The Black Youth Socio-Economic Development Summit

The 4C Connected Community to Curb COVID-19 project – Seniors component

The Black Youth Socio-Economic Development Summit (SdesJ) is an innovative network of 46 community organizations. It has taken on a mission to play a part in Quebec’s development by focusing on the contributions of Black youth. It brings together, most notably, actors from the Haitian, African, Caribbean and anglophone communities.

The 2020 pandemic proved to be an opportunity for the organization to develop new projects. The goal was to promote greater integration among the communities, as a step towards building a better future. Thus, three SdesJ initiatives came to life in the wake of COVID-19:

  • An awareness campaign on good hygiene practices, offered in six languages;
  • “Confined and active”: a series of 50 videos highlighting Black communities’ cultural heritage;
  • The 4C program, which supports families by helping them to cope with the digital divide.

It was in the context of this latter program that the SdesJ applied to the Emergency community Support Fund (ECSF); the Foundation of Greater Montréal awarded a $75,000 grant to this initiative.

A creative project

The funded project, 4C Connected community to curb COVID19 – Seniors component, is the follow-up to the first phase of the program. That initiative aimed to empower disadvantaged families. It did so by providing them with computer equipment, Internet access and support to counter the digital divide.

The new phase aims to offer seniors aged 60 and over support that will enable them to become digital citizens. The aim is to contribute to their social and economic inclusion. It also reduces the impact that the COVID-19 lockdown is having on them.

In practical terms, seniors will get computers or tablets, technical support, and training on varied subjects. Among them: using a computer, communicating by webconference, protective measures against COVID-19, computer security, fraud prevention, financial autonomy,  and the use of online platforms for everyday operations, etc. As well, monthly networking get-togethers will be organized to help break their isolation and enable seniors to interact with other seniors.

“COVID-19 has exacerbated the digital divide. We want to provide disadvantaged youth and families with a digital environment that will help them further their learning, and exercise their digital citizenship,” states Black Youth Socio-Economic Development Summit President Edouard Staco.

Visit the SdesJ website