Sanam’s Journey to Digital Literacy and Independence


Sanam* and her family were forced to leave Afghanistan after the fall of Kabul in 2021. The 28-year-old arrived in Australia in 2022 with her child and husband after being granted humanitarian visas. She was married at a young age, left school and was unable to pursue further education. She faced literacy and language issues in Australia and was dependent on her husband for daily tasks. Sanam started attending SECL’s Digital Literacy program in 2023.

Client situation

Sanam was referred to SECL’s digital literacy program by a friend from her English classes. She attended the program as she hoped to improve her digital literacy skills. At the beginning of the program, Sanam lacked the confidence to ask questions in class and often did not interact with other participants.

During classes, Sanam was supported by other class participants to build her confidence in navigating her smartphone and laptop. She learned for the first time how to use Google Maps to travel independently and was shown how to research information relating to housing, her rights as a tenant, and available properties as she was searching for more affordable private rental. She became aware of the many supports and services available through these classes. Furthermore, as Sanam attended class regularly, she made new friendships with other women in the community and discovered a sense of belonging that she had not felt since arriving in Australia.



Enhanced sense of belonging

Regular attendance at the program helped Sanam to form new friendships and experience a renewed sense of community belonging.

Improved digital literacy
Sanam has gained skills in using technology, which includes navigating smartphones and laptops, contributing to her digital independence.
Improved English conversational skills

Sanam’s English conversational skills have improved, leading to better communication in her daily life.

Increased self-esteem and independence

Sanam can now utilise Google Maps for travel, that empowers her to move around independently without relying on others.

Improved understanding of consumer rights
Sanam has a better understanding of her rights as a consumer, particularly in banking and housing, which is important for her living conditions.
Enhanced Connection

Sanam is more connected to local resources such as the library, understanding and using the services they offer.

The Digital Sisters program is funded by the Good Things Foundation.