Empowerment

My experience in Kayamandi shaped my understanding of the use of technology in underdeveloped countries. The Non-Governmental Organization that we worked with had many programs in the community to help the people. Prochorus has programs in a variety of fields including childcare, emergency relief, and computer literacy. I was able to work in the computer literacy program, which teaches adults the necessary skills in order to take advantage of the donated computers. The class is a week long and for this period of time we were paired up with one student to explain one-on-one how to use the computer. We started with the basics including the various parts of the computer and their purpose, how to click and double click, and how to open programs. The next phase was to begin teaching them how to use these programs so they could benefit from them in looking for a vocation. We started with word and ran through the exercises that the program director gave us. At the end of the time, they opened a typing program and began to learn that skill.

Picture taken from Prochorus.

Computer literacy is something that can easily be taught with little effort. Once the students are given the tools on the basics, they can continue learning and growing with computers on their own. Most people view those living in poverty as less capable but I saw first hand that this is not the case. They were quickly picking up how to use a computer and did not even need our help to do their tasks anymore. It does not take much to radically change someones life through technological education.

Empowerment is the key to eradicating poverty. As outsiders, there is not a solution that can  be implemented. It is necessary to give them the skills so they can help themselves. The idle technology is pointless if the skills needed to operate it do not exist. Empowering the citizens to gain these skills is step one in eradicating global poverty.

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