In 2005, ADOC Secretariat started its work in the Philippines. Until the end of 2012, 17 ADOCs have been funded and set up, and 100,961 participants including women, children, disadvantaged minorities, and locals have been trained in the centers. The training course contents cover from the basic computer skills, such as using software MS Office and Internet Explorer, reassembling hardware, to the advanced applications like e-commerce and e-trading.
One of the efforts to help disadvantaged groups in the Philippines by the ADOC Project was the establishment of the first computer training center for visually impaired people in 2009. Against the stereotypical image that visually impaired people could not operate computers successfully, ADOC worked to break that cliché. The center has directly and indirectly trained over 300 visually impaired young adults and introduced more than a hundred blind school children to information technology. In addition, the center provides various training programs that have benefited over a hundred Special Education teachers, rehabilitation workers, university instructors, and parents of blind children. The ADOC Project gives visually impaired individuals a sense of hope and the confidence to strive for a brighter future.
Here is a story talking about a young man from the Philippines that perfectly illustrates how ADOC helps disadvantaged people to improve their lives. Mr. James Santos, who is at age 16 and lives in Dagat-Dagatan Caloocan City, is a low vision freshman at the AMA Computer School in Paco, Manila. After school, he attends the PC operation course with access technology and PC refurbishment in the ATRIEV ADOC.
For James, life is difficult. Going to school in Paco from Dagat-Dagatan Caloocan City is a daily problem. To make matters worse, his vision is deteriorating. He finds it difficult to travel alone at night. With limited vision, James can only identify the bus that takes him home from its color.
Due to the financial difficulty, James skips lunch most of the time so he can have money for the next day. His father Felix is the sole provider to the family. Working as a security guard, the little amount of salary is the only financial resource to the family with three children. Felix cannot provide more financial supports for James to get more help, such as having someone walk with James at night to make sure James’ safety.
The hardship has not deterred this young man. James is determined to finish his studies. Equipped with the technology and the knowledge he acquired from the PC refurbishment course, James works as a part-time technician in a computer shop near his school. James also shares his time and expertise in the ATRIEV ADOC during his free time. Patience, perseverance and potentials are the three qualities that will lead this young man making his dream a reality.
Stories like this is what motivates ADOCs to devote further endeavor to the current projects. We would invite interested partners and corporations to join this project for making it a success. We continuously hope to use ICT to transform digital divide to digital opportunities for the disadvantaged groups in the global village.
For more information about the ADOC Project, please visit http://www.apecdoc.org.