The World YMCA and HP Foundation have launched a partnership to accelerate digital equity of young people and marginalised communities around the world. At the outset, seven YMCAs are integrating HP LIFE courses into their programs to build digital literacy and empower young people in their communities to actively participate in an increasingly digitised world. The participating YMCAs are the National Council of YMCAs India, YMCA East Jerusalem, YMCA Kosovo, YMCA Scotland, YMCA Liberia, YMCA Ethiopia, YMCA of Greater Long Beach.
YMCA and the HP Foundation aim to use the partnership to enhance young people’s learning, support their wellbeing, increase their employability and resilience, and empower them to be leaders and changemakers in their communities and the world.
“YMCA will be a valuable partner for HP, given the diversity the global Movement offers and the YMCA’s unique ability to reach underserved communities worldwide. The flexibility and adaptability of the HP LIFE courses will play a significant role in helping the YMCA bridge the digital equity gap”, said Carlos Sanvee, Secretary General, World YMCA.This partnership comes as a critical time, when digital technologies have rapidly begun to impact almost every area of modern life and business.
Education: Distance learning is enabling people to learn and acquire new skills anytime, anywhere.
Employment: Technology is creating vastly new ways of working and access to new work opportunities across borders.
Health: Telemedicine is enabling people to seek medical advice and support directly from our homes.
Yet, large parts of the world’s population are being left behind because they lack digital skills and internet connectivity. According to the International Society for Technology in Education, “although fair and consistent access to technology and the internet is fundamental to digital equity, equally important is technology training and skill-development for both students and teachers. In addition, technology-integrated education is essential for students to be ready for whatever career or future they choose.”
The YMCAs that have joined the partnership believe working with the HP LIFE courses will help them generate value for young people, for their communities, and for the YMCA. ‘Through our partnership with the HP Foundation, we seek to leverage the experience of young people in accessing the HP LIFE courses in Arabic, subsequently fine-tuning their academic capacity and increasing their access to labour market’, said Carol Zoughbi-Janineh, Director of Organizational Development at the East Jerusalem YMCA.
Surafale Ashenafi of YMCA Ethiopia is equally excited about working with the HP LIFE courses: ‘YMCA Ethiopia looks forward to integrating the HP LIFE courses into existing projects, taking the HP LIFE courses to the next level. This is a good opportunity for young people out there to improve their digital skills, build new knowledge, and further empower YMCA Ethiopia to accelerate to digital equality, especially among the most underserved communities.’
Les Peter of YMCA Greater Long Beach agrees that the HP LIFE courses will be valuable for the YMCA and for young people. “We are looking at this partnership with the HP Foundation as another way for us to generate value for young people. The HP LIFE courses provide a great opportunity to expose young people to different career pathways without necessarily going to university.”
For more information on the World YMCA + HP Foundation partnership to accelerate digital equity, please contact Gloria Shimuli Anyika, World YMCA programme manager, firstname.lastname@example.org.