Mozilla Club Lookout Hill is a project that seeks to empower local women in Cape Town, South Africa by creating a multidisciplinary and safe space for informal learning and exchange of experiences around digital culture. The aim is to provide participants with the skills they need to become digital content producers so they can advance in their personal and professional lives.
“Web literacy can improve everything from personal well-being and education access to civic and political participation. Further, the more women we have participating and creating content online, the more relevant and stronger the open Internet becomes.".
HOW DID IT START?
In March 2016, Mozilla and UN Women partnered to work alongside local educators, organizations and residents to built a network of web literacy clubs that promote peer-to peer-learning, teaching participants how to collaborate with each other and meaningfully participate online. Through this initiative Mozilla Club Lookout Hill draws on a pre-existing club model, meeting regularly and in-person. They adapt a comprehensive curriculum that covers topics like Web navigation; computer basics; content creation; coding; online rights, privacy and security; and connecting to opportunities linked to women’s leadership, civic participation and economic empowerment.
- Computer and web basics.
- How to use the web to grow their personal business.
- Building websites and online shoping carts.
After an initial kick off meeting in May 2016 club leaders learned that participants wanted to start with a focus on these specific topics:
"I passed this place all the time but never knew what it was or came in until I joined this club."
Twenty two women are participating in Mozilla Club Lookout Hill. They learned about this club through word of mouth and because of the relationship they already have with the club captain and regional coordinator. They are:
1) Adult women who own small local businesses like meat shops, dry cleaning, branding, clothing stores and accessory shops.
2) New to computer science and web literacy.
3) Eager to learn new digital skills that will help their businesses grow and prosper.
FEATURED LEARNER: Deane Skenjana
Deane Skenjana owns a local goods shop in Lookout Hill and is starting to learn to use email for the first time to connect with others and manage details of her store.
WHY LOOKOUT HILL?
This is a convenient location for a club to take place because there is a community center on site called The Community Barn. It is located in a township called Khayelitsha, which is where club participants live. The Barn focuses on technology, entrepreneurship and education. As a local hub for innovation it is a great location for this Mozilla Club to take place. In addition to serving the local community The Barn has internet access, computer stations, work space and several other amenities.
Mozilla Clubs are organized by Regions. In each Region there is one Coordinator, who gives support to Club Captains. The Captains are responsible for leading their own Clubs, inviting participants to join, preparing activities, sending communications, motivating... and other different tasks to keep clubs running.
Currently there is one club taking place at Lookout Hill with the following participation structure:
Club Captain: Peggy
"My name is Peggy and I am Club Captain of Khayelitsha Lookout hill. I teach my club basic computer skills like how to use a keyboard/mouse, how to type, turn the computer on and off, how to use email and create content in excel."
Peggy is the club captain at Lookout Hill. Sharon is a volunteer that helps Peggy facilitate during their gatherings. They are both local to the area and know the participants so they can guide them in ways that work best for the group.
HOW DO THEY RUN THE CLUB?
Peggy and Sharon both attended a Mozilla Web Leadership Training before they started the club. They also consulted with the regional coordinator leading up to the launch of the club. This helped prepare both Peggy and Sharon to lead and plan an agenda for the club. It is always evolving but started with this:
"The small businesses compete against each other and instead they need to come together and support each other. We're not teaching them just the basics, we're teaching them life skills too."
HOW DO THEY COMMUNICATE?
Communication is very important for Mozilla Club Lookout Hill. Club captain, Peggy uses email to connect with all the participants and has paper sign in sheets at club gatherings. In addition to email club memebrs connect on Mozilla Club Facebook group, social media and My Moz Club app.
Peggy shares her events, work and news trough the Mozilla Club event reporter and participants are encouraged to share what they learn on their personal media accounts using hashtag #teachtheweb.