The Well/La Source
The Well’s ‘Knowledge Centre’ opens
As proud and honoured recipients of a $25,000 grant from the Aviva Community Fund, The Well/ La Source recently celebrated the grand opening of our “Well Connected Knowledge Centre”, the culmination of a long time dream.
The Fund is a unique competition designed to lead, empower and support positive changes in the community locally and across the country.
The Aviva Community Fund engages Canadians nationally to help make positive changes in their communities. Centred around an online portal, Canadians submit ideas for change at a local or national level, and the most popular ideas are chosen by online voters. The Well, being a contestant was made possible through the corporate sponsorship of a local Insurance brokerage who, when looking for a worthy cause, did a Google search of some keywords like women and children, downtown Ottawa, etc., and lo and behold, discovered The Well. A
number of socially conscious staff from this brokerage asked if they could come to visit and, of course, we WOW’ed and charmed them through their tour and conversation, hence the idea of the “Well Connected Knowledge Centre” was born. Our women will remember the online voting process as some created their own first email accounts in order to vote. The learning had already begun.
From the moment we heard that we were the successful recipients of this grant, there were many for opportunities to learn. Fortunately for us, we have an onsite volunteer computer guru from St. Aidan’s Parish who, with her long-time experience with us, knew exactly what we needed and took the reins. She engaged our community business partners and volunteers and drew them into the spirit of the project. The excitement was palpable!
It was no small feat establishing modern technology in our more than 120-year-old location but we succeeded. We stretched a dollar, then stretched it again, not only equipping our “Well Connected Knowledge Centre” with superior computer technology but stretched it enough to allow us to purchase new computers for staff.
At a fully equipped, wireless computer centre with seven state-of-the-art workstations, women and children can now access current technology that they would not otherwise be exposed to. We will be able to offer a variety of services: accessibility to those who are mobility-challenged, voice activated computers, multi-lingual training, introduction to the World Wide Web, resume and job search techniques, computing skills development, up to date software and hardware instruction, group, and one- on-one instruction, to mention a few. This is only the beginning of the possibilities for learning for our computer centre.
Recently, enthusiastic volunteers have rallied around developing orientation and teaching programs and our centre is vibrant with the spirit of engaging and empowering women and children in the adventure of learning. The Women of The Well get what they deserve the very best.
We thank all of our community and Diocesan partners involved in this project-yet another successful endeavour we can all be proud of.
Meet Melanie Birnbom, resident expert computer guru of The Well. It is our privilege to honour her volunteer work on the occasion of the completion of The Well’s “Well Connected Knowledge Centre,” in which Melanie took a strong and vital lead. Since mid- 2006, Melanie, of St. Aidan’s. Ottawa, has been giving of her time regularly at The Well/La Source. She has collected donated bits and parts of computer equipment and put them together into whole, workable computers for Women of The Well. She has glued, stapled and nailed computer desks, chairs and equipment to render them useable and safe for our gals. Melanie has created miracles with limited resources! Melanie, maintains The Well’s website from near and far-keeping it current and relevant on the World Wide Web.