Lithuanian Gay League (LGL) is among the 13 organizations that won the Google.org Impact Challenge for Central and Eastern Europe. In total, €2 million will be distributed between those organizations for charitable projects promoting inclusive economic growth and creating equal chances for everyone to succeed in the digital world.
Technology has helped to ease the burden of the pandemic on European businesses and communities. But the last year also highlighted the urgent need to create equal opportunities for everyone to access those benefits, particularly as the EU economies come out of this crisis more digitized than before. That’s why Google launched in January its Impact Challenge dedicated to Central and Eastern Europe – to help rebuild this more digitized economy with social inclusion at its core.
‘We are pleased that Google has recognized the importance of our project and sent a message of support to the Lithuanian LGBT community. The LGBT community has been particularly hard hit by the consequences of quarantine. The pandemic also highlighted intolerance against LGBT people. I hope that our project will contribute to social cohesion, provide more opportunities for LGBT and other vulnerable groups, promote social inclusion, and the acquired technological skills will allow participants to successfully develop and digitize their business or start a career in the IT sector,’ Vladimir Simonko, Executive Director of LGL, comments.
The winning, 3 year project will include free online courses in digital marketing and programming for LGBTQ+ community and other underrepresented groups. During the course of this project LGL, together with Code Academy, will train at least 180 individuals in difficult economic circumstances and empower them to use technology to develop their own businesses or seek employment. It also seeks to contribute to closing the digital divide between Vilnius and other regions of Lithuania by involving participants from areas that are more affected by the economic crisis.In addition to training, LGL will also organize career days and involve representatives of business to present career opportunities.
The 13 projects across Central and Eastern Europe were selected by an international panel of experts, Google and INCO from a wave of applications from across the region. Descriptions of all organizations awarded as part of this Impact Challenge are listed at g.co/ceechallenge. Each will receive between €50,000 – €250,000, along with support and mentoring from Google to help make their project proposals a reality.
This is Google’s further commitment to Lithuania and the region. Most recently, Google.org, Google’s charitable branch, has given close to €400,000 in individual grants to charitable organisations in Lithuania and Latvia.