How the Internet is changing lives one person at a time

For four years now, I have been a Non-Executive Director on the Board of the Tinder Foundation (previously the Online Centres Foundation), which co-ordinates the work of 3,800 online training centres in England. I think it is useful for me, from time to time, to visit an actual centre and see the work at the screen-face so to speak.

So, a few days ago, I visited my fourth online centre. It was located in the East End of London, just round the corner from the site of the famous 1888 Matchgirls’ Strike. The centre is located in the Eastside Youth and Community Centre and managed by Circle Housing Old Ford under the inspirational leadership of Sheniz Ildeniz.

I made a point of talking to each staff member and student and everyone had a story. Many were women from Bangladesh but others hailed from places like Northern Cyprus or St Lucia or East London. Each life has been touched by the Internet, whether it is improving their English, enabling them to communicate with distant relatives, allowing them to find employment information, empowering them to make an online purchase, or learning how to use social media.

I congratulated each person on his or her progress and commitment, but many of them wanted to thank me for the support that the centre is receiving from the Tinder Foundation. Truly, a humbling experience.

One Comment

  • Helen Milner

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us Roger. And thank you for all of your great support for Tinder Foundation and the online centres network.

    Love the phrase “at the screen face”. Brilliant.


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