Since 2004, Isadora Duncan (COFACE member) has developed an empowerment programme based on access to technology, focused on adult and older people, with a special emphasis on women.
The project started as an initiative on digitalisation, focused on single-parent families as a way to improve their employability and quality of life. It was successfully extended to all kinds of families. In the last years the aim of the programme has been closing the digital gap between older people and society, and also extending the fight against the gender gap. The programme provides digital tools and skills for managing electronic devices, smartphones and tablets. It gives participants the ability to manage their digital life (shopping, finances, citizen-government relations, etc.) as informed and critical users.
Aims of the initiative
To provide basic knowledge in technologies and digitalisation that improves the daily lives of families, by promoting their social inclusion, allowing them to work on values, tools and attitudes that improve their access to public and private services.
Internet and electronic devices are important tools nowadays for improving the quality of life. Being part of the digital world can enable people to widen and deepen their fields of knowledge. In particular older people need to be aware of the risks that exist linked with the internet.
Who is it for? All of society, in particular women outside of the digital world, without previous experience in management of personal data, smartphones, electronic devices or personal computers.
Two different activities were carried out:
- Workshops: “Technology for all” duration 20 hours, hosted by their new technologies department and adapted to the demand received. Nowadays the workshops are focused on the use of smartphones, messaging and calling using apps, social networks, ebanking and cybersecurity.
- Free access room: An open room with twelve computers is available during working hours to all people who cannot afford a personal computer or to pay for internet access.
As an example of the workshop content, we provide training sessions about parental control tools and the issues that emerge from spending too much time online or behind screens. Their programme is an integral experience, parental control tools and good practices for health are present as transversal values in all Isadora Duncan activities.
Their programme is in high demand, and they currently host three workshops per year. Linked to other programmes that allow further developing the potential of the users, as a second step, the beneficiaries can learn other digital skills to improve their electricity bill, manage their digital counters, use their online banking services, etc. More than one thousand people (1060) have attended the workshops in the last years, and hundreds make use of their personal computers in the open room. Most of them are heads of the family, so the real impact in the society cannot be captured as simple number and is much bigger than can be measured.
In the first phase, the project was funded by Esplai Foundation during 2004, they paid for personal and the equipment. Since 2005 all the budget is provided by Isadora Duncan, the new technologies trainers and volunteers keep the computers running smoothly and host the workshops; in the same place the Foundation started five years ago a STEAM camp focused on closing the gender gap and promoting equality between girls and boys in childhood.
In the first phase Microsoft and Esplai Foundation, nowadays some Isadora volunteers and people linked to other organisations such as Caixabank, EREN (Energy Regional Entity).
Contact: Tomás García firstname.lastname@example.org