Three Ireland has announced a three year charity partnership with Virtual Community College (VCC), an online and mobile education initiative which empowers young people from disadvantaged communities to reach their potential through virtual, app-based and mobile communication learning techniques.
Started by established charity An Cosán, Virtual Community College is an education initiative with a unique vision: to eradicate poverty and social inequality through the means of online and mobile technology education. The partnership announced in May will aim to educate over 1,000 students from disadvantaged backgrounds by providing them with a ‘university in their pocket’.
The partnership will see Three Ireland working closely with Virtual Community College and will include a corporate donation, employee fundraising and skills volunteering by employees.
Commenting on the charity partnership Mark Redmond, People & Property Director, at Three said, “The selection of VCC as our chosen charity partner came about following extensive engagement with our employees and with external stakeholders. VCC is an excellent fit for Three Ireland and we believe that over the next three years we can really make a difference in terms of helping them make education more accessible to disadvantaged communities through our resources, mobile services and employee expertise.
Commenting on the partnership Elizabeth Waters, Director of Virtual Community College said, “We are really blown away that such a large corporate has chosen us as its charity partner. We are a small organisation with a big vision of using 21st century teaching and learning technology to fast track individuals and communities out of poverty all over Ireland and partnering with an organisation like Three will help us to deliver great results for young people.”
“Our main focus will be on accessibility through mobile learning or mLearning. We are trying to break down the barriers to education and what mLearning does is it makes learning ‘couchable’. So if you’re unable to attend classes for any reason, be it that you live in a rural location, or you have children to take care of, or simply can’t afford to travel to classes then mLearning is a good option.”
“If a woman has a degree she will earn 40% more than a woman who doesn’t. Education is about more than just a piece of paper, it’s about social progress. At VCC we try to engage with students who wouldn’t normally access education. By completing a VCC programme students can take the first step in achieving their potential.”
About Three Ireland
Three is a leading communications company with over two million customers (as of September 2014). Three operates 2G, 3G and 4G networks in Ireland and has to date invested nearly €2 billion in building its Irish network. It bought Telefónica Ireland, which operated the O2 brand, in a deal that completed in July 2014. Three was the first to launch mobile broadband in Ireland and is now the mobile broadband leader. Based in Dublin and Limerick, Three employs more than 1,400 people and has a combined retail network of 68 stores. Three sponsors the Irish Soccer and Rugby teams and 3Arena music venue in Dublin. Three is 100% indirectly owned by Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL), a multinational conglomerate committed to innovation and technology. Its diverse businesses employ over 260,000 people in 54 countries worldwide. In Europe Three operates 3G and 4G services in Ireland, UK, Austria, Denmark, Italy and Sweden.
About Virtual Community College
Virtual Community College is a start-up education initiative by established charity, An Cosán, with a unique vision; to eradicate poverty and social inequality through online and mobile technology. It empowers young people from disadvantaged communities to reach their potential through virtual, app-based and mobile communication learning methods.