March 8 was International Women’s Day but Coding Girls Western Visayas opted to celebrate it on March 10 through a workshop for women parolees and probationers and their female family members. This was a joint effort by Google Business Group Iloilo, WordPress Iloilo and Parole and Probation Administration Region VI.

It proved to be a challenge at first, we didn’t really know where to start and what to expect. All we knew was that these women had a hard life and knew next to nothing about what we are going to teach them. Of course, they know Facebook and all but that is the extent of their knowledge about technology and the internet.

And since it is the goal of this outreach workshop to help reintegrate these women into society through technology, we started with teaching them the basics. GBG Iloilo through Yen de Felipe was the first mentor of the day and she taught these women how to use Google apps. Most of them didn’t have email addresses yet and setting that up took almost half of the morning session. They were also taught how to use Google Drive and how to use Google Docs and share pictures and documents online. It was a fun but stressful morning session. Luckily, all our volunteers are up to the task and everything went smooth sailing.

The afternoon session was supposed to be a coding session with WordPress but after the morning session – we all knew that they wouldn’t be able to keep up if the workshop gets too technical. So, I had to redo my slides and change the way I planned the session all together. I was not sure if we can finish the session but they proved me wrong. We went through the WordPress installation, choosing their own themes, creating pages and their first blog post without any problem. It took them all of 3 hours to create their own blogs! They had zero knowledge of technology (Facebook doesn’t count) and they made it happen. And all of us mentors are very proud of them. Our plan was to go through this first workshop to see if we are going to do another one based on how things go. And it was a success - we will be doing a bigger event by the summer because all the other PPA clients want to learn as well and I am pretty sure it is going to be awesome.

The sites below are the output of the amazing women who attended our first workshop:

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Mar 21, 2018 By JC

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