Virtual Activism organized a series of pioneering workshops for capacity building and training of nongovernmental organizations on the uses of IT in human rights and development. Our first Egypt workshops were in 2004. We organized a series of workshops over a period of ten years in which we trained NGOs on privacy and security issues, blogging, social media, and other emerging technologies at the time.
Some highlights of the workshops:
Workshops in Alexandria
We have organized a series of three workshops in Alexandria for NGOs working in development as well as journalists. University students were also in attendance.
Virtual Activism organized a workshop with the Judges’ Club in Alexandria, in which 12 judges attended. The training was to provide information about the internet and social media usage.
Workshop for NGOs at the AUC – Cairo
The workshops were organized for nonprofit organizations working in both development and human rights. We received permission to use the AUC labs for the workshop. Alaa Abdel Fattah and Manal Bahey Eddin as well as other members of EgyLug also attended and provided information about open source software and participated as co-trainers.
Scenes from the Cairo workshops
The Cairo workshops were the first in a series of pioneering workshops in the Middle East, based on a curriculum that Virtual Activism has developed specifically targeting NGOs working in the Middle East. The first series took place 12-14 July 04; 19-21 July; 26-29 July 04, 2-4 August, 2004. Participants learnt about internet-related technologies, as well as viewed case studies of how the Internet was and is being used for human rights and development. They also discussed issues such as security, hoaxes and scams, search engines, browsers, open source software, Linux, and other important issues related to their work. EgyLug, an Egyptian Linux group partnering with VA, was invited to make a presentation on Linux and participants experienced it hands-on. Participants in the workshops included NGOs not only from Egypt but also from the Sudan and from Palestine, coming specifically to attend the workshops.
Workshops in Minya with CEOSS
In coordination with the The Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS), Egypt, we also organized a workshop for its staff members on blogging and harnessing the power of the internet in development. Twenty two participants attended from both Cairo and Minya governorate.
Workshops with refugees and AMERA, Cairo
We have also organized a one-day workshop at AMERA-Egypt offices in Cairo. The workshop dealt with Internet issues for activities, and specifically as it relates to refugee issues. The workshop language was English, and it was attended by both staff and select refugees.
Workshops in Manshiyet Nasser, Daqahliya and Kanater
The informal settlements workshops were organized in several Cairo informal settlements as well as in Daqahliya and Kanater, and took place between April 08 and June 08. Participants ranged in age between 13 and 25. The younger ones in particular were very active and very adaptable to the technologies that we presented. In fact they told the trainers that they were taught computers theoretically only because their schools did not have computers and they had no access to any in their homes. Of all the workshops, only those organizations that were located in Cairo’s informal settlements were more knowledgeable about computers and technology.
A total of 65 participants were
trained in those workshops most from local and marginalized NGOs.
Virtual Activism organized a series of workshops also in Manshiyet Nasser, another informal settlement on the outskirts of Cairo. It specifically targeted women in some of the workshops and was a combination of men and women in others. [Our apologies for the blurred images. The woman asked for blurring for privacy issues]. The trainer was Duaa Hassan.