World Vision typically serves an area over the course of a 15-year term and the ultimate goal is to provide community support so that it can become self-sustaining. Now that the Mbhashe location is in its sixth year of operation, the focus has shifted to empowering local organizations to find funding and create programs on their own. World Vision does this by creating partnerships and offering extensive training.
A prime example of these partnerships is the one between World Vision and LGDI, Lifetime Guidance and Development Initiative. LGDI began working unofficially in 2009 and became a registered non-profit organization in 2012. Pastor Mlungiseleli, who runs a church in the area, recognized a need to address youth-related issues. Hence, LGDI was born. It focuses on career guidance, substance abuse and gender-based violence in teens.
Today, our team was tasked with hosting a computer training session for LGDI employees. They came to World Vision with a need to increase the computer literacy of their staff in order to help run their business more efficiently. In addition to the LGDI staff, we were joined by a community worker that accompanied us on our tour yesterday. Thembe overheard that we were doing computer training and immediately asked to join. She is the program manager of a new community organization called Laphumilanga, which offers home-based care. She has an incredible story, which I will write more about later.
Before starting the session, Mpume welcomed the visitors to her World Vision office and gave a brief overview of Intel before our team introduced ourselves. She said that Intel is a technology company that makes computer chips, and then went on to say that “most computers have Intel CPUs. In fact, if your computer does not have this, you need to worry”. I think that we should hire her for our public relations!
Our two lead trainers, Jorge and Maayan, began the session by introducing the main components of a desktop computer. They gave explanations of the monitor, the hard drive, the mouse, and the keyboard and then explained how each part connects to one another. They gave an overview of turning it on and off, and then it was time to dive in. One of the trainers would give an example on their laptop and project their screen in the front of the room. Then, they would turn it over to the class and ask the attendees to try the same step on their own. During this time, the trainers would walk around and offer assistance if anyone needed help.
We covered a lot of ground over the course of 4 hours… the class explored Microsoft Word first and learned to save and re-open a document, how to organize files in folders, and how to type and format the text. We did a similar practice in Microsoft Excel and covered creating formulas for functions like adding and subtracting. Next, we gave an introduction of the internet, how to connect to wifi, how to use Google, and how to use YouTube. Aside from the love for fun music videos, the class was surprised to learn that you can find instructions on just about anything in the form of a YouTube video.
At the end of the class, we asked for feedback and we were struck by the kind words that the class had written. Below are a few quotes that really stuck with us.
“I feel very much inspired and motivated”.
“…the seeds they planted with us will surely grow into something life changing for our [country]”.
“My heart is filled with happiness to get a training of such great magnitude”.
Reading the feedback brought tears to my eyes… we have really poured our hearts and souls into this project. All we wanted was to make a positive impact on the two communities we are visiting. The opportunity to teach computer skills to a group that was so willing to learn is one that we did not take lightly. I will never forget the look on Thembe’s face when she learned how to format the Laphumilanga business plan. She was a fast learner, and she took pride in her new formatting skills. We are lucky to be surrounded by such beautiful people.