Over the course of 30 years, Stefanini has built a reputation as a leading global supplier of digital products and services. This isn’t the full extent of our work, though. There are aspects which might not be as widely known as our activities in the cloud, application development or artificial intelligence arenas, but which are equally important.
One such initiative is the Stefanini Institute. Founded in Brazil by Graça and Marco Stefanini, it was created as an opportunity to give something back to the community in which they were raised. The Institute has been a great success, helping 95,000 young people to build a career since its doors first opened in 2001.
Since 2016, we have been striving to replicate that success with a new Stefanini Institute in Romania, and while we have gradually increased the number of students that we mentor, in 2019, we have our sights firmly set on growth of a much larger scale.
The mission of the Stefanini Institute is to offer educational opportunities for young, underprivileged members of our community, to equip them with the skills that they need to develop and move forward in life.
We partner with schools, universities and other NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) to provide specialist training in IT and foreign languages, themed events and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) schemes. With training covering the use of Windows applications, for example, the goal is to provide students with an essential digital skillset.
In other countries, it can be easy to take this knowledge for granted. However, for the disadvantaged people we invite to the Institute, who might previously have had no opportunity to acquire these fundamental skills, this training could set them on the path to building a lifelong career.
Some of our students might eventually go on to work full-time at Stefanini. That isn’t our ambition, though. The Institute isn’t a recruitment initiative, and our students might choose to use their newfound skills to forge a different path. Wherever the knowledge that we impart takes them, we want to inspire confidence, offer support and create solutions for those who need them most.
A new beginning
By joining Stefanini as the Romanian Institute’s first dedicated project manager, I plan for 2019 to be the year in which the organisation truly comes into its own.
We began the year with an open-door event at our head office in Bucharest, to raise awareness of the Institute among Stefanini employees and inspire volunteers to join our cause. Four of our NGO partners joined us; MagiCAMP, Help Autism, Save the Children and the Social Incubator, and we invited Stefanini employees to attend and find out more about our work.
We saw a fantastic response to the event and, in March, we were delighted to welcome 50 eager volunteers, from our three locations in Bucharest, Sibiu and Targu Mures. Before interacting with our students, they will receive training and be divided into three distinct branches; training, educational events and CSR. For the time being though, we are thrilled to have seen such enthusiasm for the Institute among the Stefanini community.
Since then, we have organised events and workshops to mark dates such as World Reading Day and World Radio Day, and have even been visited by Marco and Graça Stefanini. As both Marco and Graça were so heavily involved in the creation of the first Stefanini Institute, it was great pleasure to be able to show them our work in Romania.
We have seen a great start to 2019, but our ambitions don’t end here.
One of our primary goals is to continue raising awareness of the Institute, through word of mouth and by attending events with other NGOs. We’re also working hard to build our presence on social media and are planning to launch a major Facebook campaign, to inspire more volunteers to join our cause.
As well as strengthening our relationships with other NGOs and providing formal training for our volunteers, we want to bring even more young people into the Institute and increase the number of teaching groups that we lead. We want these groups to be large enough for the students to debate and to work as a team, but small enough that each student receives the attention they deserve.
We also hope, aside from continuing to develop our technical training, to focus on soft skills. Much like the digital training that we provide, it’s easy to take the value of writing skills, interview technique and workplace etiquette for granted. To pursue the best opportunities possible, we want to help our students learn these essential skills and more.
Finally, we plan to take part in more awareness days, with activities and workshops planned for International Museum Day and International Friendship Day, to name just a couple.
A bright future
While the Stefanini Institute has made great headway in 2019 so far, the truth is that we’re only getting started. We have a long way to go if we’re to meet our goal of giving something back to our community; of helping young people strive for the opportunities that wouldn’t have been available for them otherwise.
If you’re interested in helping us or would like to learn more about our work, visit our Facebook page..