Frequently-Asked Questions

Respect other cultures

Frequently-Asked Questions

Our dream is equal opportunity. The purpose of Smartstainable is to provide computer training programs to help empower women globally. Additionally, we:

  • provide training programs that teach computer skills to women in rural villages in Africa;
  • provide training programs that teach computer skills to women who are affected by unemployment, financial poverty, disease and/or stigma;
  • provide opportunities for participants to engage in computer-related projects so they may use their newly-acquired skills;
  • provide coaching and mentoring to participants as they engage in these computer-related projects;
  • sponsor, host and/or participate in events and activities that promote the training of women globally.

If the community decided they want to train men on computers, and the women trainers are willing to teach them, we suppose that would be a wonderful example of empowerment in action.

There is electricity available in the Gombe community; although, sometimes it is not very reliable. We are piloting Lenovo tablets and USB battery packs to make our programs more resilient to power outages.

Of course. Each program is now community-owned and each community must comply with our guidelines and successfully pass an audit before any program fundraising is initiated.

The approach we take is to train-the-trainers. We would accomplish this through remote virtual training.

Up until now, yes, even better than many Americans. They also speak their native language and some speak and write Arabic. Oh yes...they are very smart.

Recently we have been asked if we would train women who have dropped out of school and are not educated. Our trainers are very skilled and they have agreed to train anyone in the community if the program dictated. This is terrific news to the women who don't know the English language.

Writing skills can sometimes lag behind a bit. We are grateful to have Sandy King as an Officer and volunteer at Smartstainable. Sandy helps mentor the women and improves their written communications skills.

The main challenge we believe their main impediment to learning stems from how these women were taught in school: they were taught to pass tests.

Computer learning is more about trying, failing, retrying, and then learning. There is no one way to accomplish something.

One of the other challenges we faced initially was context. We went there and expected the women to understand our terms and, to a degree, even our lifestyles. This is why we feel that on-line training programs didn't effectively work in the village.

The community will always accept donated laptops, provided they are in good, working order. We recently delivered used laptops to the nurses at the hospital.

This question comes up so often. At first, we thought we had the plan in place to bring women from no computer skills into the world of virtual work. This plan soon found roadblocks that caused us to adjust what training we deliver and how we deliver it.

Recently, we became fortunate to add Christine Sun to our volunteer team. Christine has a vision for Smartstainable to partner with companies that can provide employment opportunities and payment capabilities once these women are skilled. This will take time, especially with the current state of the world with COVID-19.