Foundation TELEKOM for Macedonia partner with UNICEF

Equal opportunities for children and young people through digital innovation

19 June 2019
Group photo of five people including three young people with disabilities attending the press conference
UNICEF/2019/Dimishkovski

Equal opportunities for children and young people through digital innovation

Skopje, 18 June 2019: Foundation Telekom for Macedonia and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today announced a new partnership to expand opportunities for children and young people with disabilities through digital innovation. The initiative will bring partners together to co-create - with youth - innovative digital solutions to improve access to education and participation in community life.

“Digitization brings many new opportunities and a complete transformation of society. As one of the main carriers of this transformation, we have the obligation to deliver the best technology, but also the responsibility to create fair conditions. This partnership with UNICEF is precisely such an initiative to reduce the digital divide for equal inclusion of vulnerable groups. At the same time, it is a call for raising awareness that we are all creators and we need to create a fair digital society where technology will primarily serve people," - said Nikola Ljusev, President of Foundation Telekom for Macedonia.

“Adolescents and young people have enormous untapped potential – by nature they have a passion for novity and eagerness to push boundaries. Young people with disabilities are no different.  This partnership is about co-creating with them to find innovative solutions to the real barriers that children and young people face every day at school and in life.” – said Benjamin Perks, UNICEF Representative. 

Through the partnership, UNICEF and Foundation Telekom for Macedonia will work with young people to co-create through two initiatives.

-    “Generation Unlimited” Design Thinking Challenge – where young innovators in the country will be invited to submit ideas for digital solutions to remove barriers that children and young people with disparities face in education and community life. The top ten teams which will include at least one person with a disability will be invited to a design thinking workshop to develop their ideas further. The teams will work under the mentorship of engineers, marketing and IT specialists from Makedonski Telekom, and the best three ideas will receive seed funding to make their idea a reality. The public call for ideas will be issued in this autumn.  

-    “Without Barriers” accessibility map – the partnership will further develop a digital accessibility map where people can learn and pin barriers and positive examples of accessibility in the areas of: accessible buildings, pedestrian paths and crossing, accessible public transport, parking, playgrounds and toilets, accessibility for hearing impaired and equal treatment. Through the partnership it will be further developed as a web-based platform with digital accessibility. The goal is to provide easier mobility and accessibility through this digital tool, which is one of the basics for equal treatment of these individuals. Over time, the platform will be developed in cooperation with competent institutions, local organizations and parent associations.

This is the second partnership between UNICEF and the Telekom Foundation for Macedonia. In 2015, under the slogan "The first 5 most important in the world" eight (8) early childhood development centres were opened and still serving children and families in rural communities. 

For more information, please contact:

Foundation Telekom for Macedonia, Lea Lipsha, tel: +389 23242506, e-mail FoundationTelekomforMacedonia@telekom.mk 
UNICEF, Suzie Pappas, tel: +389 2 3231150, email: spappas@unicef.org 

Media Contacts

Suzie Pappas Capovska

Tel: (02) 3231-244

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.mk.

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