How ZOO Memorial Foundation works with local partners to boost women and girls’ digital literacy
Digital literacy has a significant impact at any age. The earlier girls receive training in digital spaces, the better. But women who may not have grown up with, or had access to technology throughout their lives also benefit from learning these new skills.
Now, we want to shine a spotlight on Idah, who is 13 years old and Millicent, 39 years old, to show the positive impact the ZOO Memorial Foundation (ZOO) has and how their community partnerships create change.
Idah is a member of the WISE Girls’ Club and trains at the digital centre, set up by ZOO. The Covid-19 pandemic made it harder to learn as students were sent home from school, but in Idah’s case, it catalysed her journey to digital literacy. So much so that she now practises typing with both hands and is involved in the Girls’ Club development of the iTrade app.
Getting involved in app development has made a significant difference in Idah’s life. She has had the opportunity to develop and work on an app that, if successful, would help others in the community. Thanks to ZOO’s digital lab, Idah can join a space in which she and the other girls can access computers and work together.
When Idah joined the Girls’ Club and started receiving training from ZOO, she didn’t realise it would become such an important part of her life. She has embraced the ‘new normal’ in which digital technology is central to learning and developing. And she looks to the future, recognising that digital skills will be an asset when looking for a job.
“When I was joining, I didn’t know that I would be taking part in something so significant so to me it’s a blessing to be part of something so great.”
“Learning, being trained at the digital lab, all these opportunities and what you can achieve when you are computer literate is just amazing.”
For Millicent, becoming digitally literate allowed her to own two businesses – a physical shop and an online store – as well as being a qualified social worker. A fast learner, once trained Millicent set about expanding her businesses. As well as selling video games, Millicent’s shop now offers printing, typing and internet browsing services. To her, the opportunities that open up with computer literacy are ‘amazing’.
Millicent has also recognised a change in her community in Dunga. Millicent’s is one of two cyber cafes now open in the area, a huge change for the better. And an example of the significant impact training centres such as the WISE Hub have. Millicent urges anyone to take any opportunity that presents itself, any opportunity taken can bring about positive change.
Idah and Millicent are just two of many women benefiting from ZOO’s computer literacy training. Take Gorety, who found the language barrier was a problem and operating the computer itself took practice. However, through training, Gorety asserts how she can ‘use any computer out there, something I could not before.’
By Zoe Willis