Newly graduated residents of Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg are grateful for the basic computer skills acquired through free training over the past four months.The 43 beneficiaries graduated from the programme at the Sijonga-Phambili Community Learning Centre in Hout Bay on Friday 19 October.The course was offered through Lyfe Computer Technologies run by Reputation Matters’ Awesome AfriCAN initiative. It targeted people of all ages who wanted to equip themselves with computer skills. Beneficiaries were divided into groups of 15 per class and they attended on either Tuesdays or Thursdays, with each group going in once a week for eight weeks.One of the beneficiaries, Haneefa Lee, says she would like to thank the organisation for offering the opportunity.Lee says she has always wanted to learn computer skills but could not afford to as she is unemployed and has been trying to get into the small business industry to make ends meet for her family.At the age of 47 she got her first computer certificate. “This course was amazing. It was very helpful. Now I can register my business by myself and independently keep my records.”She says these kinds of initiatives are much needed in communities like Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg as she says most people are underprivileged with no jobs or low-income jobs and cannot afford to reach “the start” and get exposure to most of the modern technology.Prosper Murombedzi from Imizamo Yethu says he was amazed by the level of knowledge he acquired from the course because he owns a laptop but did not know he was making such minimal use of it. “I did not use it for what it is meant for. I would play games and listen to music and that was it. I heard about the course and I was curious. I learnt a lot, from basic skills to Microsoft Office, at no cost.“I will now confidently use this to my advantage, maybe by starting a business or doing a professional CV and writing my motivational letter for job applications.” Regine le Roux, managing director of Reputation Matters, says they specialise in reputation research and they realised the need to involve members of the communities in which they work. “Many members in our communities have not had an opportunity to learn basic computer skills yet. The Awesome AfriCAN initiative looks at empowering community members, not just in Hout Bay, but also the rest of Cape Town, the Western Cape, South Africa and even the rest of the continent. We need to empower our people to get into the job market.” Life Manuwe, facilitator and director of Lyfe Computer Technologies, explains that they are not a non-profit organisation.“We did not want to start a new non-profit organisation – there are more than enough in Hout Bay. “Instead we are working with Rotary to help manage the funds we receive from sponsorship, because we know that the funds are 100% accounted for each project it is assigned to.” V For more information about their programmes, contact Regine le Roux at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 083 302 1528 or Life Manuwe at Life email@example.com or on 071 828 12221.