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I think one example John mentioned was of a late middle aged
man who was an academic from an Eastern block country. Because
of language problems and other, well bad luck, he found himself
Anyway, with donated computers, with a teacher, this group
underwent 10 weeks of training, and put together machines. They
estimate a 70% success rate, with people going on to employment,
further study or other.
The funding for DigiTrain was for a one off, so even with this
kind of success, the project has lapsed for the time being. (I
should mention that the trainer was paid pretty good rates, about
the commercial going rate). (BTW the funding came from a grant
to see what could be done about waste reduction wrt computer
There is money there to continue on, within the following proviso.
The scheme would probably be funded with the grants that are
attached to recipients of long term unemployment benefits. The difficulty
is that accreditation would have to be obtained, and the money
is tied to outcomes (people coming off unemployment). I already
have a job, and this is begining to look like hard work, so I'm
not sure where this would lead to. I personally dislike projects
with too much government in them (from bitter personal experience),
but this is actually a project that someone could take on and
make a living from.
Back to the Internet Cafe.
This project is nice from several points of view. The project
is quite small, several weekends would knock it over pretty
well. The project is a showcase: we can demonstrate the thing
works and the concept can be replicated over and over.
The sysadmin we think can be done by some people who've come through
various SA programs, and that we can train. Perhaps there'll be
some second tier support, but hey, this is the SLUG list, no?
There is no getting away from the fact that this is the Salvation
Army, with Christian goals. If I can presume to speak for the people
I met, I certainly got the impression they preferred to show their
beliefs through their deeds, and left it to people to draw their
I also liked the approach that any successes that they had, they
were prepared to share with any other organisation.
So for the moment, if you're interested, hang loose. A few bits
of furniture have to be organised, a few power points, and then
we'll organise a day or weekend.
As for DigiTrain, well any thoughts? You can certainly email
Ken, myself or John Weaver privately if you wish.
Thanks for being patient with this long post. Oh, by the way, not
off topic, it'll be all Linux.