May 29, 2014

Meet Dora and How technology change her life!

Dora (in the blue shirt) and her teacher Sofia
Dora (in the blue shirt) and her teacher Sofia

Dora is 25, she lives in the Villa Hermosa, one of the biggest slums in the mountains of Medellín, Colombia. Dora has a visual dissability and suffers from epilepsy, which has prevented her from studying and getting a good job. For a few year now, she has being receiving  trainning and counseling at a local NGO Fundación Amigos con Calor Humano, and we met her there when we took our digital education trainning to the NGO.

Dora is a fighter, and her dissabilities have never stop her, as she says herself " I always find a way not seeing has never stop me I know I can do anything if I work hard enough, right now I am selling clothes door to door with a catalogue, and I can pay for my food, clothes and have money to take the bus to go to counceling and keep going to the workshops and trainning they have "

She is a dreamer and hardworker, right know she is taking a course in entrepenurship and her dream is to open a hotel for people with dissabilities, about her dream she says "it has not been easy, I have sent proposal to organizations that support small business and banks and they had all said no, but I persisit someone somewhere will believe my idea is great ".

Dora loves to study and learn, that why she is always the first to sign up when the NGO she get her counceling from offers  new courses, when she heard abou the technology course MAKAIA was providing for people with dissabilities, thanks to the resources from our Global Giving project, she signed up imediately.

She told us she had attended other courses on the basic use of computers before, but MAKAIA's has been the only one that had truly empower her to use technology to make her dream a reality, on her experience she said "Our teacher Sofía, was incredible she also has a dissability and has come to previous workshops as a student, if she knows so much, maybe one day I can be a teacher too and help others, one of my favorite parts of the trainning was being able to help others that had never used a computer before, since I had a little trainning I became like her teaching assistant!"

"The course was great" Dora said "it  was very clear and explained everything step by step, and is it not only about using a computer but using that knowledge and apply it in other courses like the one I am doing now on how to create a business, it was easier to see the ideas more clearly in other lessons and do our homework, I still see my teacher Sofía from time to time, and we encourage others from the group we see around to review" Dora also shared that the course allowed her to learn how to use the internet in the specially adapted computers the NGO has. The knowledge you help us give TO Dora and her friends allow them not only she to find new opportunities, but to feel useful and empowered.

Dora uses a magnifying glass to use computers and mobile phone but this never stops her from using technology to the fullest, she told us since she attended the course she has learn how to use Facebook to talk to her friends, and twitter to get the news, she has even began looking at potos on Instagram, she says she is not yet brave enough to post lost of things but she loves how tecnology has made her life better, allow her to dream big and keep in touch with family and friends. 

Your support has been invaluable to make stories like Dora's a reality everyday, people like her are our inspiration and their bravery and streght motivate us to continue giving trainning programs so more and more people can get better oportunities, create businesses and improve their livelyhood. And more importantly be empowered and feel unstoppable.

Apr 17, 2014

Our newest training session for inclusion for people with disabilities is under way!

We are so excited to announce our newest trainning program to foster inclusion for people with disabilities! With your help we are creating three different groups, one in a community library, one in a local telecentre and one in a social organization that works with disabled people.

Starting on May 5th, each of the three will be able to choose one of the different programs that we offer, according to the most relevant group they work with, to provide them with Information and Communication techology training. We are expecting between 20 to 30 people in each group, who will learn how to use computers to improve their opportunities and quality of life.

Our project will take advantage of infrastucture and aids already placed in librarys, telecentres and institution around the city  to teach groups of people with dissability how to use computer, digital tools and the internet to better understand and transfom their reality.

The chosen library, telecentre and social organization will be able to choose:

  • Our training session for people with visual dissabilites, will teach the group how to use and take advantage of the JAWS software, that allows blind or visually impared people to use any computer and navigate the web.
  • For our training session designed for people with hearing disabilities we have set up workshops that allow them to integrate digital tool in family life or entrepeneurship proyects.
  • Our training project for people with movility disabilities focuses on training to create entrepeneurship iniciatives to improve their economic oportunities and good practices for using the the Internet, to strenghten their academic development.
  • Our training session designed for people with cognitive disabilities, is our most special and tailored program, and we do them in careful articulation with the group's regular teachers and therapists. The program is created to suit the special needs of each group, according to the individual goals they are striving to achive and their most urgent needs, which can range from the development of psychomotor skills, concentration, to reading and writing proceses.  

These programs are proof that when it comes to inclusion, little resources can go a long way and spread through the community, changing lives and transforming the future of many. When you donate to our project you are not only donating to create inclusion, you are helping to shape lives and better the conditions of generation of people with disabilities in entire communities!

Thank you! 

Mar 17, 2014

Exciting prospects ahead!

This are exciting times in our organization, we are getting ready to embark on a wonderful adventure to create an innovative non-profit capacity building training.

For some time now, we have been collecting data and inquiring among our beneficiaries and partners organizations about what they feel are their weak points and biggest learning opportunities when it comes to use of social media and web based tools. We wanted our next course to be truly transformative, and to give social organizations, tools and information they could not access in any other way.

MAKAIA created this Global Giving project, because in our 7 years of experience strengthening social organizations, we came across the disheartening conclusion that the use of ICT and web tool has caused confusion and distress for the members of many social organizations that feel left behind by the technology wagon, which is detrimental to their advancement.

This is why with your help we are proud to present our newest Global Giving- funded training course "ICT in a Social Organization: Why use it? and What for?” The course aims to provide theoretical tools to understand the uses of ICT for social change, as well as the information on the strategic everyday use these tools with social organizations, helping them understand how this knowledge can improve their work, visibility and fundraising.

Thanks to your donations, we were able to plan and organize an 8 hour course that will be held at the end of March in one of Medellin’s beautiful library parks. We have carefully selected 15 organizations that have great need and a great attitude towards learning, to attended the course and latter receive personalized counseling in how to better use the knowledge and ICT in their day to day work. The course will include a theoretical portion to understand the strategic issues of the use of ICT in social organizations, a practical portion where we will teach them how to thoroughly utilize the tools to further their organization’s work and individualized counseling for each participant organization.

We thank you again for giving us the opportunity to teach others and strengthen their capacity every day, thus impact the thousands of beneficiaries that these organizations support.

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