Empleando Digital, the first good practice submitted by our community that has made it to the MEDICI Digital Inclusion Catalogue and Map


Empleando Digital is the first good practice submitted by one of our community members that has been upgraded to the MEDICI Catalogue and Map of Good Practices. Congratulations to Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG), the Spanish Red Cross (CRE) and the Accenture Foundation., the promoters of the initiative! To know more about this initiative, visit our Catalogue

Curios about other initiatives proposed by our community members? Visit our Digital Inclusion Story space and rate them!

Digital exclusion during national lockdown

The British government last week announced measures to ensure that the vast majority of the UK population would stay in their homes for a minimum of three weeks. UK residents are not alone under this constraint: as of today, estimates are that nearly 20% of the world’s population is currently restricted to their homes, including in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, China and the USA.

For many people, this confined situation will mean social adaptation using virtual substitutes for their usual face to face activities. Internet banking and shopping will increase, and work and wider family interactions will continue but at a distance through technology. For those experiencing food and necessity shortages, online supermarkets are only a few clicks away (at least when panic buying is over and you can book a delivery slot).

Whilst this digital substitution is possible for the majority of people, a significant minority are digitally excluded, through a combination of life choices, low confidence or skills, and an inability to afford the requisite technology. Across the EU, 14% of people have never used the internet.  Eurostat evidence shows the digital divide is driven by four main factors:

  • age
  • educational status
  • income, and
  • geography

During the Coronavirus, older people are most at risk, not only from disease but their lower level of digital skills across the population. This aggravates their circumstances. During a recent set of focus groups in Limerick on digital exclusion, suspicion, fear and shame were commonly cited by older people as their emotional response to increasing digitalisation. Social isolation is also a factor in digital exclusion:

As someone living on my own there’s no one showing me how to use the technology. I have a tablet but I don’t know how to use it, I just use my phone for calling people.”

The move to digital can make socially vulnerable people feel increasingly helpless:

There’s also a self-esteem issue as people can’t keep up with the changes and don’t feel independent on their phones, someone has to help.”

Supporting the transition to digital with patience and sympathy is more important than ever.

During a lockdown, we must all make do with the technologies that we have. But it is important also to be aware that many people are not only socially distant but digitally disconnected from primary services and require support more than ever. There are many community-based organisations that offer opportunities to help those who are socially and digitally excluded during this time, such as through delivering food and prescriptions or completing administrative tasks online. To find out more, you can contact your local network (where neighbours are setting up support systems), visit your Local Authority’s website or search for opportunities on social media.

ALL DIGITAL SUMMIT 2020

The ALL DIGITAL SUMMIT 2020 took place last week, online. Many interesting themes were addressed around the world of digital, competences, inclusion and employability. You can watch the full event at https://summit.all-digital.org

Children’s rights and the Internet

MEDICI Call For Submission of Good Practices in Digital Inclusion of vulnerable groups

Code Hero

To combat the negative effects of interrupted education due to COVID-19, we created Code Hero, a program that enabled children to continue their learning journey and offered them an online context to develop the skills that they need for their future

Abstract

At the beginning of 2020, people from the entire world were confronted with something that the vast majority of us did not understand and have never thought we’d see in this lifetime: a global pandemic. As a result, entire country populations have been forced into a mass lockdown in their own homes.

With the school closures, in Romania 2.6 million children were forced to isolate at home. For the vast majority of them, this meant that they stopped learning, as at least 32% of students enrolled in formal school education didn’t have at home the technology necessary to learn online and 12% didn’t have connectivity at all (IRES 2020).

Interrupting education services has serious, long-term consequences for economies and societies such as increased inequality, poorer health outcomes, and reduced social cohesion. Children from the poorest households are already almost five times more likely to be out of primary school than those from the richest. These negative impacts will be significantly higher for marginalized children.

To combat the negative effects of interrupted education, we created Code Hero, a program that enabled children to continue their learning journey and offered them an online context to develop the skills that they need for their future. Children between 9 and 13 years old are currently learning skills such as creativity, critical thinking or problem-solving through coding, by creating animations, stories, and games in Scratch, a visual programming language created especially for them.

Their mentors are volunteers working in technology, who meet with them for 1 hour per week in an online conference, over a period of 4-5 months. The volunteers who answered the call of helping children are not only from Romania but also from the Romanian Diaspora in Europe, in countries such as Spain, Denmark or the UK.

Target Group

Marginalised young people and children

Country

Romania

Website

Link to web site

Stakeholders involved

Children aged 9 – 13, volunteers who mentor students, sponsors and partners.

Further Information

See web site

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5th MEDICI WEBINAR on Children Rights Online – 17.09.2020 – Save the Date!

The 5th MEDICI webinar will deal with the rights of children online. We will talk about how to protect children from online violence and abuse and learn from good practices and research results from the UK and France. The Webinar is scheduled on September 17 at 12 CEST. Click here for registration

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COVID-19 and Children online safety

Homeless people in Britain to receive free phones in connectivity drive


The importance of being digitally connected has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many groups, including homeless people have found themselves unable to access key services due to lack of access to devices and data. The charity Crisis will hand out 2,500 devices and data packages to homeless people across Britain in order to address this issue as well as reduce isolation and loneliness.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/aug/18/homeless-people-uk-receive-free-phones-connectivity-drive-covid-19