Opportunities for digital education in Bitola
As part of a long-term collaboration between YMCA and HP, this April we started holding digital literacy courses for the youth of our city. The courses are made by experts in their fields from the HP company and conducted by YMCA youth workers. We find these courses useful for adding value to the informatics curriculum in schools as well as for practical use in our everyday lives.
The courses are short in duration from 20 to 50 minutes, in five topics with several courses in each of them. The courses offered are in the following topics: communications, finance, logistics, marketing and startups/innovations. The courses have open appointments for which ANYONE CAN APPLY, as well as reserved appointments offered for groups/institutions that work with young people. The groups are limited to 10 participants each. The courses are: completely free for anyone with a functional email, intermediate knowledge of the English language and a desire to learn and upgrade their knowledge. The courses are held in the premises of the Youth Center – Bitola.
Digital Hubs in the Western Balkans
Building on that success from 2022, this year YMCA World and HP are expanding the initiative to reach as many people as possible and further close the digital divide.
In that direction, in 2023 the program expanded with the digital hubs of the Western Balkans at the initiative of the YMCA and enabled by HP helping the YMCAs in Kosovo, Albania, Serbia and Macedonia to expand existing or create new hubs for digital education in order to enable young people, including those from marginalized communities, teachers and youth workers to gain greater educational and employment opportunities. The initiative in the Western Balkans aims to reach 25,000 people per year by bridging the digital divide and providing equal access to digital tools and resources. For this purpose, YMCA will work and collaborate with young people, schools, employment centres, businesses, youth workers and teachers to create digital equality in the Western Balkans region. YMCA in Kosovo aims to improve its reputation as a digital provider and engage young people in recognized courses that enhance their CVs. In Serbia, the focus is to make a digital hub available every day and to achieve digital equality. In Macedonia, the goal is to initiate a long-term program for digital education. In Albania, the plan is to provide easy access to the digital hub for primary and secondary schools and other categories of people.
Beginning of the successful collaboration of the World YMCA with HP
In 2022 the World YMCA and the HP Foundation launched a partnership to accelerate the digital equality of young people and marginalized communities around the world. Seven YMCA associations have integrated HP LIFE courses into their programs to improve digital literacy and encourage young people in their communities to actively participate in an increasingly digitized world.
HP LIFE is a program of the HP company that works to achieve the goals of reaching 150 million people by 2030 and expanding the program to 50 countries (the YMCA has a presence in 120 countries). HP LIFE digital skills training courses in 2022 involved more than 1,300 students mainly aged 15 to 26.
YMCA World’s Vision 2030 strategy also includes digital equality as it fosters education, employment and entrepreneurship in communities around the world. HP’s continued global collaboration with the YMCA can reach young people in the communities where they live today by giving them access to practical business and IT skills that can help them thrive.