ORT Russia is partnering with Project Kesher to help 11,000 Jewish and non-Jewish women in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Georgia to master technological tools in the administration and marketing of small businesses.
“The ORT-KesherNet centers,” noted ORT America’s National Executive Director Alan E. Klugman, “are an excellent example of how the long and successful collaboration between our two organizations in tackling the ‘digital divide,’ especially as it relates to the economic differences between the genders."
“[The digital divide] is a big problem,” said ORT Russia National Director Dr. Gorinskiy, whose study, Women in Technological Society: a Challenge to the Modern School, has informed curricular approaches to closing the technological gap between the genders. “As economies become more dependent on technology,” he explained, “the digital divide becomes an ever more serious challenge since Russian women are more likely to live below the poverty line than men."
The primary tool in this training is Hewlett-Packard's Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs, or LIFE. LIFE teaches the practical applications of technology in a business and entrepreneurial context. But it aims to reach a broader audience and to teach technology in a more advanced, up-to-date way than two other HP programs used at the ORT-KesherNet Centers, Micro-enterprise Acceleration Program (MAP) and Graduate Entrepreneurship Training through IT program (GET-IT).
Last year, seven professionals became LIFE Master Trainers, who in turn are now training nine professionals in small towns to carry on this work.