World Education worked in partnership with the Alcatel-Lucent Foundation in five countries across the globe to implement the ConnectEd program to address factors limiting the work and life options of disadvantaged youth, with an emphasis on girls and women. The program was implemented from April 2011 through June 2015. In Year One, ConnectEd worked in Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, France and India. In subsequent years, ConnectEd worked in Australia, Brazil, China, India and Indonesia. Over three years, ConnectEd reached 25,575 youth.
The aim of ConnectEd was to help the most disadvantaged youth in these countries achieve better learning outcomes, have skills that made them better prepared for the world of work, and to be more active in their communities. ConnectEd used a range of interventions to reach these goals, from scholarships, coaching, life skills and personal development courses, to school re-entry classes and nonformal education programs for out-of-school youth, job skills training, work placement, and 'youth civic voice' actions.
ConnectEd had a special focus on the use of technology to transform the learning, work and life outcomes of its youth. ConnectEd demonstrated the importance of possessing basic communications technology skills for fostering inclusion, giving disadvantaged youth a better chance to cross the opportunities gap and accessing more and better employment options.
Another important element of this initiative was the active participation of Alcatel-Lucent employees as essential co-implementers and resources in the program, utilizing their expertise in communications technology to help with activity implementation and serving as role-models, mentors and advisors to youth participants and teachers. Under ConnectEd, Alcatel-Lucent employees were involved in numerous ways including co-facilitating classes and workshops, mentoring youth or acting as ICT resource persons.