Passerelles Numériques, an association created in 2005 in Phnom Penh (Cambodia), developed further as it moved into Cebu (Philippines) in 2009 and then Danang in Vietnam in 2010. It offers short two to three year training courses for young people from very disadvantaged backgrounds whose families cannot cover the cost of training. Targeting the dynamic IT sector, Passerelles Numériques prepares students for work as computer programmers.
In Vietnam, the association works in partnership with the public university in Danang. The training centre was opened in 2010 and offers training (initially two years, now three years) that meets the needs of employers and is recognized by the Vietnamese Ministry of Education. To date, 214 students have graduated in Vietnam. In 2015 96% had found a skilled job earning twice the regional minimum wage ($210 per month).
High school graduates aged between 18 and 20 who join the centre are selected by the Passerelles Numériques team on the basis of written examinations, individual interviews, their social situation, etc. Once their application has been accepted, they receive three years’ training: theoretical learning is accompanied by training in the world of business and educational and social development. The students live together in dormitories, close to the association's premises, where they learn autonomy and responsibility, trust, solidarity, and respect. They have to learn to manage a budget to pay for their food and electricity and water bills, work out schedules for household chores, and solve any interpersonal issues within the group.
This program, supported by the Veolia Foundation, not only helps disadvantaged young people find a job, but also creates jobs directly for the Vietnamese community. A team of 20 people (including 18 from Vietnam) supervises and manages the centre. And there are numerous indirect beneficiaries: students' families (about 790 people) generally receive financial assistance from the young graduates once they have landed a well-paying job. Finally, local businesses in the expanding computer industry in Danang now have a pool of qualified people to call on.
Passerelles Numériques, working in Cambodia since 2006
In 2006, Passerelles Numériques created a computer initiation centre, the CIST (Center for Information System Training) to enable dozens of students from Phnom Penh to train in computer science. In partnership with the associations Pour une Sourire d'Enfant (PES) and Enfants du Mékong (EDM), Passerelles Numériques has given many young Cambodians access to valuable training that leads to a qualification. The Veolia Foundation helped to set up this centre. More information here.