The civil rights activist Rosa Parks once said that “There is no future without education” and, as the world attempts to deal with climate change, these words are truer than ever. And that is why the Enel Group is embracing education as a key enabler for younger generation to meet the opportunities that lie ahead. We are supporting a number of projects in countries around the world that are designed to create value in every sense. The various projects differ but their assorted aims include: creating awareness of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs, encouraging youngsters in deprived areas to appreciate the benefits of education, promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects and, last but not least, nurturing potential future employees as Enel continues along the path of the energy transition.
Even though the Enel Group operates all over the world, its headquarters are in Italy and that is the home of the “School4Life” project. Here the emphasis is on UN SDG number 4, “Quality Education,” and the objectives include helping in the fight against school dropout. Some 94 Enel employees from all fields worked as experts, mentors and role models in 15 technical institutes and 10 middle schools throughout the country. It was clearly a success as 98% of the students who took part said that they would recommend the School4Life project to a friend and that the contribution of the Enel employees was important.
"School4Life, in addition to enabling more than 1200 young people to learn about the opportunities offered by a sustainable development model, will contribute to the dissemination of the United Nations objectives, will facilitate the understanding of business-related sustainability aspects and bring out important soft skills, counteracting early school dropout and educational poverty."
Filippo Rodriguez, Head of Sustainability Italy
The Digital Divide
In Spain, on the other hand, the focus was on the aforementioned SDG number 4, as well as on SDGs 10, Reduced Inequalities, and 17, Partnerships for the Goals. Here our subsidiary, Endesa, ran a project that was designed to bridge the digital divide, by providing laptops and connection cards, as well as training and capacity building for students in deprived areas. The numbers speak for themselves: so far more than 5,000 pupils at 429 schools located near 40 of our thermal and renewable generation facilities have benefited from the program.
And if we provided valuable equipment to students in Spain, in Russia we co-fìnanced a project for renovating two schools in the town of Sredneuralsk in the Ural Mountains. This is part of the “Tochka Rosta” or “Growth Point” project. The emphasis is on equipment for technical specialties such as robotics and engineering. Sredneuralsk is in a geographical area that has until now been dominated by heavy and light industry, and this project will help young men and women prepare for a more digital – and more sustainable – future.
Preparing for the technical challenges of tomorrow is also the focus of the “Future Electrician” project, in which our Romanian subsidiary, E-Distributie Muntenia, is closely involved. This three-year program began in 2018 in collaboration with the Technical Energy College in Bucharest, where 23 students enrolled. The following year it extended to another city, Deva, where 28 students signed up. This “dual system” course places a strong emphasis on vocational training, which gradually increases from 20% of the course in the first year, to 60% in the second, and 70% in the third.
Educating with Energy
Latin America is another important area for the Enel Group and here we are supporting several educational projects. Peru, for example, is home to the "Nuevo Pachacutec Technical Institute.” This is in the Ventanilla district, which lies to the north of the capital Lima. The Institute first began working alongside Enel Distribución Perú back in 2006. Here the “Educating with Energy” project includes an “Electro Industrial” course that trains an estimated 125 students a year. More than 90 per cent of them find employment once they complete their studies.
"My best memories as a student at the Nuevo Pachacutec concern the environment and the overall spirit I felt. I improved and acquired skills. Nothing was impossible: to wish for something was to achieve it."
Ivan Poma, former student on the “Electro Industrial” course at the Nuevo Pachacutec Technical Institute
These then are just some of the remarkable projects that will help create a future through education.