Hello. I am Kaoru Kofukada, a junior psychology major at Guilford College. I am also a visiting student from International Christian University in Japan. I have been working as a volunteer at the Glen Haven Community Center since last September. The Glen Haven Community Center is a refugee support facility located in Greensboro, which cooperates with Guilford College. The facility provides volunteer opportunities of afterschool tutoring for children and ELS class assistance for adults. Through interacting with refugees as a volunteer, I realized that most of the refugee adults in the community were unemployed. This fact was shocking to me, which motivated me to find the way to support their job searches through consulting with the workers at the Glen Haven. This began the computer literacy class at the Glen Haven.
Another volunteer and I started the computer literacy class this February. The goal of this class is to enable refugee adults to use a computer to address their need to make living. The class content includes how to set up a computer, typing, e-mail, and documentation. After working on this computer class for two months, students improve their computer literacy skill. For example, students are able type faster. As a person who has developed this program, I am so glad to interact with students who are willing to learn computer skills and see their improvement.
This program is also the commitment to action I made at Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) 2012 . There were many events taking place at CGIU. The skill session that I attended gave me tips to expand and continue a program. Moreover, I could have a conversation with the organization coordinators who currently run social businesses as well as the students who work for global issue based on their own commitments to action. Some students work for refugees in different ways which include: supporting refugee camp in Thailand, providing refugees with daily information through internet, and teaching languages. In addition, it was also interesting to hear the different perspectives from students who are working for other global issues such as environmental protection, health, and education. These events in CGIU inspired and motivated me to develop my project.
My current aim is to create an internship program at the Glen Haven including a computer literacy class for Guilford College students so that they will be able to gain experience in planning classes and interacting with refugees as well as continuing to provide refugee adults opportunities to learn the computer literacy skills.