In Antony, a large blue truck attracts attention in front of the Eric Tabarly sports complex. If we bend down to look through the door, we discover a classroom. A dozen students are sitting quietly, their eyes riveted on their computers. How to choose your mailbox? How to send an e-mail? How to install an application on your smartphone? This is the function of this course whose genesis dates back to 2019.
It was in Kenya that the experiment began. Anne-Claire Wang, head of Huawei’s CSR program on inclusion, says: “We realized that in view of the United Nations’ objectives of economy, care, education and access to services, digital is fundamental. But everyone is not on an equal footing in front of this technology. »
It is therefore in Kenya that the DigiTruck adventure begins. The truck created by Close The Gap provides Kenyan students with: electricity, equipment and connection. The immense success of the project gives ideas of reproduction to Huawei.
In 2020, the program is replicated in Hauts-de-France. “France has a need for digital skills. 35% of French people have difficulty understanding digital technology,” explains Anne-Claire. “Our goal is to bring tech to everyone,” she continues. This is why gratuity imposed itself on us. The fact of not having to register is also an important element. We see an open door and just enter. »
The project carried by the Chinese tech giant adapts to the cities in which it settles, according to the priorities determined by the local actors. According to the Huawei manager, the DigiTruck is not motivated by any marketing program, “we are a tech company, we just want as many people as possible to use our products”.
“I feel downright handicapped”
The digital divide. This is the common denominator of the DigiTruck students that 20 minutes met. “I don’t know anything about computers,” admits Jean-Luc. This gap, he experiences it every day. “With the administration, it’s very difficult to discuss, they don’t understand that I don’t understand. ” This is not the first time that the pensioner tries to catch up ” I wanted to take lessons before, but it was very expensive. “His comrade for a day, Jean-Marc, explains that when the internet arrived, “there was training. They started in offices, then in schools. Those who were not trained were left out. As the world around them becomes digital, the two men hope to improve “so as not to lag behind events” concludes Jean-Marc.
Line and Paule, two other DigiTruck students, also understand digital. “I noticed that my daughters, with their smartphones, get out of all the situations in which I am entangled,” says Line. “I see that my daughter buys everything on the Internet today, I don’t dare to do all that yet”, adds Paule before indicating that despite an adequate subscription, she “can’t even manage to go on the Internet on the phone “. Dependent on her children to use the computer tool, Paule confides: “I feel downright handicapped. “But the two friends do not despair and are even delighted with the teaching, “when I saw the ad, I jumped at the chance”. They claim to have previously taken computer courses, but “that has nothing to do with it, it’s much more fun”.
The DigiTruck is not just for retirees. Digital exclusion can affect all ages. The Tech4all organization (Huawei), as part of its CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), offers a five-day seminar for students, among many other initiatives. “To attract other young people to train, we have extended certain courses until 8 p.m., and even on Saturdays,” says Juliette. The inhabitants of Antony will therefore be able to come and train at the DigiTruck until June 18. After this date, the blue truck will take the direction of Poissy, Sarcelles, then Arnouville.