Living Social Justice

A blog about responding to poverty and injustice, everyday and in all sorts of ways

Give Hope with NETwork Computer Courses

Imagine opening up the doors of technology to someone for the first time. By purchasing the NETwork Give Hope card you can do so and empower those looking for employment.

Volunteer teacher Rogers Gake instructs a Beginners Computer class

Volunteer teacher Rogers Gake instructs a Beginners Computer class

Tucked away in the corner of the NETwork premises in Wynberg, Cape Town, is a room which from a glance doesn’t look too exciting – neat rows of desks, computers and chairs – but every day from this spot people, some who’ve never even turned a computer on before, are learning how to search the internet, type up letters and send emails.

These tasks may seem small to those of us who grew up with access to technology, but for these students simply learning how to surf the web or set up an email account could mean the difference between unemployment and a job with a steady income.

Student Sinazo Mwehle, 23, is hoping this course will help her to find a job

Student Sinazo Mwehle, 23, is hoping this course will help her to find a job

Imagine trying to get a job when there are often hundreds or even thousands of other equally eager applicants. Sadly, with an unemployment rate of around 30% in South Africa, this is often the case for entry-level employment opportunities.

NETwork is a non-profit organisation addressing the unemployment crisis by providing a hub where people can connect to opportunities and enrol in a seven-day job readiness programme, as well as computer, English, business communication and waitering courses.

Individual attention allows the students to progress at their own pace

Individual attention allows the students to progress at their own pace

This year, over 411 people have already graduated from the job readiness programme and over 134 students have completed the computer course.

So what’s so important about computers? Well, other than the fact that you’re probably reading this article on one, quite a lot!

“Almost everything today involves the use of computers,” says Rogers Gake, who teaches the beginner computer class at NETwork. “You might be a cashier or a waiter but you need to know how to use technology. I receive so many emails from previous students who have found employment thanking me for the course because without it they wouldn’t be able to do the job.”

Thanks to a generous donation of 20 new computers from the Dell Development Fund more students can enroll in the course

Thanks to a generous donation of 20 new computers from the Dell Development Fund , NETwork can now accommodate more students in each class

“Before I was scared of computers because where I grew up we had no computers,” says Doreen Kasongo, 24, a computer course graduate. “I had fear in my heart of where to start, but now I’m very confident and it makes me feel good about myself. Everywhere you go they use computers and now I can use one too.”

The beginners computer course takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9.30am to 1pm, with the intermediate level happening on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-3pm.

The beginners course focuses on giving a basic understanding of how a computer works, including browsing the internet, using Microsoft Word, and setting up and sending emails via an email account. The intermediate level trains students in Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint.

In the beginners course, students learn how to browse the internet, set up an email account and use MS Word

In the Beginners course, students learn how to browse the internet, set up an email account and use MS Word

These skills provide students with a hand up out of unemployment by allowing them to type up their own CVs, browse online for job openings, and send their résumés to potential employees.

“The computer course is very important because lots of jobs ask you to use a computer,” says Sinazo Mwehle, 23. “It has helped me because I’ve been able to send out lots of CVs. Before I didn’t even know how to email a CV.”

“I’m looking for a job as a waiter and now I can look for work online,” Michael Mwachipoka, 28, computer course graduate. “It has also given me an advantage because as technology advances I will be able to adapt. There are so many doors the computer course has opened up for me.”

For more on how you can get involved at NETwork, email us. Read further for info on how you can support through Give Hope…

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Show loveShow Love This Christmas: Put someone through the NETwork computer course

This festive season, you can profoundly impact someone’s life by giving them the opportunity to complete the NETwork computer course. How? Purchase a NETwork Give Hope card for R150. There are also other cards available which all support Common Good initiatives. Click here for more info. On sale at Common Good involvement desks (Sundays) and at the Common Ground café.

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One thought on “Give Hope with NETwork Computer Courses

  1. Pingback: Give your Christmas shopping a twist – Give Hope! | Living Social Justice

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