Two dozen young people and a computer – which is set up in the last room that Padre Carlo keep private.
He shares all other rooms in his ministry apartment and the rooms in the parish hall next to his church with the refugees he has taken in. For every application letter, every e-mail, every contact with family, the young men have to venture into Carlo’s multifunctional room. This is exhausting and prevents them from continuously acquiring the computer and media skills that are so important on the way to the European job market.
Investing in the future
We’re about to plug in and launch a sustainable project: our digital classroom is about to go online!
What it is? A computer lab that can be used for all purposes, whether for editing job applications or for courses in MS Office or Italian. The problem we want to tackle with the digital classroom is simple: Despite having qualifications and work experience, it is difficult for many refugees to gain access to the European labor market. Often, the hurdles start with having access to the digital world.
This is precisely what we want to improve with the digital classroom. We want to create a place where refugees in Sicily can easily access the internet and develop their digital skills. In addition, the lab is providing them with space and material for workshops, language courses, and leisure time.
A few days ago, the first shipment of hardware we sent has arrived in Sicily. Within the next two weeks, the digital classroom should be fully operational. Six fully equipped computer workstations will be available then. To set up the lab, we have entered into a great cooperation with the IT vocational school class of our friend Luigi: The trainees will work with the refugees to install all of the technology and will also be available for technical maintenance in the future.
Giving a voice to refugees in Sicily
The lab will become a haven for digital education: Language and integration classes are scheduled to take place there on a regular and ongoing basis. In addition, users will be able to obtain further training in MS Office and coding.
What’s very important to us is that the computer lab, in addition to providing education and training opportunities, also offers the possibility for creative expression. In this respect, two very interesting new projects have already emerged. In just a few weeks, the refugees living at Padre Carlo’s will begin work on a documentary film. They are also working on the idea that the young men set up their own radio station with an Italian journalist.
Money, money, money
Of course, the digital classroom involves considerable costs. We have already covered a large part of these. But in order to be able to support the planned training courses and creative projects in the future, there is still a lot to do. With a donation you can be a part of it!