Computerwijk: computercourses for the neighbourhood, by people from that neighbourhood

Computerwijk = 'Computerhood'
A million people in the Netherlands do not know how to use a computer. Computerwijk offers help; we offer accessible computer courses in people’s own neighbourhoods. Courses offered by Computerwijk are led by trained volunteers from those very same neighborhoods. Social cohesion is equally important as acquiring computer skills. The courses do not only boost self confidence and opportunities for the participants, but at the same time, they contribute to a more pleasant neighbourhood.
Computerwijk was founded in 2009 and is a non-profit organization. Computerwijk literally translates into Computerhood which stands for computer courses in the neighborhood.

Digital Divide
Approximately 6 percent of all Dutch citizens do not know how to use a computer, which means that they cannot or can barely make use of all the opportunities offered by computers and the Internet. They are mostly senior citizens, migrants and people with low education. The lack of digital skills puts them at both an economical and social disadvantage as the digital divide rapidly deepens. For these people, training and education, or finding a job, become more and more difficult. As is maintaining social relationships. Companies, governments, organizations, but also friends and family increasingly use digital media for financial transactions, services, and social intercourse. As the digital divide deepens, the digital illiterates risk falling behind.
This is not only a challenge for the digital illiterates. Companies, governments and organizations who have a stake in communicating with these (potential) customers and clients, risk losing sight of a large part of their target groups. Communication fails, misunderstandings arise, bills are not paid – opportunities lost.

Computerwijk offers help!
Computerwijk is set to fight digital illiteracy. However, during the Computerwijk courses people learn much more than just computer skills; they participate in a course together with other residents from their neighbourhood, meet new people and gain self confidence. Often, their course certificate is the first actual diploma they have ever received. The computer offers possibilities for personal development, gives access to information, and provides opportunities for education, work and acquiring social contacts. This results in benefits for everybody; the participant in the first place, but the neighbourhood profits as well and in the end society as a whole.

Computerwijk: for the neighbourhood, by the neighbourhood
Courses offered by Computerwijk are easily accessible and are given by trained volunteers, who live in the area. The participants share an interest for the computer, but their origin, background and religion are very diverse. Courses are often the first time they actually meet their neighbors. This is how the courses not only enhance the self confidence and chances of the participants, but lead also to a more pleasant neighbourhood with a stronger solidarity. The Computerwijk courses offer ample room for personal attention and provide a safe learning environment in which participants are encouraged to develop themselves. Computerwijk makes use of familiar locations and organisations which already reach the target group, making our courses easily accessible and available.

Our teachers lie at the heart of Computerwijk
The volunteer teachers work according to the train the trainer principle. Participants who complete the full curriculum can become a teacher themselves. This method leads to a broad diversity of teachers: mothers, sometimes of foreign origin, working younger people, and senior citizens. These people lie at the heart of Computerwijk. Our local partners support them professionally with trainings, facilities and attention.