POETA DigiSpark

Argentina - Brasil - Chile - Colombia - Mexico - Perú - Puerto Rico - Uruguay
Project under implementation

Description

POETA DigiSpark seeks to empower people -ages 16 and over- through technology to facilitate their access to economic and educational opportunities such as: obtaining a job or a promotion, creating or strengthening an entrepreneurship, obtaining an internship, and starting or continuing their education. In 2022, the project will take place in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Uruguay.  

Through its +20 local partners, POETA DigiSpark provides training on digital, technical, and life skills to people from vulnerable backgrounds. Coupled with skills training, POETA DigiSpark provides vocational guidance and mentorship to its participants to connect them with more and better economic and educational opportunities.  

In partnership with Eidos Global, POETA DigiSpark also seeks to provide training focused on computer science and digital skills to teachers and facilitators of any discipline, to enhance their teachings and promote the use of technology among new generations.  

COVID 19 and its consequences have helped push our message behind POETA DigiSpark: technology opens doors to more and better opportunities, not only in person, but also virtual. 

Project purpose

POETA DigiSpark aims to support regional efforts to bridge the digital divide. To this end, the project provides training in digital, technical and life skills in line with the skills that the labor market demands. In this sense, POETA DigiSpark prepares participants with the necessary skills to compete in the labor market of the 21st century.

Project goals

Focus in Vulnerable Population: Ensure that 80% of our participants are part of underserved and vulnerable groups, such as those who are unemployed and underemployed, people at risk of losing their jobs, people with disabilities, women, at-risk youth, migrants and refugees, and those of afro or indigenous descent.

Emerging Digital Economy: The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a trend already in motion: digital transformation. To effectively participate in the digital economy, which is increasingly present in the region, POETA DigiSpark empowers its participants to develop digital, telework and communication skills via technology to adapt to online settings.

The Talent Gap. According to the Coursera’s Global Skills Report (2021), half of the companies in Latin America are unable to find workers equipped with the digital, technical and job skills they need. POETA DigiSpark addresses this mismatch between supply and demand, by training people with skills aligned to the needs of local employers, seeking to boost the economic reactivation of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Main achievements

724,645
724,645 online visits and visualizations of educational content and micro-learning webinars were recorded.
15,115
15,115 people ages 16 and over were directly trained in digital, technical and life skills, of which 63% were women.
7,633
7,633 teachers were trained in digital and computer skills, of which 85% were women.
7,825
7,825 economic and educational opportunities were facilitated: Of which 61% were secured by women; Of which 28% are related to computer science

Structure

1
POETA DigiSpark and Microsoft’s Global Skilling Initiative

The Trust and Microsoft’s 15+ years of partnership have allowed our missions to align towards empowering vulnerable communities in the Americas through the access, use, and appropriation of technology.  

Through POETA DigiSpark, in 2022 The Trust continues to spearhead Microsoft’s Global Skilling Initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean by providing easier access to training and mentorship for people hardest hit by recent job losses or at risk of being replaced by automation processes. 

Strategic partners

Success Stories

POETA DigiSpark helps Bruna boost her career, face new challenges and follow her dreams

São Paulo, Brasil

Bruna (26) is a woman from São Paulo. She has always been interested in technology, taking courses to become a Computer Technician, and studying Information Technology Management at the (Faculdade de Tecnologia de São Paulo) FATEC Institute in São Paulo. As the eldest of three, she has worked since she was 18 years old to support her family. This has meant that she has not always had the opportunity to prioritize jobs in the technology sector, at one point working as a manager in a bakery.   

 Bruna was working as an intern at the Instituto Tecnológico Inovação (ITI) when she found out ITI was implementing POETA DigiSpark and quickly enrolled. Through POETA DigiSpark, Bruna took the Eu Posso Programar, and SQL courses and she excelled thanks to her knowledge of Microsoft Visual Studio and her ability to work databases. However, her most significant accomplishment was obtaining a full-time job as a Junior Systems Developer at ITI. Bruna plans to complete her undergraduate studies and continue learning all about technology. 

POETA DigiSpark helps Bruna boost her career, face new challenges and follow her dreams

Medellin, Colombia

Yasmin (56) is a Venezuelan migrant who lives in Medellin with her elderly parents, two sisters and her daughter. She started her own business –Yexi’s Cakes– to support her family. Yasmin is also a founding member of a non-profit organization which helps Venezuelan refugees and returning Colombians escaping the Venezuelan crisis. Due to the pandemic, Yasmin’s sales plummeted, and so she turned to social media to expand her business. At Microempresas, Yasmin took Financial Education and Social Media for Business courses. She learned how to use Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp Business. These platforms allowed Yasmin to strategically advertise her business and therefore increase her sales. Yasmin highlights how the teachers and facilitators at Microempresas created a supportive and collaborative environment where she and her peers developed important life skills. Yasmin now has more confidence in herself and her ability to promote her business. POETA DigiSpark not only provided Yasmin with the tools to grow her social media presence, but also empowered her to share her knowledge through her non-profit, as she now helps Venezuelan refugees create email accounts to request legal refugee status in Colombia.  Through her networking efforts on social media, Yasmin is determined to continue growing her business, identify new commercial partners and, one day, own more than one bakery.

Joaquín relies on accessible technologies to continue facilitating virtual classes for his students

Nuevo León, Mexico

Joaquín (35) is a professor from Monterrey, Mexico, who has a visual disability. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Linguistics with a focus on Translation. At UTSC, he is responsible for supporting students with visual impairments through braille impressions and screen-reading software. Due to social distancing measures in Monterrey, Joaquín had to migrate his classes and mentorship sessions to a virtual setting. To do so, he decided to join POETA DigiSpark to upgrade his teaching and digital skills. Through the UTSC POETA Center, Joaquín took a course on Digital Tools for Teachers, through which he learned how to use Kahoot, Excel, Outlook, Forms and Asana for teaching purposes. He also completed a course on Microsoft Teams. The biggest challenge he faced was learning to use technology despite his visual impairment through specialized tools such as a screen reader. Thanks to the skills Joaquín learned at POETA DigiSpark, he was able to renew his contract with UTSC. One of Joaquín’s biggest takeaways is that the use of technology can provide job opportunities and bridge professional gaps. He is committed to continue improving his teaching and digital skills to strengthen academic content and improve the delivery of his classes.

Which of the following SDGS (Sustainable Development Goals) this project support?