GOW17 in Denmark - helping homeless people gain digital skills

To start the GOW2017 on 27th of March, Telecentre-danmark had invited the homeless people at the main shelter in Copenhagen to an awareness workshop about the new method of digital payment and security. Some weeks before, Telecentre-danmark had set up an ICT center at the shelter providing 4 super touch screen computers with internet access, for the homeless. It has been a great success, and the computers are extensively and in constant use 24/7​.

It is in itself a challenge to arrange regular tuition in a shelter. You cannot tell, which homeless people will be at the shelter at a particular day. Homeless are in a very difficult life situation and not all have the necessary resources and motivation to participate in tuition classes about computers, internet and safety.

Telecentre-danmark invited all users to a GOW2017 workshop about Internet, digital payments and safety. The workshop took place in the middle of the shelter's café. With many homeless people coming and going, there was a lot of disturbance with fighting and many everyday dramas. In order to motivate the homeless, we used the trick of inviting them for coffee and cakes. The trick worked and many passers-by stopped and participated in the workshop.

Robert, 53, a regular homeless shelter user and a keen IT and mobile telephone user, volunteered to act as an instructor on a daily base, to help other users.

Carsten, a 46-year-old homeless, who was about to be established in a protected flat, was like many of the other homeless, keen and very motivated in getting competences to use computer and mobile phone. But unfortunally, all the homeless had very little or no idea about security and how to protect themselves.

Most of the workshop was  focused on safety and explanation of how to protect your device. Many of the homeless expressed great concern of using their devices for money transfers as they feel very insecure as how the systems work.

The day ended with good practical advice, and next to all the computers we have posted notes with four most important safety recommendations. These notes will be used in all shelters.


by Gitte Olsen, Telecentre-Danmark

Country: Europe
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