Video Bridge Europe - Civil society - ICT as a tool to connect people
Country of the case / Scope:
Start Date/End date:
Third Sector Organisation
The phenomenon of children left behind in the country due to emigrating parents is widespread in Romania today. According to some estimations around 15% of Romanian children aged from 0 to 18 years have had at least one of their parents working abroad in the past or at present (UNICEF, 2008), and more than one third of the families have had at least one member working abroad since 1989. Video Bridge Europe was implemented by EOS Foundation with the aid of the national e-centre network that it manages since 2006 (www.ecentre.ro). The project took place in the entire 32 e-centres partner who provided support for the teenagers from the community, teenagers whose parents had left the country to go and work in Spain.
Within this project the teenagers are encouraged by the e-centre managers to come to the e-centre at their community in order to use the new ICT tools and in this way communicate with their parents who are working in Spain. There are a lot of teenagers who are coming frequently to the e-centre in order to talk on internet with their family members in Spain. In the e-centre they use the voice and video affordances of MSN, Yahoo or Skype in order to speak with their parents. In small communities, where the internet connectivity is almost inexistent, the services that the e-centres offer are more than welcome for these children. This is almost the only chance they have to speak with their family abroad, considering the fact that international telephone calls are very expensive.
Target and key users:
Romanian migrants in Spain, and their children in Romania
Involvement of IEM in the practice:
IEM are the core group of this initiative, the action being focused on providing a long term relation between the children left home and their parents in Spain, by encouraging them to use new ICT technologies, as MSN, Yahoo, Skype or interactive platforms.Impact assesment and methodology:
The website is monitored using web statistics. Also, the action use evaluation of learning skills at the beginning and end of the training.Innovation and creativity:
The project is organized from a social inclusion perspective, and it focuses more narrowly on the particular role of ICT as a moderator factor in the social inclusion of the adolescents left at home. The ICT-enabled service is innovative with respect to the context in which it takes place due to the fact that is the only service of this kind who works on a real necessity demanded by the targeted IEM, more exactly keeping in contact the migrants abroad with their families, being focused on the teenagers who are using the e-centres to communicate with their parents in Spain. The type of creativity used by this service implies a long-term collaboration between the 32 centres and combines the use of innovative ICT techniques with the IEM interest in bridging with their families abroad.Sustainability:
The action is an on-going project developed and funded with the help of Microsoft Unlimited Potential programme and will assure it’s sustainability in the next years by local and regional funding, sponsorships and donations. Also, the e-centres have already the infrastructure to develop themselves as self-financing entities with the possibility of providing a part of the services on a paying base.