Digital Community Hubs in the West Balkans is a YMCA initiative, powered by HP to accelerate digital equity in the regions, by helping YMCAs in Kosovo, Albania, Serbia, and North Macedonia to expand existing or create new digital community hubs.
Following the incredible success of the “Digital Educational Hubs” project implementation in the Republic of Moldova, where over 200 educational institutions benefitted from the creation of dedicated digital community hubs – our alignment on achieving digital equity leads us to create novel programs for young people, youth workers, disadvantaged and vulnerable communities in the West Balkans.
The project aims to expand existing digital hubs and create new ones to enable young people, including those from marginalized communities, teachers, and youth workers, to access greater opportunities for education and employment. The initiative will reach up to 25,000 people annually, bridging the digital divide and ensuring equitable access to digital tools and resources.
The digital community hubs will also serve people from the outskirts of cities and remote areas, who have limited access to basic medical, psycho-social, and academic resources.
Leveraging their local knowledge, infrastructure, and networks, the YMCA will work with young people, schools, employment centers, businesses, youth workers, and teachers to create digital equity in the West Balkans region. These hubs will also collaborate with other YMCAs in Europe and around the world to provide digital literacy and equity.
- The primary beneficiaries of the program are young people aged 13-25, including those from marginalized and vulnerable backgrounds from a socio-economic and educational perspective, ethnic minorities, and youth workers and teachers.
- Secondary beneficiaries include schools and employers, as more young people upskill their competencies to enter the workforce.
Each country’s expected outcomes are crucial in determining the direction and strategies for setting up, activating, and delivering digital community centers under this project. For instance:
- the YMCA in Kosovo aims to enhance its reputation as a digital provider and engage young people in recognized courses that boost their CVs.
- In Serbia, the focus is on making the Digital Hub available daily and achieving digital equity.
- In North Macedonia, the aim is to initiate a longer-term, locally rooted program,
- In Albania, the plan is to provide easy access to the Digital Hub for schools, high schools, and secondary schools and other categories of people in Tirana and Berat.
Overall, the YMCA’s efforts to establish digital hubs in Kosovo, Serbia, North Macedonia, and Albania demonstrate their commitment to promoting digital literacy and equity among young people and their communities.
The YMCA’s mission is to ensure that nobody is left behind when it comes to digitalization, getting closer to a more digitally equitable society, and upskilling and preparing communities for a digitalized world, with a prime focus on young people from disadvantaged, underprivileged backgrounds.
Together with HP, they are a pixel away from the digital education wave!