Enabling Cuban youth to become a producer of locally relevant digital content - and not just a mere consumer - is the goal of the Juventud APK Initiative, launched this May in Havana. 30 web developers from 16 different provinces of Cuba were trained to build mobile apps with App Inventor, an open source software.
In the context of the growing expansion of Internet access in Cuba, the creation of mobile applications with content that relevant to national and local development needs becomes a priority. UNESCO’s Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean implements the Juventud APK initiative, in partnership with Joven Club de Computación y Electrónica, the Ministry of Communications of Cuba and the Cuban National Commission of UNESCO. The project is within the framework of the global project of UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative.
Juventud APK seeks to strengthen the skills and confidence of Cuban youth, in order to create and share mobile applications that contribute precisely to solving local problems and respond to sustainable development challenges. The initiative also aims to promote greater knowledge and interest of young people about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, through using information technologies and the communication (TICs).
As part of the first phase of Juventud APK, the “train the trainer” workshop took place at the headquarters of the Central Computing Palace in Havana from 6 to 10 May. Thirty software developers and instructors of Joven Club de Computación were trained to use App Inventor to create their own mobile applications.
The first graduates will be in charge of the training of other facilitators and coaches of the Joven Club de Computación network in the country, and will support the implementation of the first Juventud APK Summer School that teach young women and men from the island coding.
Regarding the creation of applications, Juventud APK is already yielding its first fruits. As part of the class exercises, participants in the first workshop have created 19 new applications on a variety of topics, including recycling, ocean cleaning, care of flora and fauna.
With the launch of Juventud APK Cuba, 28 countries have joined UNESCO YouthMobile global initiative, which has already contributed to the training of more than 7 thousand young man and women in the creation of mobile applications for sustainable development.