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Digital Inclusion

Caravan of creativity

Promoting digital inclusion for children in Morocco

In Morocco, our CSR team created “Digital Caravan”, a program of workshops to promote digital inclusion for children in rural areas. Abdelaziz Belkoura, one of the volunteers, shares his story with us.

“When people bring creativity and technology together, good things can happen,” says Abdelaziz Belkoura, a senior software engineer for Capgemini, based in Casablanca, Morocco.

At home, Abdelaziz applies his own creativity to playing rock guitar, where musical tech means he can expertly recreate the sounds of his favorite bands, such as Metallica.

And at work, technology and creativity are also brought together in the wide variety of projects with which Abdelaziz is involved at Capgemini.

“I work in Salesforce and cloud commerce for consumer and luxury brands, and for banks and on environmental projects, as well as on creating mobile apps and websites for clients,” he says. “It’s varied work and always interesting because you are always looking for new solutions. It allows me to bring my creativity to the workplace.”

“I also train new developers, helping them gain expertise and learn how we work. In that way, my job is about transforming projects – and people too.”

Going on tour

Recently, Abdelaziz’s passion for helping people develop their careers in technology took him out of the office and the city to tour remote regions of Morocco he had never previously explored. Volunteering to be part of a Digital Caravan digital inclusion project, he helped schoolchildren unleash their creative sides as they learned about technology.

In volunteering, Abdelaziz joined the ranks of many other Capgemini employees around the world who give up their time to help vulnerable communities and make better futures for all.

“At Capgemini in Morocco, we had previously worked with children to show them in a fun way how simple coding works,” he says. “Then our VP had the idea of creating a ‘Digital Caravan.’

“The goal was to take those opportunities on the road, to rural towns and villages where people might not be as familiar with technology or have access to computers and the internet.

“We took the Digital Caravan to the mountains and the desert. It was a magical experience to see primary school-age kids – who had often never even used a computer mouse before – explore how computers work, and even start to do some simple programming.”

Fun with code

The Digital Caravan project provided workshops for children from public primary schools and rural areas, as well as children with disabilities, in both mixed and single-sex groups. Depending on the age group, the children learned how simple programming could guide a Bee-Bot robot to move across the floor, discovered basic programming in Scratch, and even created an animated web page and basic mobile app.

“We set up workshop areas in the schools. When the kids arrived we had some activities to break the ice and make sure they all felt comfortable. Then, after a small presentation about computing and what we do at Capgemini, we let the kids work together in small groups to solve fun programming puzzles,” says Abdelaziz.

“Kids learn very quickly, and immediately start to use their imaginations to come up with ideas and start to create. It’s great when they begin to share those ideas and interact with each other because that’s also the way we work at Capgemini. It would be no good if each person just sat in a corner working alone – you have to work together and collaborate for the best results, and that’s part of what the kids learn in the workshops. Team spirit is one of our values at Capgemini, so it was great to see it happening here too.”

At the end of the sessions, the children all received a certificate to say they had passed the coding game, as well as some Capgemini goodies and treats.

Creating the future

For Abdelaziz, the Digital Caravan is about introducing schoolchildren to the world of technology and Capgemini’s place in it.  

“Perhaps the kids can follow this path in the future,” he says. “Maybe in 10 to 20 years’ time, some of them will come back to us as IT managers, software architects, or developers. When we’re out in the schools, we may be looking at the future soldiers of technology.”

“When we recruit at Capgemini, what a person has learned at school or college, and what certificates in IT they have, is only part of the knowledge they have. There is other knowledge that you might never learn by passing exams. 

“For that reason, it’s always important to encourage people with different types of experiences and backgrounds, and this means making sure that children from all parts of society know what technology can achieve. Every person is important, and every person can use their creativity to change their world. At Capgemini, we can use this as a force to shape the future.”

The Digital Caravan program has been led by Capgemini Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) teams in Morocco since April 2022. The program’s focus is on improving the digital literacy of children. The initiative consists of different phases across four modules, in which children can improve their digital skills with lessons such as cybersecurity awareness, SCRATCH programming, and creating animated web pages. The program helps Capgemini succeed in its purpose of bridging the digital divide through digital literacy projects around the world.

Inside stories

Digital Divide

By using the skills and passions of our people, we’re bridging the digital divide to ensure technology is an opportunity for all