**Scroll down for a peek at our computer lab inside Pro Amore Dei!
Yesterday was a big day.
On Monday, May 17th, our first cohort of asylum seekers graduated from our digital literacy program at Pro Amore Dei shelter in Tijuana, Mexico. Each of our students received certificates in digital literacy from Microsoft and typing certificates from Typing.com. But this is just the first step.
In the midst of the United States’ rapidly-changing asylum policies and procedures (link to last week’s blog), having knowledge of computer systems is more urgent than ever. In addition to their marketable skills, the participants also started their asylum applications online thanks to the simplified, encrypted software from our friends at FormALLY. Now that our graduates are able
to type and navigate the internet, they are able to quickly and remotely begin their legal process to seek safety and relocation in the United States.
This includes an encrypted drive to share evidence of persecution or other grave life events that led our students to seek asylum in the first place with lawyers. Evidence and a completed application are essential to building a legal case that has a better chance of being granted asylum. It’s an important first step, although it’s not a guarantee. Regardless, we’re so thankful to be able to support our students through this process.
Additionally, each of our students are learning beginner English and essential vocabulary, such as medical and legal vocabulary and language functions that can help them take care of themselves and their families once they reach the United States.
But don’t take our word for it! What do some of our graduates have to say about the program?
“I really value learning. Life has taught me that the more a person learns, the better they become. And there's always room to learn more. I chose to learn because it’s an important tool, a tool that is essential for the future. I learned so much in this class, things that I didn’t know before. Thank you for having patience with us!” -R.
“It took me a while to get used to things, but I feel more confident than I have ever felt working with computers. Thank you!” - M.
“Congratulations to my students! These past five weeks have been filled with learning, pushing boundaries, and hard work. Despite having little to no experience with computers, no task was too daunting for my students. They always showed up to class with an open mind and the will to learn and participate. They definitely showed me what true dedication and commitment looks like. I am very grateful to have had the privilege of teaching students, and can’t wait to hear about their success in the future.” -Marisa, our fabulous teacher
We are proud of how much our students have learned and grown over the past five weeks. In fact, a few were relocated to the United States to wait with family or sponsors during that time period. But as more asylum seekers continue arriving in Tijuana, we will continue to support them in their journeys to self-sufficiency as they navigate the ever-changing barriers of seeking asylum in the United States.
Will you sponsor an asylum seeker’s education in Tijuana? Donate today.