Feb 25, 2019

Searching for our first students now

Our project has been refined since it was conceived as a training proposal for young people. With the help of advisory bodies in innovation methodologies, design thinking, digital business development and other elements that we have considered will enrich our commitment, we have constituted the first "Code School" curriculum, which, in the coming days will receive applications by the young people of the city who want to enroll in the intensive training that we will guide.

Although the training considers the development of web interfaces, it also incorporates work in the development of content and videogame mechanics applied to virtual reality, as well as soft skills such as negotiation, communication and leadership that allow a more integral approach and that trained young people can employ themselves or develop their own businesses.

The model has already been validated and resources have been sought from allies of the private sector who have provided scholarships for the students so that it does not represent any cost for them to attend the classes. We have also planned to support food, with snacks during the sessions. Likewise and even more relevant have been the conversations with entities of the city to consider the possibility of employing those young people who complete the course, achieving that several of them made this a commitment.

It is estimated that the training begins the second week of March 2019. This will take place at the Metropolitan Institute of Technology, an educational entity that has all the necessary equipment in its classrooms.

In 2018, MAKAIA developed a similar process aimed exclusively at girls between the ages of 14 and 18, in two groups: the first one was part of a city school located in one of the low-income areas and the second in a detention center for minors. The results were quite rewarding, making the girls of both groups develop skills and get excited to consider a professional future in technology areas. This led to the conclusion that, with important allies, a second phase of the pilot project that was developed with another group of girls from the Penitentiary Center. In the end we have almost 60 girls who finished their training.

*Being minors, they are protected under the Colombian legislation that indicates that the photographs can not show their faces.

Feb 11, 2019

A new ICT Adoption Workshop

At MAKAIA we are convinced that technology is a tool that enhances access to opportunities in communities. That is why we constantly generate spaces where, by identifying the characteristics and needs of different population groups, we build contents that allow us to accompany them in the use of technology, adapting to their realities and adding value to the activities they carry out or could carry out on their daily basis. 

Among the population groups we work-with are people with hearing disabilities, for whom, during the month of February of this year, we developed a digital literacy process in a 4-hour workshop, focused on the basic technological tools for administrative processes, search for information and construction of presentations. 

Once again, we were able to resume an alliance that has been successful in the past and contacted the EPM Foundation, who kindly joined the process, facilitating the use of space and computer equipment from one of the Training Rooms of the EPM Library. Due to its public nature, its recognition in the community and its location (in the center of the city), having this place to host the workshop benefited the registering process, that we also displayed through our social networks and using WhatsApp messaging. Our invitation reached unexpected allies of various programs of the city that work for the inclusion of the population with disabilities and that helped us to spread the invitation and get to people who sign up and had never been in our workshops, who therefore meet us for the first time with this activity. 

Finally, we had 14 participants of different ages (children, youth and seniors), who expressed their approval of the activity and requested more spaces to continue learning and meet more people with hearing disabilities. Our trainer dedicated individual support spaces and it was common to see the participants help each other, constantly approaching other people’s desk and interacting with them to clarify the concepts that our facilitator expressed on the screen that served as a board. 

For this reason, we conclude that the workshops are also important meeting spaces, where people with disabilities find common ground and collaborate with each other to learn about technology. We also re-affirm our goal of continuing to provide these spaces, with the support of all our donors in the network of GlobalGivingThank you for making it possible!

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Nov 12, 2018

A new opportunity for people with hearing disabilities: ICT Training and Community Engagement

Invitation to the Training
Invitation to the Training

After a very successful experience with the last Training activity realized in the month of August where the efforts focused on the development of skills for Job Search and the use of basic ICT tools of people with hearing disabilities, and we achieved that 20 people obtained their certificates, create their resumes and even have realjob interviews; our channels and social networks were getting more and more comments and requests of people interested in taking similar training.

We propose ourselves then to have a fourth activity this year and keep exploring the possibilities of the alliance with Comfenalco, a local entity focused on education and employment services that also has several spaces in the city of Medellín, among libraries, community centers and classrooms that allow realization of activities, and works as the main link to the Public Employment Service (Servicio Público de Empleo), the governmental initiative that allows people to access job offers in the public sector that also promotes policies of inclusion and incorporation of the workforce of people with disabilities in the private sector and works across the country. With our strategy focused in this alliance we contacted this unit of the Ministry of Work, a key partner, and were able to keep working with them.

This allows us to host this training in of one of the most beautiful spaces in the city, symbol of the transformation and investment in education developed in recent years: The Belen Library Park. Located west of the city is also the main office of the Public Employment Service and has conventional and digital classrooms, an auditorium, a documentation center, reading rooms, among other services. Two sessions were developed in October 11 and 16 with a total of 6 hours of training. One more time, we had the accompaniment of the facilitator Alejandra Serna, who guided all the contents in the Colombian sign language and we were able to achieve that 6 people with hearing impairment strengthen the use and appropriation of technological tools for the registration and search of employment, through Tools that facilitate their communication and their interaction with hearing people.

It should also be noted that the activity coincided with the visit to the city of Medellin of world leaders and social entrepreneurs from Echoing Green who met for their Annual Fellows Conference. This Global Organization selected MAKAIA as one of the most outstanding social experiences of Colombia selected us for a "Site visit" where a group of 15 Fellows got to know MAKAIA's work and see this project up close. Taking advantage of the potential of this visit to find new supporters or spokespersons and using the donations received, MAKAIA hosted the visit in the Library Park and reached two translators (Sign Language – Spanish, Spanish- English) that help the beneficiaries communicate their own ideas and opinions to the guests of Echoing Green, interacting this way in a more personal and close way. We also prepared a material that presented the initiative and invited the Fellows to learn Sign Language and donate to our cause. The impressions were very positive and helped to strengthen the diffusion and community engagement with the initiative. 

For the group of participants, this training process was a learning experience, with personal and professional achievements that encouraging them to use of technology as a everyday tool, believing in their own capacities and identifying the organizations that can help them find job opportunities, as well as a global community that support them keeps working to create spaces and access to those opportunities.

Thanks to all the people who make it possible!

 
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