Support a Computer Lab for Women to Achieve Self Sufficiency
Imagine how immensely inconvenient it would be to carry out tasks like banking, job searching, writing a résumé or keeping connected with family without access to a computer. Is this access something you take for granted? Now consider that inconvenience compounded by the threat of violence from someone who monitored your access to that technology.
You can imagine the control an abuser could assert over a woman, emotionally and financially, by monitoring and controlling her access to a computer. You can picture the difficulty a woman trying to extricate herself from a violent situation might face if she did not control her own banking, could not communicate freely with her support networks, and was unable to search for a job online.
In Santa Clara County Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence (Next Door) is not taking access to technology for granted. In considering how to support women in escaping cycles of violence, Next Door has developed its innovative self-sufficiency program to empower women to “go from a state of surviving to thriving.” While the program incorporates many workshops and tools focused on empowering its clients to become independent of their abusers, one important tool the organization hopes to add to the self-sufficiency program is a computer lab.
A computer lab will allow Next Door’s clients access to a variety of tools and benefits. Women will be able to participate in classes and gain a variety of practical computer based skills from writing a cover letter to accessing internet resources. More importantly, women will be provided with a safe space away from their abusers to use the internet and its many tools (whether that is job databases, internet banking, or being able to freely communicate with supportive networks).
With a little over a week left in the campaign, Next Door has done an amazing job fundraising and has already reached its tipping point goal of $1,370.00 and is well on its way to reaching its overall funding goal of $3,200. The tipping point is certainly not the end goal for any campaign—the overall fundraising goal is just as, if not more, important. With your support, Next Door will be able to open a full computer lab with seven laptops, seven mice, 25 flash drives, and résumé and cover letter preparation software. Access to technology may not seem a pressing issue to you, but as Next Door’s Executive Director Kathleen Krenek points out, a lack of access to today’s technologies can mean the difference between surviving and thriving for battered women. Learn more about Next Door’s campaign here, and consider making a pledge and sharing information about the campaign today!
I am currently a fourth year student at the University of Victoria majoring in Women’s Studies and Environmental studies. Over the past four years I have worked for a number of not for profits developing their volunteer and outreach programs. Currently I sit on the board of two not for profits I have worked with in the past, the Mosqoy: Sacred Valley Youth Fund and the Q’ente Textile Revitalization Society. Upon graduating I hope to continue applying my skills to assist not for profits focused on social justice in achieving their outreach goals. You can follow me on twitter @jasmineshea.
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