In collaboration with HP, the YMCA initiative in the West Balkans is bringing the digital education wave closer than ever before. With an extensive amount of digital skilling, training sessions and courses running locally in every YMCA organisation in the region.
Through the creation of Digital Community Hubs in Kosovo, Albania, Serbia, and North Macedonia, the project aims to promote digital equity and increase our outreach to vulnerable communities, minority groups, and marginalised families.
Additionally, the digital community hubs will be a valuable resource for those residing in remote areas or on the outskirts of cities, who may have limited access to essential medical, psycho-social, and academic resources.
Among the main beneficiaries are young people, teachers, and youth workers from all walks of life, the teams are expanding their services every week strategizing towards reaching out to young people from vulnerable backgrounds.
With an expected annual reach of 25,000 people, the project will bridge the digital divide and provide equitable access to digital tools and resources.
In Kosovo, the team is currently operating hubs in 3 main cities Prishtina, Peja, and Gjakova, intending to expand their services with 2 additional YMCA Hubs that are aimed to service the communities beyond the HP project’s length. The hub is mainly supporting young people in achieving professional certifications and expanding their STEAM competencies.
The team in Serbia is currently operating in the YMCA Youth Centre – being the main hub, dedicated to their local community. In order to increase the reach of their programs they are once a week moving the hub into the YMCA Daycare Centre where they will reach a different group of beneficiaries.
The YMCA in North Macedonia is organising their activities in one office – serving as the main digital hub. From here, the team is extending their services to local schools and educational institutions – intending to develop a mobile digital hub service for the local community.
In Albania, the digital community hubs are based in the city of Tirana and Berat. They are operating throughout the week and on Saturdays, also emphasizing the development of a mobile aspect of the services in school and educational institutions reaching out to more beneficiaries, especially students and young people.
The YMCA Digital Community Hubs project is an inspiring example of how corporate social responsibility and community-based organizations can collaborate to create a positive impact. As the initiative expands and evolves, it is hoped that it will continue to make a difference in the lives of young people in the Western Balkans, and beyond – the YMCA being one step closer to the digital education era, in an ever-changing world.
Check out the foto album here.