Neelie Kroes hails telecentre staff “European heroes”

After reaching more than 120.000 people during the 2011 Get Online Week campaign, the Telecentre-Europe team recognized the invaluable support of Microsoft and Liberty Global and from a range of stakeholders, including the patronage of Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission and responsible for the Digital Agenda.

Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a video message: “To all those who are involved in Get Online Week, and Europe’s network of telecentres, I want to thank you for your life changing efforts. You are really European heroes! With every person you move from offline to online you are making a better Europe.”

Sylvie Laffarge, Director for Community Affairs for Microsoft in Europe, said: “For Microsoft, Get Online Week was both a celebration of partnership and helping people connect to new opportunities and information through creative action. We are a committed corporate supporter of the goals of the Digital Agenda and this grass-roots and community-led effort was a fabulous way to work across diverse geography toward goals of increased eSkills and inclusion together. We’re proud and pleased with the outcomes of the week and look forward to continuing our collaboration in the future together with all who want to join in supporting this dynamic initiative.”

Finally, Manuel Kohnstamm, Managing Director Public Policy & Communications of Liberty Global said: “Our Corporate Responsibility is founded on Digital Inclusion, thus we are proud to have teamed up with Telecentre Europe for Get Online Week 2011. This concentrated effort to reach the digitally excluded across Europe produced remarkable results and we look forward to multiplying these efforts in the coming year.”


Get Online Week 2011 reaches 112.000 people

More than one hundred thousand Europeans were reached by telecentres in 30 European countries in the 2011 Get Online Week campaign.

When Telecentre-Europe’s Get Online Week counter was stopped, it stood at 112.074. More than one hundred thousand people had answered a few simple questions in a short survey to show they had been reached by the campaign. They had been supported to use the internet in about 5.000 telecentres in 30 countries across Europe – education venues, libraries and NGOs providing support to use computers and the internet.

Of the 112.074 that were supported to use the internet, or a new online service for the first time, about one in ten were unemployed (9.6%), and one in seven were retired (14.5%), and just under a third were in employment (31%). About half were under 25, one third between 25-55, and just under a fifth, almost 20.000 people, over 55. There was a majority of women (56%) to men (44%). These demographics however still don’t tell the whole story.

For about one in six (just under 20.000) this was the first time they had ever used the internet. Their technology journey was just starting. Gabi Barna, Chair of Telecentre-Europe, and Director of EOS in Romania said:

“The people who visited telecentres during Get Online Week, will be being supported this week, and next week, and likely for a number of weeks to come. They started a journey of discovery about computers and the internet, which will lead them to benefit from better job prospects and wage premiums. They will have better social, community and civic connections, and personal economic savings and benefits to them, as well as macro-economic savings and benefits to their governments’ and to industry”.

The rest, just over 90.000 people, had already started their journey, but were in a telecentre being introduced to online services for the first time, or receiving ongoing support or learning. This ongoing support that local telecentres provide is vital.

The 112.074 captured by the counter were not the whole story. In Lithuania a further 80.000 people had completed the survey to support the campaign, while in Latvia another 200.000 people had used it as part of their new online population census. Further to this there were at least a further 10.000 people who had used their respective nations e-learning platforms without it being registered on the survey. All of this leads to a much larger, wider figure of around 400.000 people reached by, or supporting, the campaign.



GOW2011 video from Belgium: Get Online Week 2011 launched at Interface3, Belgium

The video shows how Neelie Kroes becomes the first European citizen who hits the Get Online Week counter. It contains interviews with  trainees, trainers and with the Director of Interface3, Laure Lemaire. The video also explains the benefits of joining Telecentre-Europe AISBL for European organizations active in the field of digital training.

» If you’re in a hurry, watch a shorter version [1 min] of underneath video

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GOW2011 video from Belgium: Message from Neelie Kroes for Get Online Week 2011

In this video Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission and responsible for the Digital Agenda, explains why she decided to support Telecentre-Europe‘s Get Online Week.

She talks about how she became an enthousiast internet user after first being rather sceptical, urging the unmotivated “to give the internet another try”. Neelie Kroes also reaches out to the ones that are already confident with the internet, asking them to participate in Get Online Week by bringing an “internet buddy”: someone they know has never used the internet before. At the end of the video the Commissioner thanks the staff of Europe’s network of telecentres for their amazing impact in reducing the 200 million offline Europeans with 25 million every year.

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