An NGO from Patras “stole the heart”… of Google
It is a fact that the Google RISE 2016 award from Google, one of the largest online services companies, has been successful in winning across Greece the “InterMediaKT”, a non-governmental organization based in Patras, in collaboration with the Laboratory of Educational Material and Educational Methodology of the Hellenic Open University. On the occasion of the award, “P” came in contact with one of the co-founders of InterMediaKT and Communications Information Technologies Consultant, Panayiotis Antonopoulos.
What are the areas of action of the NGO?
InterMediaKT is a Non-Profit / Non-Governmental Organization based in Patras, established in 2012. Our main goal is the transfer of knowledge. We act as intermediaries for education, vocational training and innovation through the use of new technologies and the internet. Our immediate goals include the promotion of science and technology to pupils and young people as a tool to become better citizens and more competitive professionals, support young entrepreneurship and local development, effective promotion of knowledge through e-learning. Lastly, it seeks to strengthen social cohesion by giving weight to the equality of nationalities, genders and vulnerable social groups.
You are the only one in Greece that has been awarded Google with the “Google RISE” award. Why do you think your actions have been preferred?
We are pleased and honored to be among the 28 organizations from 16 countries that have received the Google RISE 2016 Award, which supports informal education organizations that promote computing to students. Indeed, we have been the first organization in Greece since the launch of the program in 2011. It is not very easy to get funding, since NGOs take part in almost all countries of the world. We do not know why our proposal was just preferred, but we think it has a significant impact on today’s Greece and will offer something more than school knowledge to many students. I believe that the collaboration between the two organizations, the Educational Material and Educational Methodology Laboratory of the Hellenic Open University and InterMediaKT, which will implement the program together, is also important.
The award-winning work is called “Junior Coding Academy”. Tell us about it.
The project will run from February to December 2017. The aim of this program is to offer Scratch programming language learning courses to develop games and applications for Arduino devices. The lessons will be offered free of charge to pupils aged 10-16 and will take place after school and weekends. Each lesson will be completed in two or three weeks. The produced material will also be used to create a series of online lessons that will be available to the learning community.
Does your project have any effects on society?
Our goal is to educate at least 600 students during the program. There will be pupils from rural areas who have less opportunity to interact with technology. In addition, an important point for us is that we aim for 60% of the participants to be girls and 15% for refugee and immigrant children.
In the future course of the NGO, will we find similar ventures?
One of the most important projects we support is Codegirls, which is organized in Patras and other cities of Greece by the US Embassy and NGO Mataroa, and aims to learn about 10-16 year old girls in order to bridging the gender gap in technology. In addition, since last October we take part in the actions of the “European Code Week” with introductory code courses for beginners, with the aim of organizing them every year.
What is the NGO’s contribution to social solidarity?
Our organization is engaged in various actions that indirectly or directly promote social solidarity. Initially, participation in our actions and seminars is always free, because we understand how difficult our times are and we firmly believe in the open dissemination of knowledge. In addition, an important part for us is social cohesion and equal opportunities for all. For this reason, we are trying to organize actions that promote gender equality (Codegirls, Junior Coding Academy), support for vulnerable groups such as: Migrants and refugees (MyStory), autistic teenagers (TRAIL) problems (Accessible Roads). Regarding the latter, we launched together with the Prosvasis team a great effort to record the accessible spots in the cities of Greece, which we hope will continue for a long time.