A Kiap’s Chronicle: 30 - Tightening the screw
Half colonial – the man who stayed behind

We all have a part to play

Michelle (far right) at the first graduation on 22 April
Michelle (far right) at the first graduation on 22 April

| Mim’s Diary

POPONDETTA - After moving to Popondetta late last year, my partner Pau and I were a little concerned that youths and even adults living in the community were mostly unemployed.

Doing nothing - no school, no work - seemed to be normal to them. We noticed that one of the things they lacked was basic computer knowledge.

Pau owned a registered IT small business and we thought we had to do something.

We felt it was our social obligation to help the community by training people in basic computing skills.

So we proposed a community development program in basic computing skills.

When computer illiterate people became aware of it, interested students came in to register – adults as well as youths came, there were adults who needed training.

The first intake had nine students and training started on 16 March this year for two weeks.

Over those two weeks, we introduced students to computers and trained them how to use Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Publisher and Excel.

Although I had zero experience of training or teaching, I was privileged to be the trainer.

I summarised notes, prepared presentations and trained people trying to explain things as simply as I could.

Most of the students were total beginners. You could see their hands shaking as they tried to use the touchpad and it took them a while to find letters on the keyboard.

After the two weeks ended, my partner and I were satisfied and happy to see them typing with ease. We were also happy with the feedback we received.

Above all, we were happy that we had helped nine people in our community to be computer literate.

Our second intake had eight students. On 22 April we had our very first graduation with 17 students from both courses receiving certificates and references. On that day also, we officially launched our Community Development Program.

I felt true satisfaction that day. What’s satisfying is the fact that we are helping to build this nation in a little way we can.

Being an accountant and a journalist by profession, we moved out of our circle and decided to give back to the community the knowledge we have about computers.

We are thankful with how things have turned out and look forward to helping more people. We also want to thank everyone who has supported us in one way or another.

Above all, we thank God for everything. In the end, all glory and praise goes back to Him.

Oh, you may be wondering about what happened to the students after graduation. Well, our partner, Advance Z Computing, took on board our students to get practical job experience.

The managing director has told us the students are doing great, even the beginners, and that’s good news. We smile every time the students come o tell us about their practical experience. We are so happy for them.

The training is continuing and currently we have 15 students in our third Intake who are just finishing.

So what have I learned through this experience? The saying, ‘You can make a change by starting from where you are’, is true.

And I have also learned that nothing is more satisfying than giving back to your community, your province and your country, even in a small way.


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