IFWEA Global Knowledge Community News

Aug 28

Refilwe Lekwape, Izwi Domestic Workers Alliance: Using Digital Skills

IFWEA spoke to Refilwe Lekwape from the Izwi Domestic Workers Alliance about her experience with the Digital Skills course:

My name is Refilwe Lekwape and I am currently doing my Honours degree in Development Studies at the University of Johannesburg. I am currently doing my research on domestic workers at the Izwi Domestic Workers Alliance. I am part of the Izwi Domestic Workers organisation and I am also doing my intern at the Izwi. The Izwi Domestic Workers Alliance is an organisation that works to empower and advocate for the rights of domestic workers in South Africa. Within the organisation, I have become actively involved in raising awareness for domestic workers.

Why did you sign up for Digital Skills course, and what do you hope to achieve?

I signed up for Digital Skills course so that myself and the members of Izwi can benefit from the course as technology has increasingly become an essential in our lives. Signing up for this course will enhance abilities to use smartphones and other digital tools effectively. What I hope to achieve by signing up is to empower the members of the Izwi by teaching them valuable skills such as navigating online platforms, utilising mobile applications, understanding the use of the internet and the importance of communication. The aim of this course is to equip the members of Izwi with necessary knowledge and skills in order to thrive in an increasingly digital society.

Who is in your group, and how does it work?

I am facilitating a smartphone skills course, and we are a large group, as many members of the Izwi had so much interest in taking part. We have about 60 participants. I am facilitating the group with the help of Amy Tekie, who is the co-founder of the Izwi Domestic Workers Alliance.

What have you learned in the course, so far?

Myself and my study circle members have learned various topics like the use of internet browsing, email communication, how to download applications, basic smartphone usage and different functions of the keyboard. All of these have been useful to myself and the members of the study circle – as the course has significantly benefitted the members of Izwi and they can even now use their smartphone skills to communicate with clients or colleagues or access online resources.

Was this new to you?

This was new to myself and the study circle members to a certain extent because some of the members did not know how to use a smartphone or send an email.  There were also new things that I did not know myself, like what a thumbnail is in Google Chrome Browser. However, the course equipped us with the necessary information which we can now apply in our everyday life.

Will you use these skills in your organisation?

I will definitely use these skills in the organisation by sharing my knowledge with others because these skills will enhance our communication skills. The use of these skills will help us work efficiently and it will enhance the organisation’s productivity.

Has it been easy to learn the skills?

Yes, it has been easy to learn the skills because the study materials are quite easy to follow; they are also accompanied with videos and pictures that explain things very thoroughly.  There are also practical exercises, and myself as the facilitator and my study circle members have been doing them which makes things easy and interesting to learn. The study material having visuals makes it easier for those who don’t understand what is written.

Have you had enough support during the course?

 I had support from IFWEA Educator Melanie Julie, she was always open to questions whenever I did not understand, and she was very helpful when I was struggling with something.

Do you think you would be able to show other people these skills?

Yes, I would be able to show other people these skills and share how valuable and effective these skills are in our lives.

Would you like to learn more?

Yes, I would like to learn more because it will equip me with more knowledge and skills. I would like to learn more about the computer skills course.

Why is it important to have these skills?

It is important to learn these skills because it will help one’s efficiency in the workplace, and it helps one to be confident using technology because technology has become an important aspect in our lives. It is also important because it enhances our communication skills.

What do you like the most about this course?

 What I like the most about this course is that it covers different topics of the smartphone. One aspect that I particularly liked was learning how to send and receive an email because that has become an essential digital way of communicating; and also the easiest way of sending your resume or applying for a job. Not only did this course benefit me but also benefitted the members of Izwi because they gained valuable skills which they can put into practice and also share with others.

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