The Computer Literacy Empowerment programme (CLEP) originated as a response to the high unemployment rate amongst the youth in the community. Some of the youth have completed their matric and have no means of furthering their studies. The poverty, which is furthered by the lack of adequate skills to compete in the world of work, creates a cycle of poverty for their families. The youth then turn to alcohol to get rid of the stresses that they experience. Such short term stress fixes become a pattern in the lives of the youngsters, thus forming a drug and alcohol addiction problem.
This lack of hope and purpose spreads into other areas of the youth’s lives including violence and abuse of women, which is a burning issue in South Africa at the moment. The same unemployment struggles incites xenophobic attacks as seen from the recent incidences in our country. These are issues that need serious attention from civil society, organisations and state departments collectively.
Field of Dreams noticed the high rate of unemployment and relative inactivity of the youth and decided to start with the programme to empower the youth with skills. Computer literacy is the perfect choice for the youth due to the lack of access to computers and computer related education in the communities we serve. Moreover, employers desire their workers to be computer literate because of the increased shift from manual operations to computerized work.
The programme is designed to help the participants gain skills while at the same time providing additional knowledge to the participants regarding the workplace such as work-ethic and professionalism. The combination of these skills will help the participants retain work and complete project with confidence. The computer skills being provided include basic proficiency in Word, Spreadsheet, Presentation, Email and the Internet. We utilize open-source Software such as LibreOffice to train the youth. This programme with the youth goes a step further and end with Digital Marketing Certification by Google. This certification usually takes two weeks to complete and it empowers the youth to confidently look for employment or start an entrepreneurial venture.