Strengthening the digital knowledge of community leaders

Digital skills is necessary to handle digital resources, and is also important for the continuous use and maintenance of the digitized sources

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Theresa Haans
26 May 2023 Clock 2 min

Following our successful partnership over the past few years,, we are again collaborating with Fantsuam Foundation. In 2022, we contributed to their mission to digitize the Kafanchan public library, ensuring that important local resources can be stored digitally. As a result of the digitalization, Fantsuam Foundation saw the need for stronger digital skills within the community of library ambassadors. Through this project their aim is to set up digital skills training for the library ambassadors in Kaduna State in Nigeria.

We asked Fantsuam Foundation some questions regarding the project, which we have shared with you below. You can also read regular updates about this project on our project page.

Can you give a brief description of the project?

At the start of the e-Library project, Fantsuam Foundation had several consultations with chiefs from the target rural communities. These chiefs are the gate keepers for the socio-cultural, economic, educational and health development of their communities. They are highly influential, but, as they rightly observed, their lack of digital literacy limited the advocacy support they could give the e-Library project.

How did you see the need to equip community leaders with digital skills?

This new project has been triggered by the last project; it exposed a gap and some weakness in the advocacy effort which needed to be addressed. While Fantsuam Foundation undertook community-wide advocacy for buy-in into the e-Library project, they did not factor in the digital literacy level of the community leaders. 

These leaders pointed out to Fantsuam that they can only give what they have, or have experienced. Their lack of digital literacy knowledge and skills limited their effectiveness in promoting the project.

Photo credit: Fantsuam Foundation. Community leaders at Godogodo

What particular (digital) skills will the selected participants learn? 

The participants will be exposed to basic digital literacy skills and knowledge of different types of digital devices, their basic components and uses, opening email addresses, internet hygiene and safety, social media and online communication.

How will these skills benefit the participants? 

The participants will become owners of their own smartphones as a result of attendance at the training. Each participant will have an email address for themselves, and also create one for their community.

How will these skills benefit the community in the future?

This will be the first opportunity for these communities to have an email address as well as be able to link this email to the e-Library website. Their community’s online presence will be important in accessing many of the resources that are relevant for their development. 

Fantsuam Foundation is also working hard to establish communication hubs in some of these communities. The digital literacy capacity of the community leaders will make them automatic champions of such online resources.