The centres are meeting an essential need in Moldova, by building on the YMCA educational programs and institutions, youth clubs and refugee establishments – they will benefit more than 300,000 people, including young people, Ukrainian refugees, and individuals from marginalised communities. According to the Ministry of Education, in 2021-2022, the average number of “students per computer” is 17. Yet, in Chisinau (the capital city) it is 31!
Through a generous donation from HP Inc, over 5,300 brand new devices will be distributed by the YMCA in a major program focusing on accelerating digital equity among young people and marginalised communities and the promotion of novel technology for skills building and education.
Women, children, and pensioners are the main groups that have fled the war in Ukraine. And according to the UNHCR, since the start of the war, one-third of Ukrainians have been forced to flee their home making it one of the “largest human displacement crises in the world today”. The Republic of Moldova is one of the countries most affected by the war in Ukraine and is hosting a significant number of refugees.
This reality calls for important measures and sustainable actions towards ensuring the safe integration of young people and their families within the communities they are living in, by enabling skills development, language acquisition, and access to information by setting up digital centers and providing the appropriate infrastructure and IT devices.
The HP resources and devices are being integrated into the YMCA’s ongoing educational programs in Moldova as well as into local schools and employment centres.
The devices will benefit the local population and also Ukrainian refugees and enable access to more services in the communities, transforming local programs from purely in-person educational programs to “digital educational centres”.
This outcome is in line with HP’s goal to accelerate digital equity among 150 million people globally. The Centres will also leverage HP’s digital curriculum, HP LIFE, to provide people with access to cutting edge business – related skills building courses on a range of themes such as a success mindset, financial management, marketing and design thinking.
By partnering with the different Municipalities, County local governments and the National Employment Agency, the YMCA will integrate laptops into educational institutions, youth and employment centres, as well as the refugee centres that are serving the Ukrainian community.
This approach, coupled with the primary programs delivered by the YMCA will enable about 300 educational institutions, refugee centres, youth clubs, and employment offices across Republic of Moldova to have access to digital devices and equipment provided by HP Inc., with the purpose to accelerate digital equity among young people and marginalised communities.
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.
This programme builds on the wider partnership between the YMCA and HP, which was launched In January 2022, to accelerate digital equity of young people and underserved communities around the world.
At the outset, seven YMCAs began integrating HP LIFE courses into their programs in order to build digital literacy and empower young people in their communities to participate actively in an increasingly digitised world.
The initial YMCAs taking part are the National Council of YMCAs India, YMCA East Jerusalem, YMCA Kosovo, YMCA Scotland, YMCA Liberia, YMCA Ethiopia, and YMCA of Greater Long Beach.
The partnership with YMCA helps HP make progress toward its goal to enable better learning outcomes for 150 million people by 2025. In its 2021 Sustainable Impact Report, HP said more than 74 million students and adult learners have benefited from HP’s education programs and solutions since the beginning of 2015.
The need for in-demand digital skills is acute. Globally, around one-fifth of young people are unemployed and not receiving any education or training, according to United Nations-sponsored non-profit Decent Jobs for Youth. Nearly 68 million young people are seeking a job and more than 123 million young people are working, yet living in poverty, it reports.
These outreach and digitalisation initiatives become a key pillar in our youth empowerment. Initiatives impossible to bring to life if it wasn’t for the support of HP and the endless efforts of the team of young leaders of YMCA Moldova managing and carrying out the project implementation – and for this, we are forever grateful!