In France, internet accessibility and informatics generally speaking are not equally distributed among the whole population. The key factors that slow down this process are age, education, and income. In 2017 the “Barometre du Numerique”, a periodic publication that measures the relationship between French people and ICT tools, underlined how a relevant gap still exists with around 7 million people who have never been connected to the internet. One third of the citizen has a limited familiarity with a computer and a keyboard, and this is especially true for elderly people. Many initiatives (mostly fee-paying) have been introduced to provide courses to the population, but disadvantaged people like refugees, immigrants etc. are excluded from these services and they are only reachable through the key activities of NGOs.
To better face this this situation, the DU Program was launched in France in 2009 with the support of the volunteers of the ST plant of Grenoble.
Courses have been run since then with the support of our historic partner, Secours Catholiques, an NGO member of the Caritas Confederation, dedicated to work on family, youth and migration issues.
On the base of the good results achieved through this first collaboration, the Foundation decided to launch a new project in 2016 partnering with a multi-stakeholder platform in Montrouge composed of the Municipality of Montrouge, Montrouge Habitat, Espace Colucci, Acadomia, Secours Populaire de Montrouge, Initiative Emploi, Ecoute Chômage and the ST site of Paris. Further details can be found at the following link where you will find a dedicated article in the French press.
This initiative is continuing and to celebrate the positive result achieved a ceremony was organized on September 20, 2018 for all partners. Pietro Fox, former president of the Foundation and Jean-Luc Estienne, site manager of the ST site of Paris thanked all the involved stakeholders for the key support they were able to give for the success of the Program.
With these partners, the activities in the country are growing constantly and as of September 2019 the Foundation has trained over 1,300 students since the inception.