Star College in Bridgetown teamed up with non-profit organisation (NPO) Turquoise Harmony Institute (THI), to offer Athlone women an internationally recognised computer training course – for free.
Apart from the computer course, the organisation also included life-skills and cooking courses, among others, to offer a holistic learning experience.
A total of 11 women, from the age of 20 to 30 years, signed up for the course, which started in September. Once completed, they will be awarded with an International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL), which is an internationally recognised certificate.
Aydin Inal from THI said his organisation has been working closely with Star College for a number of years, and when this opportunity came about, they did not hesitate to partner with the school.
“Star College has the resources and they have contact with the surrounding community. We wanted to draw unemployed women from the community onto the training course. This is the first time we are running a course like this, and we are excited about it,” Mr Inal said.
The THI is an interfaith organisation established 15 years ago, which hosts various dialogues, festivals and outreach programmes. The computer course is its latest initiative.
Mariam Mohamed from Star College said the women on the programme were committed and keen on “getting a chance to make it in life”.
“The full programme consists of more than five modules. During the programme, additional programmes and training will be introduced, which will assist them in navigating their paths through the challenges of life,” Ms Mohamed said.
Mr Inal added that after the completion of the course, it is hoped that the women can find employment, either as a data capturer or in the secretarial field.
“Some of the candidates in the programme are studying towards an early childhood development qualification, and others have not completed their matric. It is hoped that this training will encourage them to complete their matric.”
Kauthar Bowers, 20, said she heard about the cause from another NPO in the Bridgetown community, called Callas Foundation.
“I matriculated last year and I wanted to study, but I was not accepted at university. I decided to make use of this opportunity because I wanted to gain knowledge about computers. I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity,” Ms Bowers said.
Lameez Lenford, 33, hopes that this course will help her find employment.
“A friend of mine told me about it. I don’t have matric. However, being part of the course has encouraged me now to complete my matric next year. I am excited at the prospects and opportunities this will unlock for me. I really enjoy the course – it covers everything. I have done a computer course before, but not like this,” Ms Lenford said.