Women empowered with information skills

Women information skills empowerment programme graduates at Lentegeur Library.

Mitchell’s Plain women library patrons were empowered with access to information skills beyond books.

They completed a women’s information skills empowerment (WISE) programme at Lentegeur Library from Monday May 8 until Friday June 9.

On completion of the course the 36 women received certificates of participation during a special graduation ceremony earlier this month.

Librarian Marlene Nelson said the programme was aimed at informing women, transforming lives and to raise awareness of their rights; to increase the number of women accessing information about municipal and social services in their respective community; and to support local government services in reaching women.

“The women in turn become information activists in their community,” she said.

The WISE programme includes key information skills components like information literacy on municipal orientation, how to log a service delivery request; digital literacy, like typing, accessing emails; creating a curriculum vitae; library orientation and communication skills.

Ms Nelson said the women diligently attended the four-week course irrespective of various challenges, like the library only having five computers, load shedding and weather conditions.

They also had information sessions with service providers in the community such as substance abuse treatment Matrix sites, local SAPS officers, the Women’s Network of South Africa, Blackpearl Foundation and New Creation Outreach Ministries (NCOM).

“The women now know that they can reach out to these partners in their own community as well,” said Ms Nelson.

Many of the participants said that they felt more confident and able to guide people on where and how to access services in their area.

Ms Nelson said two of the women secured job interviews with their CV creation skills.

“On completion of the programme the participants were happy to know that the library staff are there to serve as a support structure to them,” she said.