Taking young people seriously and trusting them to do things – that is the approach of Deutsche Telekom's youth programs. After all, it's the only way for young people to gain the self-confidence necessary to take control of their lives.
The requirements of our increasingly networked world are becoming ever more complex for our upcoming generations: they not only have to use modern technology for communication and information, but also make a social, confident contribution to society.
Developing and promoting potential
Deutsche Telekom launched the "Yes, I can!" initiative in 2009 in order to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds act independently and with self-confidence.
Since then, the "Yes, I can!" initiative has supported specific projects and activities aimed at developing these key skills among disadvantaged children and young people.
Whether theater, environment, cooking, or workshops on how to handle money responsibly: the activities supported by "Yes, I can!" teach children and young people the abilities they need for a bright future as extracurricular programs. In particular, the projects encourage 9 to 14-year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds to discover and expand their individual abilities – gaining key competencies such as communication, teamwork, dealing with conflict and self-organization – to develop both personal and career perspectives.
Funding of around EUR 3 million has meanwhile been provided to support over 500 projects throughout Germany. Deutsche Telekom will once again provide more than EUR 500,000 this year.
In 2011, dedicated employees transferred the initiative into the "Ich kann was!-Initiative für Kinder und Jugendliche e. V." association, where its work is being continued. The new legal status afforded by the association makes it possible to receive donations, enabling the initiative to support even more children's and youth centers in their work.
The sustainable approach of the initiative was once again confirmed through the repeated honor of being named as an official project of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, from 2005 to 2014.
The commission recognizes initiatives that are exemplary in implementing the values of the United Nation's global education campaign and that teach children and young people new ways of acting sustainably.