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Project partner:

Establishing Social Enerprise












IT and Woman Empowerment

Case study: Maida


My name is Ms. Maida N., and I am currently employed at the Public transport company of Belgrade (GSP) as the legal officer. Here my responsibility is to obtain and record documentation regarding the company assets, whilst my everyday job is to capture data into the computer.

  Life is wondrous, each day is an experience and we are uncertain what it will have in store for us. Faith had a plan for me. I used to be an owner of a party, event, planning company, and at this stage of my life the computer was of little use to me. Besides having a very limited knowledge of the Internet, I had mostly used a couple of things which I had learned of by heart. In principle I had no need to know more about the world of IT - or so I thought at the time. I, myself, didn't know how to find the required information, so whenever I needed to do something regarding the commuter or the Internet I would just go and ask somebody to do it instead. My lack of knowledge in this field caused fear - I developed a mental block and was fearful of making a mistake and thus deleting something from the computer that I might actually need, or worse yet cause some program to stop working.

As I have already mentioned, faith was playing a trick on me. I got divorced and had to share my company offices with my now ex-husband, and was thus forced to automatically close the company. In a very short period of time I was left unemployed. I was an optimist from the very beginning. Other people helped me out and made my CV, and I learned how to go onto the Internet and find 'infostud' (online information site used for finding opportunities in various fields), but I must say that all of this was done highly repetitively and without any actual understanding of the subject at hand. Unfortunately, if you are doing things in this way, and are required to add any additional information or in any way need to deviate from what you have 'learned' you are faced with a problem. And so, besides the obvious problems, if you would like to find any better standing position, then it is essential that you are computer literate. Thus I had to miss some opportunities by never applying for the jobs, as this is not a field in which one can say that they know it, and then just learn it as they go along.

I was lucky enough to be selected and invited to, as a single parent, attend computer courses at IAN. I took this very seriously, and was present at all of the lectures, gained a better understanding of the subject matter and was able to ask the lecturers for help. This was extremely important as the lectures are linked onto one another, and the previously acquired knowledge. In order to determine and clarify what we have learned, each lesson was concluded by a practical exercise, and in my case they gave good results.

I have learned to freely work on the computer and use some programs such as Excel and Word, as well as to surf the Internet and find whatever I need on it. I now feel like I have just learned how to read and write.

I had immediately added the fact that I have completed computer courses to my CV, and that I now have an ECDL certificate. Within a month, i.e. on the 1 st of September, I was employed.

Maybe I was lucky, but had I not had the necessary knowledge I would not have been able to even apply for this job, as the prerequisite for it was a good understanding of the computer.

Read other stories:

Irena (29): "...Lectures were organised in such a way that the individuals were divided into various groups comprising of individuals of different age and gender. Here I had an amazing opportunity to see the value of accessing the information technology (IT) for females of different age, be it girls, women, and/ ladies in their late fifties. .Once I got employed I was asked whether or not I would have gotten this job had I not known how to use the computer. I remember answering "of course not, but I also wouldn't have gotten any other job either!.." read the whole story
Natalija (41) ".Young and old, from various backgrounds, life experiences and occupations, we all had an opportunity to be useful and add to the variety and completeness of the lectures, whilst helping one another thrive and concur various aspects of the coursework. I was especially glad to see that the resistance which was expressed by many women, including myself, towards the computer was decreasing on a daily basis, and to upon completion of every module (Windows, Word, Excel, Internet, Access, PowerPoint) be replaced by the interest and desire for further discoveries..." read the whole story

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