Ready for the future

Deutsche Telekom is dedicated to getting young people ready for the future and promoting equal opportunities. We take different approaches in our efforts. With our "Yes, I can!" initiative, for example, we help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds improve their skills and give them the opportunity to participate in a vocational training program through our "My chance to get going" project.

Skills development and professional orientation among students is a focus of many projects we conduct at schools and universities. We also live up to our corporate responsibility by training far more young people than we actually need. We encourage young people to get involved in their communities within the scope of initiatives such as our Enactus university collaboration, a coaching offer for student community projects, and as a partner of the "Go your own way" program run by the Deutschlandstiftung Integration foundation.

The "Yes I can!" initiative celebrated its five-year anniversary from June 20-23, 2014, in Berlin. More than 600 children and young people as well as teachers from all over Germany attended the event. The initiative, which was selected by the UN to be part of the UN World Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, sponsors projects that use a variety of means to encourage the development of key skills for a successful life within the context of open youth work. In 2014, 200 new projects were supported under the slogan “Living strong” with a funding volume of more than 750,000 euros. Over the past five years, the initiative has reached more than 60,000 children and young people through more than 700 projects with a funding volume of currently around four million euros (as of 2014).

The celebrations began with the annual "Yes, I can!" Cup, in which around 400 children and young people played against each other in a soccer competition. In addition to the number of goals scored, the conduct of the players, coaches and fans plays a role in who wins the "Yes, I can!" Cup (fairplay). At the "Yes, I can!" Day held afterwards at Deutsche Telekom's Representative Office in Bonn, Telekom offered workshops and presented projects to give visitors insight into the variety of projects being sponsored. Accompanied by band performances at the marketplace, guests could admire a replica of the ship sailed by Christopher Columbus, which children and young people from the Munich district of Hasenbergl spent the last two years building for their playground, watch a self-made solar cooker in action or try their hand at activities such as capoeira and poetry slamming at different workshops.

The Deutsche Telekom Stiftung foundation supports numerous projects focusing on STEM  subjects throughout Germany in order to get young people excited about a career in one of these fields and to help them improve their STEM  skills. One excellent example is the Junior Engineer Academy (JIA), a program founded in 2005 in which Deutsche Telekom Stiftung helps secondary schools throughout Germany developing a classic STEM  profile. 70 schools throughout Germany were involved in the JIA network by the end of 2014. The project has reached around 3,500 students since it was first initiated.

  • Be a math whiz

With the cooperative project, "Be a math whiz," the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung foundation hopes to make mathematics more accessible to poorly performing students. Under the coordination of TU Dortmund University, the project team develops, tests and publishes special course material for middle-grade students. The German Center for Mathematics Teacher Education (DZLM) also offers continued education courses throughout Germany in connection with the project. Deutsche Telekom Stiftung has worked with the states of Berlin, Brandenburg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein in the project. Materials are published in these states and their impact on students is then evaluated.

  • MINTeinander project

The MINTeinander project was initiated in 2013 with the goal of teaching STEM  skills to students from preschool through school-age using course material developed within the context of the project. Around 135 day care centers, elementary schools and secondary schools work in 35 networks with the materials, which were developed by a group of experts at the University of Münster. After successfully introducing the topic of magnetism in 2014, the project team is currently developing course materials on floating and sinking as well as mechanics.

  •  Junior Science Café

How much research is involved in a smartphone? How will we be communicating with each other in 20 years? In the Junior Science Café (JSC) project conducted by the Deutsche Telekom Stifung foundation in collaboration with the Wissenschaft im Dialog business initiative, students aged 14 through 18 organize discussion panels with experts where they can talk about science-related topics in a relaxed atmosphere. The main focus of the project is to encourage students to act independently. They choose the topic and the experts and plan and moderate the panel discussions, which introduces them to different scientific topics. A total of three Junior Science Cafés were conducted during the pilot project in 2014, focusing on issues involving the digital society. The project was opened to secondary schools throughout Germany in 2015.

Deutsche Telekom's Center for Strategic Projects (CSP) has been actively supporting the international student network, Enactus, for several years. We coach teams of students from our two focal universities, the University of Wuppertal and the WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management, on how to conduct their own projects and implement their own business ideas in social and environmental fields.

The team we coach at WHU Vallendar continued to work on the project it started in 2013 during the reporting period. The team wants to give people with disabilities better opportunities on the job market by helping a social welfare organization build a job placement company for people with disabilities.

The Mumo Kidz project being conducted by the Enactus team at the University of Wuppertal set up an online cloud to function as an internal organizational tool for a school in Nairobi to ensure a seamless transition when new teachers take on classes as frequently happens at the school. More than 40 students from the University of Wuppertal developed technological concepts for long-term aid for people in need under the slogan "Technology inspires" and in collaboration with CSP.

The United Nation's Children's Fund, UNICEF, and the T-Mobile for Macedonia foundation are continuing their "The first five are most important" project within the scope of their partnership. The goal of the program is to raise people's awareness of the importance of early education for children. Children develop particularly quickly during the first five years. It has been proven that children who attend preschool are generally more successful later at school and in life. For this reason, the joint initiative plans to open as many centers for early child development as possible in order to give children from disadvantaged backgrounds the same advantages as other children their age who attend day care centers.

The first new early child development centers are being set up in rural areas because there are fewer facilities there than in the cities. Eight of these centers have already opened and another eight are scheduled to follow in 2015/2016. In 2014, the T-Mobile for Macedonia foundation made its first donation of US$ 50,000 to finance the new centers, also donating part of its revenue from text messages sent on New Year's Eve.