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BESTIE (Befriending for social Ties and Digital inclusion) is happy to introduce Fundación Cibervoluntarios, the partner organization who will co-lead the creation of spaces in which young people, migrants or people over 65 years of age will be able to communicate and share their technological needs: Intergenerational Network Clubs. In addition, all these spaces will be included in an e-Learning platform.

Covid19 has accelerated the digitization of every aspect of our lives. We’ve been facing sudden digital usage in education and work, access to social networks, health services, cultural activities, banking electronic administration or shopping. Our increasingly digital world has the potential to leave behind the most vulnerable of society. The inability to engage with digital media can accentuate disadvantage and exclusion for those with fewer opportunities. This is particularly evident among senior adults, migrants and refugees, even young people where a lack of digital skills is synonymous with social isolation and loss of autonomy. Education, free training in Digital Skills, community building and intergenerational collaboration will be keys in the evolution of BESTIE project. 

Fundacion Cibervoluntarios has a 20-year experience fighting Digital Divide through technological volunteering and free training activities in digital competences addressing older people, migrants or youth, among others. Cibervoluntarios is a Spanish NGO of international scope, created in 2001 by social entrepreneurs in order to promote the use and knowledge of technology as a means to bridge social gaps, generate social innovation and citizen empowerment, favor their rights and enhance their opportunities through digital competences. Our work is based on collaboration. The organization currently has a network of 2,000 cybervolunteers and more than 1,500 organizations with which we collaborate directly and regularly. Through free training activities, we reach over 60,000 persons annually.

BESTIE (Befriending for social Ties and Digital inclusion) is a new Erasmus Plus project partnered by 5 organizations from Spain, France, Ireland, Denmark and Greece. BESTIE will offer the most natural and socially beneficial method: community-based exchange in creating human interpersonal connections! The partners of the project will use the project to create the digital inclusion learning environments in their own organizations and develop digital and social skills of their own staff.

How BESTIE actions and tools will benefit local communities strengthening intergenerational dialogue for an inclusive digital transition?

• BESTIE will benefit seniors with few opportunities to acquire the digital skills for better functioning in an ever increasing digital world, as well as by developing social ties to the community, overcoming threats of loneliness and exclusion.

• BESTIE will benefit migrants & refugees by taking both roles of learners, they will improve their digital competencies and social links, and also those with more advanced digital skills will be mentors.

• Young people will benefit by building their communication skills, leadership and mentorship skills, acquiring a reputation as educators and community support implementers, as well as build their networks and boost their confidence, which leads to better employment prospects in the future and better links to the community.

• All the tools and work generated will focus on evoking cooperation within the community on an intergenerational basis, bringing together seniors, migrants and young people, with the help of adult educators, to overcome the digital and social exclusion of these groups, by allowing them to work together on bridging key skills gaps.

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