Seraphine is an alumna of our first digital literacy and ESL course and one of our star pupils. Originally from Cameroon, she was first introduced to computers at the computer lab built by One Digital World Founder and Executive Director Casey Myers in collaboration with Glocal Roots and Action for Education in Samos, Greece, in 2019.
"I had never used computers before going to the lab," she said recently in an interview. "When I went for the first time, they showed me how to turn on the computer and turn it off. Then they showed me how to use the keyboard to write my name. That was the first thing. We went step by step."
In Cameroon, Seraphine was a business woman; she owned her own salon. But after arriving in Greece, she wasn't able to use her skills in the same way. The computer lab helped her adapt to her new environment.
"I learned how to look up things," she noted. "I learned how to type them up and then how to enter. And I learned how to send something on social media like Facebook, and how to google. If I wanted to know how to cook food, how to make a cake, or to look for something else, I would just type the thing and then I would find it."
After graduating from the digital literacy and English course, Seraphine went on to win a scholarship from Coursera in order to get her certification in Professional English Writing and Translation.
"Today, in this generation, if you don’t know how to use computers, it’s like you never went to school. You have to use computers to do so many things...to find something in an easy way. I see many people today use the computer very easily when they want to know something. So I decided, why not me? I wanted to learn like everybody else. If you don’t know computers, it’s like you are not part of this generation. I know it’s going to help me today and in the future. If I want to send you an email or to have a conversation with you, if I need to know how to use a computer, I can do that now."
Now Seraphine is an independent, self-sufficient digital learner. But she still credits her very first digital literacy and ESL class for her continued success. "When I started to learn, I was very, very excited. It was a new experience and a very good one. We were like a family; I was not alone. When they gave us our certificates at the end of the course and then they called my name...it was magical. That was one of the best moments."
Seraphine is still in Greece, but now she is able to take control of her own learning. "At home, I’m trying to practice by myself. It’s because of those classes that I’m able to take classes online very easily now. If I hadn’t studied in those classes, I wouldn’t be able to go to Zoom classes today. I now have four classes a week, and I’m doing it with my computer. I’m in four different English. One is for vocabulary, one is for how to look for jobs, and two are conversational English. Our teachers are in America, so we do it all online."