The Brenda Strafford Centre Computer Lab

The Cause

Creating the Brenda Strafford Centre Computer Lab

The Brenda Strafford Centre’s Computer Lab aims to provide a safe learning place where women can build career and life skills, take definite steps to regain financial independence, access online resources and communicate with friends and family in a safe space.

Two major predictors of weather someone is going to be able to maintain their independence from abuse is their ability to maintain financial security and communication with friends and family to build a support network. The Computer Centre will allow our clients to achieve both.

According to a study conducted by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. For survivors, learning basic computer skills means getting access to a whole new set of resources that many of them don't know even exist such as accessing online banking, applying for jobs or educational opportunities and accessing governmental resources. The Computer Centre will allow them to do all that without leaving the safety of the building.

The Lab will consist of 8 stations with high-speed internet access and a printer. It will be located next to the reception area in an open space right next to the main entrance, providing a public, yet controlled space for our clients to access the computers.

The construction of the Lab is well underway thanks to a Grant from the Government of Alberta. If granted, the funds from the Field Law Community Program will be used to purchase the necessary equipment.

To maximize the use of the Computer Lab, we have created a partnership with Accenture, an international tech company that has developed an online curriculum designed to build basic career skills such as: Use of software such as Excel, Word, Outlook, among others; Resume writing and job interview workshops; professional etiquette; among many others.

A booking system will be created to ensure clients access the space fairly and orderly and that all social distancing measures currently in place are observed.

Clients will be given access to the Accenture online learning tool and volunteer-led monthly virtual workshops will be scheduled on topics such as: Financial Literacy, English as a Second Language, Job Interview Skills, Parenting Skills, Healthy Cooking, to mention a few.

Who Will it Benefit?

The Brenda Strafford Centre serves an average of 125 adult women and 225 children youth who have experienced family violence annually.

The computer lab will be accessible to all adult clients and children ages 8 an up. An average of 300 clients per year.