The ASML Foundation is an independent foundation founded in 2001 by high-tech company ASML, a world leader in the production of machines for semiconductor industries. Building on ASML’s innovative international activities, the ASML Foundation supports educational projects in which diversity and technology play an important part. It wants to give a better future to vulnerable young people from disadvantaged communities who have limited access to education or who need special education.
Cooperation with Plan International Netherlands was an obvious choice. ASML Foundation and Plan are currently working together on two projects: Youth Employment Solutions for You (YES4U) and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) – Girls Can Do IT!
In Chengdu, China, many young people have moved to the city from the countryside in search of work, only to find that they lack suitable training. The YES4U project tackles this problem. Over 800 young people, of which at least 60 percent are girls, have received short, market-oriented professional and life skills training. We also help them to find a decent job after their training – as, for example, nutritionists, baby caretakers, bakers and beauticians.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) – Girls Can Do IT!
In the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) – Girls Can Do IT! project, students from rural schools are introduced to information technology during after-school clubs. The project promotes STEM education in which girls and boys get equal opportunities. Technology in China is developing at lightning speed and there is growing demand for well-trained employees. Alongside lessons in subjects such as robotics, the program develops self-confidence and life skills, especially among girls, and draws attention to the need for gender equality.
There are many opportunities in the IT sector in China, but there is a big difference between the number of men and women working in the sector and how much they earn. It is especially difficult for girls in rural areas to develop IT skills as resources are fewer and attitudes are often more conservative. The program builds the confidence of girls and boys aged 10 to 14 to choose what to do for a living. It lasts three years and will reach 1200 children through after-school clubs, of which 65 percent are girls.