As part of the Sii Power Volunteers program, engineers from Sii Katowice have been regularly conducting IT classes for kids and schoolchildren, organized in the parish common room of the Basilica of St. Francis in Paniewniki – the westernmost district of Katowice. They guarantee that every hour devoted to sharing knowledge with children threatened by digital divide, brings great satisfaction and is a valuable experience for both parties. The project is one of several others carried out by Sii workers. This year, Sii Poland will spend as much as PLN 190 000 on volunteering initiatives.
What inspired you to engage in this type of activity?
Malwina Bartków, Account Resource Manager, Robert Goleniec, Service Delivery Manager: The idea of organizing IT workshops was a response to the actual needs of the kids. Robert, who for some time worked as a volunteer for the common room, noticed that they’re really interested in the basics of IT and saw great potential for their development in this area. The common room offers a great variety of activities aimed at kids and schoolchildren, mainly from poor and dysfunctional families. A digital divide is one of the problems they have to face – we’re living in an era where almost everything is done using computers and the Internet. Our project allowed us to share the knowledge that will be indispensable to them in the future and will help them in school, as well as in private and professional life.
How often do you conduct the classes?
M.B., R.G.: The classes have been conducted since September 2018. We have done our best to organize them at least once a month. There are 6–8 people in each group – this number ensures maximum comfort during classes both for the participants and the teacher. Each kid is always welcome. The topics covered include basic computer skills and safe Internet use.
During our classes, kids use the necessary equipment provided by Sii Poland as part of the Sii Power Volunteers program. We needed desks, chairs, 2 basic computer stations, and a printer to build a small internal network and get connected to the Internet.
What are your volunteering-related plans for the future?
M.B., R.G.: In the holiday season, the common room is closed because a great number of trips for the kids is being organized instead. For us, it is a good time to summarize the previous school year and come up with a fresh action plan. For sure, we will promote our program in Sii Katowice – we hope that there will be more people willing to join us. Why is it worth it? The smiles on the faces of the kids, their joy, and the progress they make are the biggest reward for a volunteer. Being able to share your knowledge and passion, throwing yourself heart and soul into the project – that’s what really matters. You get much more in return.
The Sii Power Volunteers Program – the 6th edition is in progress
The workshops for kids organized in the parish common room in Paniewniki are one of a few projects realized as part of the Sii Power Volunteers program. The 6th edition has already started – the next enrollment will take place in September.