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01.02.2012 Moscow
Congratulations to the Winners of the Russian Search for Outstanding Telecenter Women Managers 2011
The results are in for the Russian Search for Best Center Women Managers, which was part of the Global Search for the 100 Outstanding Telecenter Women Managers, a joint initiative by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Telecentre.org Foundation. In Russia the competition was run by the Tvoy Kurs Project.

The main objective of this international competition was to recognize the achievements of grassroots telecenter women managers/operators all over the world and the tremendous positive impact they have generated in the lives of others. As we have already announced, all Russian participants of this contest are included in the Global 100 Oustanding Telecentre Managers list

In Russia all coordinators of Tvoy Kurs Centers could vote for their best colleagues, and THE WINNERS ARE:
I place – Irina Kotkina, A. P. Pyrerka Nenets Boarding School, Naryan Mar
II place – Ludmila Ulyeva, M. Gorky Regional Academic Library, Volgograd
III place – Alla Kostishko, Ulyanovsk State University Ulyanovsk

These three names are well known in the Tvoy Kurs community. These women are active participants – and often initiators – of Tvoy Kurs events, forum discussions, webinars and Skype-conferences. They are well respected in their home communities, and it is largely their efforts that have promoted Tvoy Kurs in their regions, enabling hundreds and thousands of their fellow-citizens to integrate successfully into the modern digital space.

We extend our warmest congratulations to the winners and would like to introduce them in more detail.

The Tvoy Kurs Center of the library at A.P. Pyrerka Nenets boarding school, where Irina Kotkina serves as coordinator and trainer, still remains the only place in Nenets Area where digital literacy training is offered free of charge.

Geographically Nenets Autonomous Area (Okrug) is located at a considerable distance from central Russia, and its vast territory of 68,000 square miles has only 42,000 permanent residents. Extreme weather conditions coupled with a poor transportation and communications infrastructure make this region one of the least developed in terms of ICTs and digital equality. Over the last few years the computer training center of A.P. Pyrerka Nenets boarding school has made a significant contribution to raising the local level of digital literacy. Its pays special attention to the boarding school’s young residents (orphaned and neglected children and kids from remote tundra settlements), for whom digital literacy means a ticket to successful social adaptation and an important competitive edge on the labor market. Irina Kotkina believes that the main fruit of her efforts lies in the many life achievements of the Center’s alumni, who use digital competencies to find jobs, to provide e-training for their family members, to keep in touch with their сhildren and to disseminate digital literacy in their work places.

Irina Kotkina always seeks to raise public awareness of the Center’s work and mission, actively promoting it online. Her own blog CHUMoteka where she regularly posts news about the work of the Naryan Mar Tvoy Kurs Center, received awards in a number of contests and competitions including “Wise Owl 2010,” “Positive Content 2010” and “The NA Golden Pen Award 2010.”

For her work with the Tvoy Kurs Project in Nenets Autonomous Area Irina Kotkina was recognized with the Woman of the Year 2010 award. On 12 July 2011 she was appointed vice-governor of the Nenets Autonomous Area. She believes that bridging the digital gap remains one of her primary tasks, and plans to launch another Tvoy Kurs Center in Naryan Mar, since the number of local residents wishing to take digital literacy courses far exceeds the training capacity of the Tvoy Kurs Center at A.P. Pyrerka Nenets boarding school.

Ludmila Ulyeva works as assistant director for marketing and computerization in M. Gorky regional library in Volgograd.

Thanks to Ms. Ulyeva’s managerial abilities, since 2003 the Volgograd Center and its branch centers in libraries of the region have trained more than 10,100 underserved users, including people with disabilities, senior citizens, job seekers, members of families with many children, single mothers, etc.

Being especially aware of the urgent need to bridge the digital gap between urban and rural areas of Volgograd region, Ms. Ulyeva developed a strategy for introducing ICTs into the entire library network. Her system of calculation and distribution of monies, allocated to municipal libraries for new equipment, lay the groundwork for the policy, adopted by the Volgograd region administration on 13 July 2009, which enabled 464 libraries of the region to spend 29 million rubles on new computer equipment and organize 368 computer workstations, complete with access to the Internet and legal reference databases. In 2010 more than 1,800 people took digital literacy training and more than 4,000 people received ICT-related assistance and consultations in rural libraries of the region.

