents.
In this direction, it was decided as a second step in policy adoption to finalize and approve the Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) policy and code of conduct in July 2022. The standards will then be further implemented in 2023.
In its journey dedicated to revising and implementing policies and procedures, the Foundation decided to start reviewing all the existing rules in terms of privacy to be better aligned with the newly adopted policies.
- DU Pictures
|Catania volunteers together with Giovanna Bottani and Claudia Angelini at the 60th anniversary of the site
|Mauro Zappa launching the Tablet for senior course in Agrate Brianza in collaboration with Avulss
|Giovanna Bottani, Prof. Cristian Bernareggi and Waly Faye at the launch of the ICB4VI in Senegal
|ICB courses at the summer camps in Morocco