Sakhi Computer Workshops Empower Survivors

Last month, Sakhi concluded its latest round of computer classes for domestic violence survivors who seek to enhance their computer literacy and skill-set.

The classes were held in March and April at our new computer lab.

Five women graduated from the class and participants put in an average of about 17 hours over several weeks.

The program was overseen by staff member Jyotswaroop Bawa, who heads the Economic Empowerment Program, which provides survivors with budgeting and financial skills, resume preparation, as well as grants for further education and other essential life and job-related skills.

“The workshops provided a great opportunity for survivors to better familiarize themselves with important aspects of computer use, and, therefore, help their prospects for employment,” Jyotswaroop noted. “We think it is important to provide survivors the opportunity to learn and develop their skills so that they can forge a path to greater independence and self-sufficiency,” she added.

The training centered on four core skills: typing, Microsoft Word familiarization, e-mail proficiency, and internet use.

One exercise, for instance, centered on e-mail etiquette, emphasizing conciseness, proper grammar, good structure, and correct formatting. Another explained the various options and uses in the Microsoft Word toolbar, such as opening new documents, cutting and pasting, inserting tables, and creating columns.

In the initial, pre-assessment survey, many participants noted that they did not have any experience in these areas, or had only limited experience. Along similar lines, some participants did not know what a resume was and had no job experience, but this was not universally true, as others had Master’s degrees and job experiences in an administrative capacity or in teaching. The participants uniformly expressed interest in improving their internet and search-related skills.

While the last set of classes took place just a month ago, Sakhi will be starting a new session in the coming weeks due to the high demand for further training among survivors.