New Indian Express (24th April 2013)
Training underprivileged youth
The 35th Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre was launched at Medahally on Monday.
An initiative of Smile Foundation, the centre will focus on making the urban underprivileged youth employment-ready in the service and retail sector.
The centre was inaugurated by Dr Jessy Fenn, Project Manager, Bosch India Foundation. Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) is a national level initiative of Smile Foundation.
The programme aims at preparing urban underprivileged youths with skills in English proficiency, basic computer education, retail management, personality development and various soft skills for enhancing their prospects of employment in fast emerging retail, service and BPOs sectors. Speaking about the association, Vikram Singh Verma, COO, Smile Foundation said, “STeP is an effort towards creating a pool of independent youth living with dignity from the underprivileged section through skill enhancement in tandem with market requirements. Smile Foundation, through this programme, has trained 13,735 youth and placed 9,849 of them in over 140 leading retail and service brands across India.”
The event took off well with lighting of lamp by Pankaja, Deputy Director, Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Karnataka. Pankaja was present as the guest of honour for the event. She addressed the programme by applauding Smile Foundation, Bosch India and Vidyaranya for helping the marginalised youth in getting employed and thus putting them on path of sustainable empowerment.
The course curriculum for Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) has been developed by a leading International Management Institute, New Delhi) except the computer course, which is certified by Microsoft. The course material is reviewed and updated from time to time.