In addition to other training tools Ludmila has also developed her personal online blog BiblioBee, where she publishes online lessons on navigating the World Wide Web, using Internet services, creating blogs, and organizing training events and awareness-raising campaigns for digital literacy. Many women librarians and educators from various Russian cities use her online materials to upgrade their computer and Internet skills.

In 2011 Ludmila Ulyeva joined the experts team of the governing council of “Information for All,” an inter-regional non-profit for developing information society.

Since 2003 Ludmila Ulyeva has published a number of articles on using IСTs in library work in national and regional publications, including the Library Journal (“Biblioteka”), Eurasia Library Bulletin, Modern Library Journal, and several collections of conference materials and reports.

In 2011, at Ludmila Ulyeva’s initiative, the Tvoy Kurs Center launched a new digital literacy project: holding media safety lessons in local educational institutions on the first day of the new school year, using multimedia presentations developed by Ms. Ulyeva.

In 2011 Ludmila Ulyeva involved the libraries of the region in a number of campaigns, administered by Project Harmony, Inc. as part of the Tvoy Kurs Project. Together with another staff worker, she developed presentation materials for use in the campaigns and facilitated video conferences, bringing together participants from various cities, towns and villages of the region.

During the European Get Online Week, on 28 February – 5 March 2011, fifteen libraries of the region held twenty-three seminars and reviews of Internet resources, including the video bridge “Grandparents Online,” and such educational events as “The First Click,” “Women Online,” “Grandchildren, the Internet and I,” and others. More than 500 votes were cast for Russia by the campaign participants from Volgograd, with more than 90% of the voters getting online for the very first time.

On 1 June 2011 the library participated in the Children’s Online Safety campaign, with fifty-eight libraries throughout the region holding more than sixty events, attended by 1,261 people, including secondary school students, their parents and teachers from the city of Volgograd as well as smaller towns and villages of the region.

Since 2003 M. Gorky library has organized four all-Russian creative contests for IATP, IDEA and Tvoy Kurs trainees and alumni, including the contest of presentations and short videos “No Getting Lost, No Staying Lost,” and the “Congr@ts!” contest of original greetings for users from underserved population groups. In 2011 the library is coordinating “The VisITing Card”, an all-Russian contest of short videos for Tvoy Kurs Centers, and a regional contest of presentations and videos “Volgograd Region: Virtual Tours from the Past into the Future.”

Alla Kostishko heads up the Center of Internet Education of Ulyanovsk State University. In 2008 the Center joined the IDEA Project, and in 2010 – the Your Course: Digital Literacy Project, both initiated by Microsoft and administered by Project Harmony, Inc. Since 2008 Alla Kostishko has been actively involved in launching seven new IDEA and Tvoy Kurs sites in five remote districts of Ulyanovsk region, to ensure open access to ICTs in rural areas. Many events, organized and held by Ms. Kostishko, received broad coverage in the municipal and regional media. She also received several government awards, including a Letter of Commendation of the RF Ministry of Education in 2008, and a Letter of Commendation from the RF State Duma in 2010 for her contribution to bridging the digital gap in Ulyanovsk region.

Under Alla Kostishko’s leadership the Center of Internet Education struck up many productive and enduring partnerships with such organizations as the Ulyanovsk Regional Hospice, the local chapter of the All-Russian Society for People with Disabilities, a number of art and music schools, the Nightingale Grove children’s home, the Folk Art Center, the Children’s Center for Creative Arts, the Ulyanovsk School of Culture, boarding schools for children with disabilities, Ulyanovsk City Duma, and local employment centers and educational institutions.

The Center of Internet Education holds regular seminars and contests, seeking to promote multimedia technologies and educate the population in their practical use, and providing local residents, especially those from underserved population groups and people with disabilities, with a prompt and efficient solution to their digital literacy needs. For instance, thanks to the business planning seminars held by the Center over the last three years, about 250 alumni (more than half of the total number of participants) started their own businesses, having received financial support from the government.

We are very proud to have Irina, Ludmila and Alla as members of our large team, who inspire as outstanding role models of creativity, enthusiasm, willingness to share experience and constant growth and self-development.
Logo PH International The project is implemented by PH International (Project Harmony, Inc) and Microsoft Corporation under Microsoft’s initiative Your Course (Tvoy Kurs) Logo Microsoft