Thursday, 21 April 2011

Computer Literacy Education for Women

Fellow PCV, Peter Pakowsky, and I collaborated with a cyber café to train women how to use the internet and send e-mails. Below is the collaboration report submitted to PC Administration.

Atlas Café, Ngaoundere, Adamawa

This project was a success. Over the period of the project, 8 women were trained in basic internet usage (researching topics, reading news, finding recipes, etc.) and email account creation and usage. We were able to negotiate lower prices for first time women customers (300CFA per each two hour lesson), removing a barrier to women’s computer education. The cyber café is owned by an MC2 client and the project also served as an income-generating activity for him.

The women were trained over a one week period, with two hours of instruction each day. Most women attended two courses and received four hours of training over the week, thus two hours were spent learning how to use the internet and two hours were spent on creating and sending e-mails. Over the course of the week, 6 email addresses were created which allowed the women to practice email writing to retired PCVs, Peter and me, and amongst themselves.

Over the same period, Peter was able to work closely with the cyber café staff to give training in computer maintenance and repair. There were a total of 4 staff members who benefited from this training. The staff seemed very interested in gaining skills in this area. They were able to fix one decommissioned computer and evaluate the broken components in three others.

Peter and I were also able to promote continued educational courses at the cyber café. The owner, an MC2 client, will take over the teaching position. At the time of this report, the owner has already continued classes with 2 women and 1 child.

In addition, many educational materials from the ICT toolkit as well as my Peter’s lessons were given to the cyber café as resources for their internet literacy and computer classes.

This was a simple and fun SED/ICT project and I'm glad to see it continue on!

*As of July 2011, the owner of the cyber cafe has continued the introductory course with over 20 students benefiting!


  1. Hello Krys, much interesting. My organization, the Consortium Congo Development is conducting similar classes in Eastern D.R.Congo but the material seems to be a bit difficult for most, was your course in French? If so it could be helpfull if you can share your methodology.
    Have a good time in Camer!

  2. Hi, Valentin,

    Glad your group is working on computer literacy. Yes, everything was done in French and it was targeted towards first-time computer users. I just sent you an e-mail!


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