Computer Training Workshops

This project aims to review our current training methods and train our staff to enhance our training program.
Malini Raghunath
Assistant HR Manager, Indian Hotels
Bangalore, India

This was the first ProEngage project for Malini. In her daily work she handles different parts of HR management and apart from her work she wanted to do a volunteering project that is related to interaction. With her busy schedule at work and at home with a lot of family responsibilities, an online volunteering project was a perfect fit - she wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time on travelling to the NGO’s site and it would provide her the much needed time flexibility.

Lakshmi Rao
Associate Consultant, Tata Consultancy Services
Bangalore, India

Having more than 10+ years of experience in software projects, Lakshmi is utilizing MS-Office on a daily basis. She has also been mentoring and coaching her team members in all projects. Communication has been a key aspect in her work since she interface with multiple teams/functions across different locations She felt this project was very relevant for her as she possesses coaching, communication and hands-on skills in MS Office and was interested in interacting and motivating people to improve their skills required for projects.

Women's Synergy
Vaidehi Krishnan, Project Coordinator
Bangalore, India

Women’s Synergy creates ‘Synergies & Symbiotic Relationships’ among women, irrespective of backgrounds, fostering their spirit of reaching out to less fortunate peers. The organization’s focus is on 'Circumstantially Challenged’ (psychologically, socially, financially, physically challenged) women in particular, and women’s emotional wellness, in general. ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ being their philosophy, they encourage women’s individual life-journeys being chartered along the ‘AI to AL’ (Appreciative Living) route. Women’s Synergy encourages women's self-initiatives for growth.


Project Execution

Women’s Synergy’s director Vaidehi believes that computer education is a very important need for women of all backgrounds and education. During her years of helping women she has been noticing that women are not computer literate and this challenges them also psychologically, as they are comforting some difficult issues. Coming out from a challenging environment, they have to come out of the self-limiting beliefs. Computer education is a wonderful tool to start with.

Malini and Lakshmi have both very good grip on computers and were looking at an opportunity to transfer their knowledge and skills to women so that they also get to learn something new which may help them in their personal/career space. Malini confesses: “Being it my first project, I was really excited and hesitant of any glitches that will happen, thinking whether there will be anyone handholding me. But when I got to know there is a co-volunteer, and NGO coordinator, that gave me confidence to kick start it.”

Malini, Lakshmi and Vaidehi were all working very closely and helped each other in all possible ways. Through a WhatsApp group they were able to coordinate everything around the workshops. Vaidehi’s role was to mobilise women to participate in the workshops. “First we have to call for participants, we use social media, WhatsApp group - to spread the word and that brings the interest.” 

“After the first few classes it went very smooth,” states Malini. They have conducted one class every week for 3 months, 12 sessions in total. At the beginning of the project they planned all the aspects of the project - syllabus, work distribution, session timings and details of each session. “We planned each session timing and who will deliver what, every session we planned out we knew what we wanted to cover and this exact plan really helped,” adds Malini. 

Challenges faced

As Malini recollects: “The only challenge was that every time there was a new set of participants. We didn't know whether the participants would understand the topic, that was a little worrying. Continuity would definitely help, few of the participants would come for all the sessions and that was very motivating for us.”

Lakshmi also mentions: “Getting participants to be punctual for the online training on Sundays was a challenge.  We had delays in the first 2 sessions but post that we told them we will wait only 5 min post which the class would begin even if there were only 2 participants and topics will not be repeated. We started seeing improvements in session 4 and beyond; participants were on time and sessions concluded on time as well.”

NGO director Vaidehi shed more light on the attendance challenges: “First, women need to know how to get online, if they for example change their password they didn’t know how to come back, so all these small things cause some of them to lose interest. Some of them were unsettled because of the covid situation and we couldn't change the timing, so the number of participants went down a bit. However, after every session we got very good testimonials from the participants.”

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“Volunteers were wonderful,” Vaidehi smiles. “They were very empathetic with womens' problems regarding attendance - they were very patient and they have empathetic sharing of knowledge. What really struck me was a PPT class. They made the women make a PPT about our NGO.  That was really nice.  They gelled well with our team. They also took a lot of examples from our organization and that was very touching, beautiful.”

Besides, the group was very diverse, some of them wanted to brush up things and some wanted to learn new things. “Our oldest participant is 70+ , we have women across various backgrounds. The volunteers did a lovely job, they brushed up things, assigned them homeworks, and handled all the flipsides well, it was just a wonderful job done by them,” Vaidehi adds.

“Thanks Team Chezuba once again, for having given this wonderful opportunity to our women.  Our hearty thanks to dedicated TATA Group volunteers, Malini and Lakshmi as well. We would like to see this grow to greater levels of learning and participation.”

Malini talks about her motivation to keep on delivering classes: “Few of the participants were quite enthusiastic and they came on time and waited for us to start the sessions. We used to give them assignments, and they have done it before the start of the session, so I could see they were looking for the next session.  If the students are interested, it motivates the teacher to teach them more.”

Close interaction with the beneficiaries felt extra rewarding for Malini. “I remember one of the ladies had her grandchildren sitting next to her during the class.  I realised, at any age people can learn, she was very persistent and despite her age she kept coming. Whatever the age, learning will never stop.” She adds, “And it was helpful for me as well, to refresh my knowledge on certain functions. Interacting with the NGO was great, knowing their background, who are the target participants, interaction with the beneficiaries really helped a lot.”

Lakshmi mentioned: “I enjoyed my experience of online training for the NGO as it brought together women from varied backgrounds who were motivated and passionate to learn MS Office by taking time out from their families/home commitments on Sundays.  Also, it was the time of lockdown throughout the country but they still did not give up and attended the training regularly.  It was good to see their excitement to learn something new and I’m happy I was able to deliver and close this project successfully.”