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Training in 1999

Forty trainees participated in Sabre’s Internet Training Workshops Program in 1999. Hailing from 16 different countries in Africa, Europe, Asia and the former Soviet Union, trainees varied significantly in professional background, technical skill level and curriculum preferences. Of particular note:

  • Sabre scheduled its first trainees from Africa in 1999, with visitors from five different sub-Saharan countries participating in IT workshops. First to take advantage of Sabre’s customized training was Kenyan law lecturer Otieno Ombok of the American University in Nairobi. To prepare for his Ph.D. research in intellectual property law, Mr. Ombok sought to expand his knowledge of Internet-related copyright issues and improve his research skills. Working one-on-one with Sabre’s trainer for a week, he learned how to access important legal resources on the Internet. In addition, Sabre arranged professional meetings for Mr. Ombok with research specialists in Boston.

  • South African trainees Jimmy Mawelela, Letia Masilo and Christina Moabelo at Sabre's Internet Training Center in Cambridge.
    South African trainees Jimmy Mawelela, Letia Masilo and Christina Moabelo at Sabre's Internet Training Center in Cambridge.
  • In April, Sabre Foundation welcomed three South African community development professionals to its Internet Training Center. The IT workshop was arranged by Sabre in cooperation with the United States-South Africa Leadership Development Program (USSALEP), a non-profit organization dedicated to South African leadership and human resource training. The trainees spent four days at Sabre as part of a leadership training tour organized by USSALEP for its Lewis Hoskins Fellows.

  • Sabre’s Internet Training Center in June hosted representatives from seven of the Foundation’s book program partner organizations at a two-week workshop titled The Internet’s Contribution to the Sustainability and Growth of Non-Governmental Organizations. Among the trainees were NGO directors Svetlana Vinnik of Belarus and Olha Isaievych of Ukraine, as well as representatives from Sabre’s partner organizations in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia.

The participants in the workshop represented a wide range of skill levels. One had never used the Internet before, while two others had already been exposed to some principles of website design. The training sessions covered an array of topics from basic e-mail and web search skills to HTML and JavaScript.

Romanian partner Ghica Gheorghiu, of the Civil Society Development Foundation, trains at Sabre.
Romanian partner Ghica Gheorghiu, of the Civil Society Development Foundation, trains at Sabre.

Site visits and special seminars complemented the training. At MIT, for example, the trainees attended a lecture on testing the validity and usability of library websites. At the International Institute of Boston, they learned about software for teaching English. At Harvard University’s Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, the participants compared notes with Research Fellow Frances Kunreuther on NGOs in the United States and Eastern Europe. The participants also met with Dr. Joan Challinor, Commissioner of the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science.

Participants in the June workshop will use the skills they aquired at Sabre to train others in their home countries. Several hoped to further apply what they learned by setting up a regional Internet training program in Eastern Europe.

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