What is a Digital Centre? Sometimes I get asked that question...

On 23 June, Christine Albanel, Vice-President of the Orange Foundation, and Sylvie Verquère, founder of Amis’Mots, opened the third Women’s Digital Centre in Dijon to support and offer training to vulnerable women.

Sylvie athe Women's Digital Centre in DijonSylvie: “What is a Digital Centre [Maison digitale in French]? Sometimes I get asked that question...

I think it’s an interesting name: a home [maison] is generally a welcoming environment where you feel a ease, and ‘digital’ is a generic term which refers to a lot of things. This translates into a very open project where you can come to learn office skills, but also learn how to browse the web, work on digital images, learn about how to avoid potential online risks and dangers, and much more...

For me it is a unifying project - it connects a great range of participants: you don’t get things done sitting on your own in a corner!

It is, of course, a project which has already proven its worth (and has really come into its own within the context of Start Again training). It is a project which is about sharing strengths. This obviously contributes to its success.

Since 2006, the Start Again project led by Amis’Mots has offered a cross-disciplinary training programme to vulnerable women facing social or professional difficulties, who are determined to embark on an integrated programme to get them into work.
Thanks to our support, the workshops which the charity has always offered will be enhanced with hands-on training in how to use a variety of digital tools, tools which help to provide a sense of everyday autonomy.

Amis’Mots was set up in 2003. It is an adult training organization which offers training schemes for companies, local authorities and individuals.

The objective is to support the integration of participants and bolster their independence through lessons in French, English, applied mathematics, and IT. Digital tools are now needed for a great number of everyday tasks: administrative procedures, accessing public services, accessing healthcare, searching for jobs, staying informed of children’s progress at school, accessing culture... Being able to use digital tools is therefore an essential step in becoming independent, which will enable the women on the programme to fulfil their economic, social, and civic roles in society.
The training programme also includes nursery services for young children, which are fully funded for the duration of the training, as this is an issue which acts as a real brake to finding employment.

 

Maison Digitale à Dijon

 

Twelve women take part in each session, after attending a one-to-one interview, to assess their motivations and their desire to commit to a twelve-week training programme (around 240 hours).
80% of the women who complete the programme go on to start a new project, a training course leading to a qualification, or find a temporary or even a permanent job.

Sylvie : « These projects wouldn’t be possible without the support of an energetic, committed and caring team of teachers who, for each new project, more or less reinvent their teaching approach in relation to the group of women and their needs.
I would particularly like to recognize the contributions of Sabine and Alexandre, both teachers at IUT, who supported me in setting up the Digital Centre, which was no mean feat! »

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