In the last couple of years, IAN Telecentre has directed the greatest part of their efforts towards empowering women. In this endeavor, the organization has been supported by different donors including Microsoft, UNESCO and the International Women's Club.
Computer literacy education and other training for members of disadvantaged groups has been a high priority of IAN Telecentre for more than a decade. Working with youth, Roma, persons with disabilities, people living with HIV, seniors, the unemployed, the LGBT population and minority groups is part of our daily job.
Around 67% of all beneficiaries of IAN Telecentre are women. A special focus is put on women who belong to disadvantaged social groups and those who need comprehensive support for successful social and economic integration such as:
Our women beneficiaries often suffer from multiple vulnerabilities, however one thing that they all have in common is a difficult financial position. They need focused interventions that would support them in overcoming their situations of economic dependence, psychological stress and poverty. But there is a lack of care and support from the state, and often a lack of understanding from people in their environment regarding their specific needs.
|IWC Annual Charity Bazaar
Each year the IWC raises funds to assist local humanitarian projects through their annual Charity Bazaar. This event is organized around Christmas time and attracts thousands of visitors. Embassies and groups from over 40 countries sell handmade items, souvenirs, or food from the countries which they represent. In addition, visitors can enjoy a variety of cultural performances as international musicians and dancers perform on stage.
» Visit the Charity Bazaar website, created by project beneficiaries during 2011/2012
A project that has been directed towards changing the situation for some of these women is the project for professional and psychological empowerment of single mothers. It has been supported for three years now by the International Women's Club (IWC) of Belgrade.
The project provides a comprehensive training program designed to empower vulnerable groups of women. ICT education is the main component, crucial for developing the technology skills and competencies required for competitive participation in the local labor markets.
Supplementary courses in English, job-searching, administrative assistant practical work, and web design, as well as psychological support, further build up beneficiaries' professional competencies, skills and motivation.
The complete program aims to significantly change behavior, by increasing individual initiative and action, and by improving their psychological status in order to facilitate both social and economic integration.
Maida, one of the single moms involved in the project:
"My lack of knowledge in this field caused fear – I developed a mental block and was fearful of making a mistake and thus deleting something that I might actually need from the computer, or worse yet causing some program to stop working…
I was lucky enough to be selected and invited, as a single parent, to attend computer courses at IAN. I took this very seriously and was present at all of the lectures. I gained a better understanding of the subject matter and was able to ask the lecturers for help…
…I have learned to freely work on the computer and use some programs such as Excel and Word, as well as to surf the Internet and find whatever I need on it. I now feel like I have just learned how to read and write.
I had immediately added the fact that I have completed computer courses to my CV, and that I now have an ECDL certificate. Within a month, i.e. on the 1st of September, I was employed.
» Watch the story of Jelena M. (activate subtitles to see the English subtitles):
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