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Written by Gaby Coopershmidt

The personal computer is an integral part of our everyday life. At home, school, in our jobs. Basic understanding of its operation and function is necessary in the life of modern people. Many of the Darfurie refugees that came to Israel, males and females in their 20’s and 30’s, saw a computer for the first time in their lives. If they want to integrate in Israel, it’s their duty to fill this gap. If not – they will stay behind.

“Bnai Darfur” organization recognized the need and the will of the community members for computer studies and training. The organization launched several courses on different levels of the community – basic level for students without preliminary background, creative computer course for intermediate users and also a course for daily users that offers the students basic knowledge for the use of Windows operating system, surfing the web and use of Office programs.

The daily user computer course is taught by Dima Siryiogin and Noam Mazor, Tel Aviv University students that volunteer at “Bnai Darfur”. The course is very successful throughout the community and the number of students grew from week to week until it got to 20 students who share 7 functioning computers. Because of the senselessness in studying computers without a computer, the class was split.

In the sixth lesson of the course, Dima presents the Word program and its many options. Dima isn’t passing on any function and with the help of the presentation he made, explains what each option does in the varied interface of the program. Noam passes between the students and verifies patiently that they follow the pace and are doing everything right. The students don’t get in much trouble. Despite the language differences (Dima lectures in English, also a new language for the students) and the high difficulty of the tasks, it looks like the students accomplish them. At the end of the lesson, Dima instruct his students to practice today’s lesson and make for the next one a cover page and a text page with a picture, just like they’ve learned today.

Dima and Noam keep in touch with their students via e-mails and wish that they’ll do their homework and always be ready for the next lesson. Each week, they send to all of their students the presentation of the last lesson. Every new student that joins the course gets in his e-mail all the presentations of the lessons he missed.

Dima tells the primary goal of the course was to help the students upgrade their skills in using the Internet, the common use of the computer. Unfortunately, the internet connection in the “Bnai Darfur” classrooms got disconnected because of lack of budget and Dima and Noam had to change the curriculum and emphasize in the use of Office programs. Dima, Noam and their students hope that the connection will be restored so they could learn more how to taste more of the Internet’s abundance.