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NLK Digital Literacy for the Women

In 2010, NLK setup, digital training program for target women living with HIV/AIDS in broad grass root communities of Ethiopia. The program is part of the organization’s identified strategies for the target women groups’ social and economic empowerment. The program train Women Living with HIV/AIDS in digital Literacy and skill in internet usage. In addition, to reduce stigma and increase opportunities improves positive impacts and sustainability; the program targets other vulnerable women, girls and OVC participants who may not have been diagnosed or chose not to disclose status.

The program primarily provides training in Basic computer skill training: Microsoft word, Microsoft excels Microsoft access and internet usage for three months by a qualified trainer. The program train approximately 100 to 150 target women annually and provide employment opportunities as well.

To avoid the low placement rates of the trained women; NLK Link the Digital Literacy skill training program to pre-identified employment opportunities through continues labor market assessments and identifying leading firms and internet cafes with growing demand for the skilled labor in the target communities. Moreover, NLK promote individually operated internet cafes by the women upon successfully completing the training program.

Since late 2010 of its establishment, the program has successfully trained more than 200 of the target women, girls and children. Currently, the women have been able to utilize the modern technology and internet access as means for broad online communication and the pertaining social and economic opportunities. Among others, , the women are able to connect and collaborate online with variety members of positive women networks both locally and globally; to share and/or gain new experience, approach, practices and knowledge resulting for them profound social and psychosocial wellbeing.

Today, NLK is proud of the commendable achievement made in the target women we have been able to change the lives of the target women, dependents and the community thorough this unique program.
The women able to generate income by commencing self-operated internet cafes and associated service, or employed in leading computer firms or leading internet cafes in the local communities of Addis Ababa

They overcome the predicament faced them in terms of stigma, isolation and abandonment due to HIV status by connecting with others members of peer organization with similar cause. Besides, the improvement come on the lives of the women due the program have challenged the society’s perception particularly about the women living with HIV/AIDS. Commonly, the women living with HIV/AIDS viewed as non-productive and a burden to the society. But, the women have void the perception by proving that they can rightfully take up development roles in the society and are not unessential as such if they are given the opportunity.
Nonetheless, the pandemic impacts have been a continuing challenge among many women in the communities. NLK is aware a number of “hard to reach” women affected and infected by HIV/AIDS in the target communities. Hitherto, they are being experience of shortage of living, abandonment, isolation, stigma, discrimination and violence which involve physical and psychological harm in their communities. Thus, the women need coping mechanisms on emerging challenges. Particularly, capacity building in digital literacy, internet skill and access are proofed to be a key to secure effectively their deserved desired social and economic empowerment.
NLK is committed maintain its digital literacy and internet access program for the target women groups. NLK wish to continue to empower the target women with basic skill enable them to take self-based initiative to influence broadly their social, economic and psychological wellbeing. Of course, the existing women who have benefited from program are out to be a living proof to their peers. They will be integrated in the expansion program and will be used during the sensitization and capacity building plans for the new groups

Nevertheless, lacks of adequate resources, facilities and infrastructure have been the major challenges faced by NLK. We need computers, modems, appropriate working spaces; and infrastructures required for smooth operation of the program and sustainability. The unreliability and speed of the internet is another barricade to the program. To maintain the program success and sustainability, therefore, NLK need support from all concerned strategic partners who can collaborate and add value to the effort in any domain. We request the understating of all concerned partners and donors to provide their respective relevant support in terms of technical, facilities and funding.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Women Weave the Web Digital Action Campaign. Learn more »



alissanagel's picture

Learning and Growing

Hello Bayessa,

Thank you for taking the time to write your most recent journal entry. As someone who is new to the campaign, I have enjoyed going through your past entries, learning about NLK's mission, and the technical work your organization achieves. Kudos to the difficult, yet incredibly rewarding opportunities you are creating for women in Ethiopia. There are couple of points I would like to share, which will hopefully be helpful as you continue to express your thoughts and experiences.

- For those who are following your journal closely, you use the acronym NLK frequently and the reader becomes familiar with it. To those who are not familiar with your journal, it would be helpful to spell it out once at the beginning of your post (with the acronym in parenthesis), to help the reader establish what NLK is while continuing to learn the name of your organization as it is pronounced in your language.

- You are very detailed in your description of how the program serves the women – this is great for the reader and I appreciate your attention to detail. It helps give me context to what the program is working to achieve. AMAZING WORK!

- Perhaps in a future entry, you can consider telling the story of a woman who has used the center to achieve the mission of your organization. I would very much like to learn about some specific women who have benefitted from your NLK's work.

- How have some of the women have collaborated together? How have some of these women taken up development roles? What has been the response of men in their communities?

- I love how you still address the needs of the program at the end – it sends a great message of what individuals can do to help raise awareness and what we can do to help. Is there is a way for individuals to donate and support your organization? If you organization has a website, I would provide the link for people to go and learn more.

No need to answer all of these questions. I just pose them as food for thought for your future entries. I look forward to reading and engaging more and hope to hear from you soon! Thank you for taking the time to bring this to the global communities' awareness.

With love,

loueda's picture

Cultural Shifts

Hello, Erena Bayessa.
Thank you for sharing the many successes and challenges faced by your organization. I can feel your commitment to the mission of NLK. The part of your writing that especially stood out to me was when you commented on changing social perceptions of women with HIV from a burden on society to contributing community members. Empowering one woman is a feat, but changing the culture of an entire group is monumental. I would love to hear more about how the work you are doing is creating safety for women in the greater culture. So inspiring!
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and your commitment to supporting women in Ethiopia.

busayo's picture

Great Change

Dear Erena
Thank you for the great change that have been happening in the lives of the women receiving your digital training. It is so tremendous. Keep up the good work, we can see the fruits


Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria

ccontreras's picture


What a great project you have going on Erena! It is interesting and very ambitious but I believe it can definitely make a difference in your community. The internet can provide those empowering tools for women so they can enhance their skills and be able to connect with others that share their views.

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