39 Chemin du Champ-des-Filles , CH 1228 Geneva, Switzerland

 

Italy

The Context
The digital divide is still a reality, faced by over 7 million people in Italy, as they are not connected to the Internet. In 2021, Italy was ranked 20th out of the 27 states belonging to the European Union, according to the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). The research carried out by DESI shows the critical challenge Italy is facing due to its population’s low level of digital skills, ranking the country among low performers.

This situation deteriorated as Covid 19 unfolded, revealing how over 30% of Italian households did not have the right tools and competencies to support their children in continuing studying during the e-learning transition.

The ST Foundation’s Presence
The DU Program was started with the support of the Italian ST volunteers in 2003. They supported the Foundation reaching at-risk communities living near the premises of the ST plant of Agrate to help them familiarize themselves with computers. Over the years, the Program has evolved, continuously reaching new beneficiaries and at-risk communities.

Today, the Foundation, having gained experience and expertise from working with different audiences, is specialized in interacting with diverse categories of beneficiaries such as children, migrants, the elderly, and inmates.

As the pandemic ravaged the world for over two years, Italy being hit especially hard, all standard activities were gradually suspended. However, new initiatives were launched to quickly address the needs generated by Covid 19 in education and among the elderly populations, who would have otherwise been in complete isolation.

Today, the Foundation, having gained experience and expertise from working with different audiences, is specialized in interacting with diverse categories of beneficiaries such as children, migrants, the elderly, and inmates.

As the pandemic continued to ravage the world for over two years, Italy being hit especially hard, all standard activities have been gradually suspended. However,  new activities were initiated to quickly address the needs generated by Covid 19 in education and, more recently, among the elderly populations, who would have otherwise been in complete isolation.

The Foundation partnered with two well-reputed Italian NGOs,  Acra Foundation and CIAI, to create ad hoc projects to assist the formal education system in better managing distance learning activities. Thanks to these partnerships, the #SiamoTuttiCollegati and #Tu6prof initiatives were launched. Please visit the dedicated section for all the details.

In parallel, the Foundation decided to start dedicated projects to help the elderly “stay connected.” Therefore, it partnered with Casa Famiglia San Giuseppe, an elderly home in Vimercate, to carry out a first pilot project between May and September 2021 to support their guests in better familiarizing themselves with technology. All details are available in the dedicated section.

In the first trimester of 2022, with the gradual normalization of the sanitary situation, standard activities are resuming, reaching over 5,600 beneficiaries since the Program’s inception. At the same time, the Foundation also confirms its full support for those activities devoted to helping schools, students, and the elderly stay connected to the e-world we all live in