Promote digital inclusion for all children – buy a Mobiconf ticket!11 August 2021
Internet access is a basic human need. There is no dispute. The global pandemic has made it more than clear. Our professional, social and private lives literally depended on digital connections and capabilities during the prolonged lockdowns and it is the new normal today.
Therefore, having access to a stable internet connection is a must-have. Sadly, Poland has one of the highest digital exclusion rates in Europe.
What are the main reasons for digital exclusion?
First, there’s the lack of the necessary equipment. Up to 70,000 students have no suitable equipment to stay connected, as stated by the Polish Federation of Consumers, which in today’s age basically means having no access to education.
The second reason is the lack of basic computer skills. Learning platforms used at schools can often seem intimidating for less tech-savvy users. According to this report, even students who regularly use social media have problems handling the basic digital tools (like e-mail) necessary for modern-education.
Recurring lockdowns have made digital exclusion an even more prominent problem.
How to fight digital exclusion
Luckily, there is an organisation actively working against it – the Sarigato Foundation. With their “Hakersi” project they aim to shape a better future for children and teenagers from orphanages, care institutions, and community centres by teaching new technologies and providing them with suitable devices.
But what is the “Hakersi” project actually about?
Providing access to the Internet, by handing out devices
Since the lockdown began, children have been forced to switch to learning from home. However challenging it has been, most of them have managed to adapt to the new conditions.
At the same time, the same cannot be said about children from disadvantaged environments. The lack of suitable equipment, internet connection, or having to share devices with other family members – together, all these factors create a big gap between students from different economic and family backgrounds.
Electronic devices are becoming less expensive as technology advances. And yet, a lot of families or childcare homes still can’t afford them.
The Sarigato Foundation acquires equipment either by buying it or by getting and refurbishing used devices from various businesses. Throughout their action, they not only support those in need but also reduce e-waste produced by companies.
Sharing knowledge to increase the digital competence of disadvantaged children
According to the Sarigato Foundation:
“New technologies are the future of the job market, not only in the IT-Industry”.
However, the access to new technologies is limited for children from disadvantaged environments. So is the opportunity to increase their digital competencies. As a result, it is significantly more difficult for them to enter the modern job market.
That’s why the Sarigato Foundation is organising workshops on such topics as programming or graphic design, helping children get a grasp over new technology.
According to the 2015 NIK report, up to 82% of children in orphanages are not able to become independent after they leave the facilities. To bring this number down, the foundation is going to organise intermediate courses for those willing to enter the IT industry.
Arranging internships in tech-companies is yet another means of helping those leaving child care homes to become more independent.
A Successful Mission
Since 2016, almost 1000 children have increased their digital competence thanks to Sarigato’s efforts.
Tech-related skills are not the only ones being taught, as limited access to study materials makes school much more difficult for children from difficult backgrounds. The foundation has an extensive nest of tutors-volunteers providing free extracurricular classes on basic school subjects.
The right tools and knowledge make education more accessible. Giving children from disadvantaged environments a chance to explore the world of new technologies allows them to enter the job market on an equal footing.
But what does it have to do with Mobiconf?
At Mobiconf, we believe that the IT industry can not only shape the digital world for the better, but also solve real-world issues such as the social inequality among children and young adults.
That’s why we want to support the “Hakersi” by donating 20 EUR from each ticket to the Sarigato Foundation.
Our goal is to fund 35 scholarships for digitally excluded children. The cost of one scholarship is 1,200 PLN (263 EUR) – this amount is required for organising workshops and acquiring the necessary equipment for community centres and orphanages.
It may sound like a lot, but we can surely reach this goal with your help!
Grab your ticket now and promote digital inclusion for children!