Twelve enthusiastic young immigrants have successfully finished the programme of the second pilot of the Digital Welcome programme in Brussels, Belgium. On the 30th of January 2019 they have received their certificate after following 60 hours of training and passing on their knowledge to other immigrants as young mentors.

The training took place from November 2018 until the end of January 2019 in the Sint Guido-instituut, A high-school in the Anderlecht commune that has an education programme especially for refugees and immigrants called OKAN (OnthaalKlas voor Anderstalige Nieuwkomers, Welcome Class for Foreign-language Newcomers for youngsters of the age between 12 and 21 years old). With students that have not been longer than a few months in Belgium and coming from Afghanistan, Nigeria, Iran but also Ecuador, Ghana and Azerbaijan they had a very wide variety of different cultures.

Like in all the other Digital Welcome trainings these youngsters learned the basics of coding and how to prepare for and take an interview with local policymakers. The programme also included an animator training so they could pass on these skills to other youngsters, in this case other OKAN classes. All this while enhancing their communication skills and practicing the local language which in this case was Dutch.

The programme of the second pilot finished at the end of January when they made Digital Stories about their experiences during the Digital Welcome programme. You can see for instance the digital stories of Nadia and Saïd here:

You can turn on the English subtitles at the bottom of the video!

As a final word from the Belgian Digital Welcome team:

The enthusiasm and positivism of these youngsters was heart warming and it’s actually an honour having such motivated, bright and lovely new citizens in our country.

We would also like to thank the principle and the many teachers of the Sint-Guido-Instituut for believing in our project, for giving us time during school-hours to implement the programme and to support the workshops with us all the time. Really, really, thank you!