The digital divide (also) goes by neighborhoods

  • 14,000 Barcelonans still suffer digital exclusion in the mobile capital, which makes it difficult for them to access more and more rights

  • The ‘Connectem’ plan distributes 400 computers, internet connections and digital training to vulnerable families from New Trinity

He smiles with his eyes over his red mask. “It is the first computer of my life,” she explains gratefully and happily to the girl who hands her two boxes, one with a laptop and another with a router. The barcelonan Lidia Fernandez He is only 30 years old, but never until this Friday had he had his own computer. In fact, the laptop she is holding in her hands isn’t just for her; It is also -and almost above all- for his son, of six years, and her nephew, her sister’s son, nine, of whom the young woman is a legal guardian. His family spent practically all the hard and long confinement only with his mobile, until towards the end of the quarantine Save the Children gave them a tablet for children. “I grew up in SOS Children’s Villages, I lived there between 1999 and 2007 and there were computers, of course, but we had one for 40 “, recalls the woman, one of the 400 neighbors -80% are women- from New Trinity participating in the municipal pilot project ‘Connect ‘, that you have made available to 400 neighbors of this neighborhood of Nou Barris 400 computers, internet connections and technology training in this vulnerable neighborhood.

“Internet is the gateway to other rights, health, education …”, says the commissioner for Digital Innovation, Electronic Administration and Good Governance Michael Donaldson Carbon, who highlights that a survey carried out this year to evaluate digital exclusion in the city indicates that the 8% of households still do not have any type of internet connection, and that, of them, 28% is for an economic question. In absolute numbers they would be about 14,000 disconnected people in the mobile capital, that are concentrated, like almost all inequalities, in specific neighborhoods, such as New Trinity, hence this pilot project, in which as important as the delivery of the devices is to ensure the good connection and know how to use them, is carried out here. “99% of the population has a ‘smartphone’, but with a ‘smartphone’ you cannot make a resume,” adds the commissioner, breaking prejudices.

The delivery of the computers and the explanation of the project – managed in coordination with the Trinitat Nova School Institute and social services – it is done in shifts. This Friday there are about twenty people -the vast majority mothers- in the auditorium of the brand new neighborhood ‘casal’. One of them is the fighter Lidia.

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Confined with four teenagers

Another is Sira Saho, 37 years old and mother of four children aged 16, 15, 12 and 11. How she lived the confinement locked up with four teenage boys is something that only she knows. “At school they gave us one tablet per family, but one for all four. They were passing it on, like my cell phone, which also went hand-in-hand, “recalls this mother, who explains that to do her homework she downloaded the emails on her phone and I copied the exercises on a paper for your kids to do by hand. “This is how they practiced calligraphy”, the woman adds humor, who also wants to take advantage of the entry into the project to relearn to use the computer herself. “I took the administrative assistant course when I was 18 years old, but it has been so long that I no longer remember anything and I will need the training,” he says. In fact, that is one of the objectives pursued by the program. Use the interest of mothers to offer the best to their children as a hook to help them.

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