Gütersloh/München, 09/30/2021

Bertelsmann Provides Digital Education Opportunities for Young Adults from SOS Children’s Villages

Subject: Society
Country: International
Category: Charitable Donations

Thanks to a donation from Bertelsmann, the international charity SOS Children’s Villages can provide 60 young adults from its support programs with access to digital education and thus to the working world of tomorrow. The media, services, and education company is sponsoring 60 scholarships for Nanodegree courses from the online continuing education platform Udacity. Over a period of eight months, the courses impart specialist knowledge in the emerging technologies of cloud, data and artificial intelligence – areas in which there is a high demand for skilled workers.

Karin Schlautmann, Executive Vice President of Bertelsmann Corporate Communications, says: “Education is the key to a fulfilling working life and social participation. In this regard, the Udacity scholarships can represent a real opportunity and perhaps even a turning point for many young people from SOS Children’s Villages support programs. We are happy about every single person who seizes this opportunity for upskilling, and also to be working with SOS Children’s Villages again.”

Udacity is known as the university of Silicon Valley. The learning platform has partnered with leading tech companies to develop an array of industry-relevant online courses and learning paths. Nanodegrees are now exceedingly well-regarded by many global tech companies. Bertelsmann, through the Bertelsmann Education Group, is one of the largest shareholders in Udacity and has been committed for years to providing tech skills through scholarship programs, to counteract the prevailing shortage of skilled workers.

Bertelsmann and SOS Children’s Villages have been working together for many years. The company has supported the aid organization since the 2004 tsunami, which devastated the coasts of nine Asian countries and claimed the lives of 230,000 people. Bertelsmann employees spontaneously collected donations for the tsunami victims; the Group doubled their donations and contributed an additional one million euros. In this way, SOS Children’s Villages received €1.4 million in donations, plus about €300,000 in interest income over the years. The money was used to help more than 300 children who had lost their parents and relatives in the tsunami. They grew up in the shelter of five SOS Children’s Villages in Indonesia, India, and Thailand and were supported by Bertelsmann with long-term sponsorships. Most of the sponsored children are now adults.

The Udacity scholarships build on this collaboration. 60 young adults from the worldwide SOS support programs will each get the chance to apply and subsequently qualify for a Udacity nanodegree.

In this way, Bertelsmann and SOS Children’s Villages worldwide are using their partnership to address and combat global youth unemployment, one of the major challenges of our time. 68 million young people cannot currently find jobs or have to work for low wages. The labor market is particularly challenging for young people without parents. Participating in a Udacity Nanodegree program paves the way for young people to pursue a career rich in opportunities.