Almost one out of two Belgians is in a situation of digital vulnerability. The computer tool is sometimes incomprehensible for some, while more and more procedures have to be done online. There are therefore public IT specialists to help citizens.
Najia, 69, came to see a public computer specialist to cancel her internet subscription. Typing on a keyboard, using an application: these are complex processes for the sixty-year-old from Brussels. However, the computer tool has become indispensable in many areas. “I’m old, and I can’t live with it. I can’t write well, I can’t click. I don’t know how to send emails to the bank. Sometimes I have to have an invoice or do a direct debit, I don’t know how to do it either“, regrets Najia.
Najia must therefore return several times to the public computer specialist, to get help. “It makes me sick, myself. I rely on them all the time. I have no other solutions“, she confides to us.
There are more and more public IT specialists. The ASBL Arc even has to call on volunteers, for lack of sufficient subsidies. 46% of 16-74 year olds are in a situation of digital vulnerability: “When we ask people who have difficulties in their job search, sometimes health or housing problems, to also train, it is really an additional workload that falls on this nobody”, points out Adrien Godefroid, public computer specialist within the ASBL Arc. “The fact of learning computers and being a little bit autonomous, these are weeks of training, to be comfortable with that. It is also necessary to be able to maintain these skills“
Najia did take a few computer lessons. “I tried, I go to centers like that. They teach me, but as soon as I leave, everything is gone“, admits the eldest. She therefore thanks these public IT specialists for their precious help.