Friday, August 31, 2007

Flying ICT for Social inclusion…

Our WINGS of Hummingbird (ASAS do Beija-Flor) would probably have difficulty taking off without the basic training in ICT - Information and Communication Technology we offer them as part of this capacity building programme, which aims to promote their social inclusion and provide them with the necessary tools to be constructive and productive citizens in a modern society.

15-year old Andyara (above) feels happy to be connected with the rest of the World, as does her ASAS friends and colleagues, 17-year old Amanda and 16-year old Wallison (at right).

Due to positive cooperation with the Diadema Municipal Government’s Educational Department, we are now able to offer our youth group weekly training in one of the neighbouring Municipal schools, where many of the school’s children already participate in regular artistic, cultural and sporting activities at our Hummingbird Centre as an integrated part of their school curricula. Thanks to a Federal Government programme to implement digital inclusion in at-risk communities such as ours, a few local schools are now equipped with digital labs and have specialized teachers to train students and others from the community interesting in learning. Until recently, Hummingbird was one of the few places where it was possible to access the internet in our community.

First steps first; getting to know Linux systems.

As access is still very limited for the majority of the population in our region, it was most satisfying for us to close this partnership with the local government, who has also provided us with their programme coordinator, Maria Isabel (below), to teach our youngsters until we identify a suitable volunteer to continue with the digital training of our young people.

Maria Isabel is coordinator of the Municipal Government's digital inclusion programme.

In the ASAS youth group, previous digital training has been very limited to most of those participating in the project, including some who have never laid hands on a computer before, whilst others are already familiar and work quite comfortably with one.

21-year old Leonardo already has some experience on the computer, but there is still much yet to be learned.

Our aim is to introduce all of them to computer basics so that they can continue to develop their capacities using the computers provided for them at our Hummingbird Arts & Cultural Activity Centre. Our special thanks go to our sponsors of this project, who have provided us with the necessary funding to expand our computer network.

Rafael (foreground), who himself comes from the Sítio Joaninha community, is one of those who has never laid hands on a computer before.

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