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Summary about us
It-guide® is a project that has been in progress for three years in the city of Orebro, Sweden. Young immigrants, who have been in their new country for 1-3 years, help senior citizens with the Internet and everything there is to know about computers and mobile telephones. This summer there are 54 It-guides working at 20 different locations where old people live or meet. Our aim is to expand in Sweden and internationally. These it-guides have salary when they work as it-guide and it free for senior citizens to learn from the it-guides.
Objectives of our project
The goals of the project are to give young immigrants inspiration, insights, and contacts in the society and workplace. By working as an It-guide, they gain confidence and inspiration to learn the Swedish language. Youngsters also gain knowledge about Sweden’s past and present. The project should also make the participants feel more included in society.
The goals are also to make more senior citizens feel like participants in the digital world and have positive meetings with the young immigrants.
Inclusion is the key word – for young immigrants and for senior citizens.
What problem we do answer?
For the young immigrants: Most of the young people never meet Swedish natives outside of school therefore they have difficult to learn about Swedish society and Swedish language.
For seniors: Most of the seniors have never met a young immigrant, which can be a cause for xenophobia. Most seniors are not included in the digital world.
The activities for It-guides are Internet-cafés, classes, and help in their homes. During the summer, Internet-cafés have been open for three weeks from 9-15, five days a week, in seven locations, such as day care centers, library senior citizen homes. Some seniors come almost every day. It-guides always work in pair – to support one another and to be able to handle the demand.
Seniors need help with computers, but many are also very curious and want to know more about the young boy or girl. They are interested in their lives and customs, for example why girls wear nijab and why Ramadan is so important. The seniors also talk about their lives and often want to hear their favorite music on YouTube.
Classes during weekends are an activity where one or two it-guides have a class for 4-8 seniors for about 10-12 hours. Seniors often wish to learn internet banking, and consequently It-guide has a cooperation with different banks to assist in this need. The classes are paid for by the seniors, giving it-guides the opportunity to earn extra money.
Some seniors want to have help with their computers in their home, so it-guides provide this service for a small fee.
The results according to the evaluation
For the young migrants: Most of the young people never meet Swedish natives outside of school. The interactions are a great chance for them to talk to native Swedes, to practice the Swedish language, and to learn more about the Swedish culture.
For seniors: Most of the seniors have never met a young immigrant, which can be a cause for xenophobia. Many of the seniors have developed friendships with it-guides. It is very exciting for them to learn about a different culture and to hear about the often perilous manner in which the immigrants came to Sweden. Last Christmas the it-guides had a party and invited the seniors to dance, play games, and enjoy a lot of sweets from around the world.
And of course, seniors also benefit from learning more about the Internet to participate more in society. Some seniors say they are not interested in computers, but then the it-guides use a special technique to get them interested.
Our potential for scaling up
Very good potential. We know that the method works. It has been tested in two big cities and small cities. More seniors are becoming interested in Internet since the virtual life is becoming broader. Number of young immigrants are increasing and this is a good way for them to learn Swedish language and about Swedish society.
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