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Telecentre Moscu’s Adriana Maria – Using Her Disability to Her Telecentre’s Advantage

Telecentre Moscú Nº1 is a community initiative funded with resources from the participatory budget of the Santa Cruz Two Commune in Medellin, Colombia, prioritized by its inhabitants. Adriana Maria Mazo Gómez joined the telecentre in 2007, 3 years before it actually opened its doors in April 2010. As such, Adriana Maria has been involved in telecentre work for a total of 9 years.

According to her, the biggest challenge she has faced so far as telecentre manager is working with persons with disabilities. "But the fact that I also have a disability facilitates better work and understanding with this population," she says. She also notes as another challenge working with the LGBT population and high-risk youth.

As a telecentre manager, she believes that the experiences and valuable lessons she has gained are "the training and/or learning that help me to keep giving my best every day." Besides, she says, being a community leader helps her to guide communities according to their needs.

 

Among her greatest achievements Adriana Maria mentions the telecentre’s positioning in its territory, because although there are 3 telecentres in the commune, their seniority and good service have led Moscu 1 to occupy the best places and receive plaques of recognition.

 

Her reward, motivation and inspiration to continue with her work managing the telecentre are the satisfaction of seeing students learn, and bringing communities closer to the state "in order to know their true rights," says Adriana Maria.

Regarding the achievements of Telecentre Moscú Nº1, Adriana highlights having represented the 52 telecentres of the city of Medellin in the "Being Able" event in Plaza Mayor in 2012; and the recognition that the telecentre has received in the various departments of the Mayor’s Office.

To describe the impact of the telecentre in the community it serves and how it has affected the lives of people in the community, Adriana Maria cites 3 stories as examples:

  • Holding a workshop with children on Human Rights through ICT, and using drawings in Paint, we were able to detect cases of rape.
  • The use of social networks by the elderly is very rewarding; to see them chatting with their children abroad, for example, is very satisfying.
  • The use of the telecentre for registration in the ‘Youth with Future’ training; employment and entrepreneurial networking; for business, production units, traders and social organizations.


Looking to the future, Adriana Maria says that, as an administrator, she would like to achieve the expansion of the telecentre, as demand from users is quite large and the space is no longer suited to their needs. This would add to the benefit that will soon be brought by the delivery of 23 Chromeboxes and 23 tablets with permanent connectivity to information in the cloud, destined to be loaned to the community, in addition to the 18 currently active desktop units.

Finally, the manager of Telecentre Moscú Nº1 talks about the changes or improvements she would like to see in her community and the role that the telecentre would play in these changes. These include making agreements with all those educational institutions that do not have a technology classroom, so that these student groups could be trained through telecentres, and that “all young applicants to the Free University in our community do their registration through telecentres, offering them very good guidance”.

Interview by Viviane Castro, RCC for Latin America and the Carribean

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