In France, and in the thirty other countries where Orange operates, all too often women are not given the same access to employment and independence as men. In 2015, we bolstered our efforts to educate these women in difficulty by opening Digital Centres throughout Europe and Africa. At the same time, our long-term programmes continue to target access to healthcare and school for girls.
Women’s Digital Centres in 18 countries in 2017!
The Women’s Digital Centres provide free training for women without jobs or qualifications who have been denied access to education, and professional training.
Understanding digital technology is essential nowadays, and can help these women in difficulty get back on their feet and regain their independence. By early 2017, in ten countries including France, some 11,000 women had visited one of our 118 Digital Centres to improve their employability. In the coming months, Digital Centres will open in eight more countries in Africa and Eastern Europe.
In some countries, the Digital Centres help women to find their first paid work. In others, they help them find a job, return to work or retrain for a different job.
The digital training courses run for 6 months to a year, using content that is free and in the public domain. Some women learn vital skills: writing, calculation, using a computer or tablet, etc. Others learn how to use software and the web. The training courses are run by associations with the support of Orange volunteers who pass on their knowledge and skills to women in need.
School and health: the same struggle for girls in Africa
Ever since Orange began operating in Africa, the Orange Foundation has been helping mothers and their children under five by improving healthcare provided in urban healthcare centres. But for girls in many African villages, attending school often depends on their access to healthcare and water. By providing 55 remote villages with access to water, a healthcare centre and a school, girls no longer have to walk long distances to fetch water allowing them to attend school. In total, nearly 400,000 mothers and children benefit from the initiatives designed specifically by the Foundation to meet local needs.