Asylum Seekers help foster a 'Global Village' through NUI Galway Technology Cour

Monday, 24 July 2006

24 July 2006: NUI Galway's Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) will today (Monday) present certificates to eighteen Galway-based asylum seekers who have completed its web technology course. Presentations will also be made to companies and individuals who contributed to its 'Community Computer Recycling' initiative. Eamon Ó Cúiv, T.D., Minister for Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs, and Cllr. Niall Ó Brolcháin, Mayor of Galway, will be special guests at the ceremony.

DERI, funded by Science Foundation of Ireland (SFI) and based at NUI Galway, is at the forefront of European research into the next stage of web technology known as the Semantic Web. Through its extensive local outreach programme, it has helped contribute enormously over the last two years to the development of what it calls 'An Online Galway Accessible to All'.

According to Brendan Smith, DERI's Community/Education officer, "The course for asylum seekers took place in the computer room of the Eglinton Hotel, Salthill. Over a six-month period, 48 individuals attended and were provided with the facilities to learn how to set up their own personal websites, utilise email, computer telephony and other online communication services.

The greatest benefit for participants was that the course provided them with the opportunity to re-establish and maintain regular direct and real-time contact with their friends and families in their homelands or elsewhere around the world. Thanks to the generosity of individuals and organisations such as Údarás na Gaeltachta, the Galway Technical Institute and the Galway Public Library, many of these students will now have their own personal computer."

DERI's internet courses operate throughout Galway City and county. In cooperation with Galway City Council, Galway County Council, HSE, Galway Centre for Independent Living and other NUI Galway departments, DERI provides technology courses to an array of communities including active retirement organisations, parents groups, business people, residents associations, schools and specific groups such as Gort's Brazilian population.

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For further information please contact Brendan Smith. Community & Educational Outreach Officer, Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), NUI Galway brendan.smith@deri.org. 087-2935106

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