A successful collective initiative
For several years, Econocom has been committed to furthering the cause of education. It has even made education a key pillar of its CSR strategy, through both its partnerships and patronage initiatives, helping tackle the digital divide and improve accessibility.
The COVID-19 crisis has shown the effects of the digital divide in the education sector: thousands of young people lost a significant amount of contact with school, with those with little or no access to computer equipment impacted the most unfavourably. Many disadvantaged families suffered from a loss of income and in turn struggled to support their children with the new normal of home online learning.
To tackle this crisis, Econocom has already been taking several initiatives in Europe and soon in the US.
In the UK, Econocom has been working with TechInclusionUK - a new social enterprise enabling digital inclusion – to donate refurbished tech to young pupils. Over 50 notebooks and tablets have been given to young people in education across Tower Hamlets, through a collaboration with the Tower Hamlets Education Partnership.
In France, Econocom has joined the cooperative #ConnexiondUrgence to equip and support at least 10,000 underprivileged youngsters who have lost all ties to school since lockdown was introduced throughout France so they can connect with their schools remotely.
Econocom has provided 500 reconditioned laptops in perfect condition, which were very quickly prepared by the charity Ateliers Sans Frontières (ASF) with an office software pack so they could then be distributed as part of the initiative.
Made up of the French charities Emmaüs Connect and Le Collectif Mentorat (Afev, Article 1, Chemins d'avenirs, ESA, Institut Télémaque, NQT, Proxité and Socrate)
This is an ongoing crisis:
the need is still huge!
Lockdown also revealed new groups of people whose exclusion from digital technology had previously gone unnoticed. Indeed, many youngsters have been impacted by the digital divide as they do not have the right equipment or internet connection, or have parents who lack digital resources themselves.
In France, the associations Emmaüs Connect and Ares have joined forces to participate in a wider initiative: "Connexion Pour Tous". The aim is to provide, in the long term, most underpriviledged people with digital equipment (laptops, tablets and smartphones) at reasonable prices.
Econocom's plan is to involve its clients in the project "Connexion Pour Tous" to help as many families as possible.