This report is based on the experience from the ICT training for Bulgarian women from NGOs, which took place from July 31st to August 2nd, 2004 in Sofia, Bulgaria. This report icludes:
Aim and goals of the training
Main challenges and conlusions
The ICT Training for Bulgarian women from NGOs took place on July 31st - August 2nd, 2004 in a computer room in Sofia, Bulgaria. There were 11 participants, seven of whom were taking part in a WiTT training for the first time. Most of them were women from Sofia; only two of them were activists from the Red Cross in Plovdiv.
The selection of the participants was made strategically in order to create a core team of ICT literate women, who are aware of the needs and who feel comfortable with using computers, software, SPIP and Free Software applications.
Aim of the training
The aim of the training was to provide local Bulgarian women with more practical ICT skills so that they use computer resources in their everyday life more effectively.
Goals of the training
The main goals we had were:
to convince women from women’s rights NGOs about the importance of maintaining and updating their websites, as well as to teach them how to do so.
to discuss the political reasons that NGOs should use free software, and to feel more comfortable using it.
to help women acquire new skills realted to computer use and the Web (e.g., search engines, virus protection, protection of privacy, etc.).
active participation of the women and new skills obtained;
enhanced understanding of problems and challenges;
increased awareness about the threats and opportunities that computers provide;
information about the training was published in the Bulgarian newspaper Computers; the discussion in the Linux – Bulgaria portal raised great interest in the topic ("Women working with ICTs and free software";
women from GERT have started updating their website themselves;
new contacts were made with a number of enthusiastic women from Sofia and all around Bulgaria (we got more than ten additional requests for participation in addition to the women who were trained);
new documentation on the use of SPIP, and the use of websites as a whole was published and released – for general knowledge and further use in Bulgarian; and,
the training allowed the WiTT trainers from Bulgaria to work together for the second time, which made the team stronger and more enthusiastic.
Main challenges and conclusions
Because of the large number of women from Sofia and the countryside who are willing to learn more about ICTs, we came to the conclusion that more trainings have to be organized. Another thing is that more training sessions with fewer participants are more useful than one big training with many participants. Education is more effective when each participant has a computer.
An interesting observation is that women like to improve their ICT skills for practical reasons. That is to say, for most women activists, ICTs are seen as a practical tool for achieving better results in their work. It was also interesting to note that middle-aged women are more interested in improving their ICT skills than younger women. Finally, women working in a free software environment progress very quickly and adapt very well to the software and its requirements.