A Socialbox.biz blog post update by Jenni (January 2018)
New Year, New Classes – Happy New Year from all of us at SocialBox.biz!
We’re excited to announce an expansion of our services as we enter 2018 through new classes in the community!
As you may know, we’re on a mission to help more than 1,000 disadvantaged people with donated used laptops via our charitable partnerships by the year 2020. Part of our social and digital inclusion mission is to help refugees, young disadvantaged people, homeless and other vulnerable populations get their lives back on track. Laptops are handed to homeless individuals once they have moved into accommodation and complete some training classes.
We have reached the huge milestone of 300th laptop for our initiatives to support vulnerable populations, so now, we’re making this donation even more impactful by providing IT training via our pop up classes for our partners who receive laptops from our program.
These additional partnerships will help expand our reach across more UK territories, including Scotland as well as help other disadvataged groups such as those in the case systems and care leavers. Previously, we were only able to reach homeless laptop recipients in London.
Today, it’s very difficult to live without regular access to the internet because of all the services that can only practically be used online, such as job application tools and banking resources. Unfortunately, many of the United Kingdom’s homeless population have never used a computer before and still feel lost even after receiving a donated laptop. To solve this problem, we have begun to deliver classes at partnering organization. Through these tutoring sessions, laptop recipients learn to use communication networks like email, search engines, online shopping, online learning, computer games etc. We’re also teaching disadvantaged and formerly homeless individuals how to use open source office software which is compatible with applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to prepare documents and CVs with with no cost to the user. These lessons will help laptop recipients create resumes and learn office skills as they prepare to enter the workforce.
In October 2017 and April 2018 we received a case studies that our re-homed laptops helped homeless people apply for a jobs and that a number of them were in paid roles, we also received further case studies how these laptops are changing lives.
This laptop changed my life (case study update April 2018)
Young unaccompanied refugees benefit from laptops so they can do their homework (Case Study British Red Cross)
New E-Learning Solutions Training
Sometimes, the people who need computer and technology training the most have no access to these resources. University courses on these topics may be too expensive, and many vulnerable populations (such as the homeless, refugees, and recent immigrants) lack the ability to obtain a working computer to practice these skills.
Additional free resources to learn about Linux and open source software are provided by The Linux Foundation and available via the innovative Edx platform founded by Harvard and MIT.
The Linux Foundation sponsors the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and lead maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman and is supported by members such as Cisco, Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, NEC, Oracle…
The Linux Foundation has created a more on open source Linux software which is free for everyone to take online via the link below:
“This is a wonderful initiative, providing not just a hand out, but a hand up, to enable individuals to support themselves by conducting valuable, in demand work in the technology field,” said Linux Foundation General Manager, Training & Certification, Clyde Seepersad. “The Linux Foundation is proud to offer a range of free training courses to help individuals all over the world gain highly useful, marketable skills they can use to build and improve their livelihoods.”
In addition to offering these client-facing courses, our founder Peter Paduh is participating in a new lecture series on entrepreneurship offered through his alma mater, Westminster Business school which is also be available for free online.
The panel will be educating students on “What It Takes to be an Entrepreneur” with emphasis on socially focused entrepreneurship by sharing his personal story of how he started SocialBox.biz and the lessons he learned along the way with hundreds of students. Peter is one of several Westminster alumni who are offering their advice and experiences to teach new students about successful entrepreneurship.