At the moment we are starting on engagement, interest and exposure. Then we’ll move them into entry level basics to set them up for further study, education and work.
Geoff * is gripping the mouse tightly, waving it high in the air, clicking away, trying to make the screen work. He’s never sat in front of a computer before and doesn’t know a mouse works diff erently than a TV remote.
But finally someone is showing him computer skills with respect and patience. This is the City Mission’s digital literacy course in action, part of a group of new initiatives encompassing literacy, computer training, health, and life skills courses.
For Geoff digital literacy opens a whole new world of possibilities. It makes the public library with all its computers much more than just being a warm place with a bean bag. Being able to use a computer also opens Geoff’s eyes to his own expectations on how he wants to live his life.
City Mission Learning and Development Programme Team Leader Lana Shields says many more programmes are coming. Already a popular 6-week barista training course is up and running.
Other activities, which are already part of the day programmes, such as gardening, will gain a stronger emphasis on purpose and structure. Lana says this will often mean bringing in experts to take the activities closer to more formal courses that add to people’s skills and self-esteem.
Our aim, she says, is to help our men and women into the position of being able to confidently apply for jobs.
“At the moment we are starting on engagement, interest and exposure. Then we’ll move them into entry level basics to set them up for further study, education and work.”
The City Mission loves seeing the impact these programmes are having on our whanau. Their excitement and enthusiasm around learning new skills, that you and I can take for granted, is infectious. They are excited to learn, to change and to make a difference in their lives. And this is just the beginning.