Konexio is a global catalyst for change through digital learning, we empower and connect refugees with citizens in their local communities through tech and innovation.
Konexio offers training programmes in computer literacy addressed in particular to refugees in France. Through a skills building programme, which focuses on providing digital and code skills, and apprenticeship, the Paris-based non-profit organisation offers trainees the concrete opportunity to increase their professional prospects and have a first connection with the professional world, which ultimately means promoting their socio-economic long term integration into the community. Konexio was founded in 2016 by Jean Guo, a Chinese-American student living studying migrant health in Paris.
The founder, Jean Guo, told us why their project has a significant social value for refugees in France.
Konexio was founded when Jean was conducting research on her Fulbright fellowship, investigating inclusion of migrants back in 2015. She realized that a lot of upfront investment was poured into frontline humanitarian aid, but that there was a drop-off in initiatives focused on longer-term integration. She saw the immediate need for digital skills training - given its necessity for both personal and professional life and launched pilot courses in summer 2016. Since then, Konexio has continued growing into a burgeoning movement of digital education with a core mission of bringing together communities.
Since our creation in November 2016, Konexio has welcomed more than 100 students through 11 promotions, received support from more than 150 volunteers who have donated more than 1500 hours of engagement, developed more than 30 local and international partnerships in tech, government and associations, and mobilized a team of a dozen dedicated members.
In 2017, we were in the 2nd selection round of France s'Engage in 2017 (France's national social impact competition) and won the Solidarity Commitment Award (Coup de Coeur) in partnership with EPN Picoulet.
In 2018, Konexio has been accepted to a 1-year incubation in the FIGHTERS program of Station F, touted as the largest startup incubator in the world, and met with national leaders to discuss the importance of our work, including: Former French President François Hollande and his foundation France S'Engage, the France's Secretary of State for Digital Affairs Mounir Mahjoub, the Minister of Labor of France Muriel Pénicuad and the Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg.
GSVC is important to us because it encourages and pushes us to continue advancing our model, and the support and encouragement we've received to advance to the final round has been truly wonderful. Making it to the final round helps us to validate our work, meeting other entrepreneurs who are as passionate as we are about our work is a great experience. The awarded prize money for winners can really help us to move forward and build up our programs - which would go towards curriculum development, material resources, and teacher costs.