Alcatel-Lucent Foundation and World Education, Inc. launch program to foster digital inclusion of young people from disadvantage

Date: Fri, 03/04/2011 - 12:58

$6 million grant to fund ConnectED, three-year program to benefit some 13,500 children
Alcatel-Lucent Foundation and World Education, Inc. launch program to foster digital inclusion of young people from disadvantage Image credited to World Education Inc.

World Education, Inc. a nonprofit organization based in the United States, and Alcatel-Lucent, through its Alcatel-Lucent Foundation, announced that they have forged a partnership to implement ConnectED, a US$6 million global initiative to provide educational and digital skills training opportunities for children and adolescents in disadvantaged communities.
This three-year initiative will serve 13,500 young people from disadvantaged communities in Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Egypt, France and India.  Some 70 percent of these young people will be girls and young women.
A core component of this program will be a special focus on helping youth learn how to use communications technologies to gather information, access job information and develop awareness of the broader world around them. Another important element of this initiative will be the participation of Alcatel-Lucent employees in ConnectEd activities, using their expertise in communications technology to help with implementation and serving as role-models, mentors and advisors to the young people.
“Today in too many countries around the world, too many young people reach adulthood lacking the skills needed to prosper in our changing world,” said Joel H. Lamstein, World Education CEO.  “Thanks to this grant we will be able to work with remote and underserved schools and communities to improve educational services, skills training and their connection to the digital world -- whether it be computer labs or mobile phones and Internet.  Together, these will ensure youth gain the knowledge, skills, behaviors and support networks to find productive work, keep themselves safe and be more engaged with the world around them.”
“ConnectEd will be about using technology to transform the learning, work and life outcomes for disadvantaged youth,” said Beatrice Tassot, executive director of the Alcatel-Lucent Foundation.  “At Alcatel-Lucent we believe that possessing basic communications technology skills are essential to fostering inclusion and giving disadvantaged youth a better chance to leap across the opportunities gap and gain access to more and better employment options.”

About the ConnectED program
The Alcatel-Lucent Foundation’s grant will fund literacy courses, equivalency programs and school re-entry classes for youth who have dropped out of school.  Within schools, there will be curricula enhancement, scholarships and teacher training. Training covering basic life skills, leadership development and career preparation as well as employment placement programs will benefit both in-school and out-of-school youth. There will also be special programs for educators and mentors working with these young people to help them better understand and take advantage of information and communications technology.

About the Alcatel-Lucent Foundation
The Alcatel-Lucent Foundation leads the company's charitable activities. Its mission is to “Provide youth - with a special focus on girls and young women in targeted underserved communities - with access to education and life skills programs that will help prepare them to seek employment, higher education, and the opportunity to contribute as citizens and community leaders." The Foundation currently supports programs in France, the United States, and selected countries in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific regions.

About World Education, Inc.
For nearly sixty years the programs of World Education, Inc. have reached out to individuals in over 50 countries around the world offering education linked to increased equity of girls and women, improved livelihoods, better health and greater engagement with a broader world. World Education implements programs with local partners – communities, parent associations, youth associations, local nongovernmental organizations, local and national government, private corporations and international development agencies. Programs are tailor-made to respond to local needs, and include direct service delivery to beneficiaries as well as technical assistance and capacity building for implementing partners.

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