Prior to joining U-TOUCH’s Women’s Empowerment Program, Harriet had a certificate in catering but was unemployed. When she joined U-TOUCH, she had low self-esteem because of her financial status and was unable to find employment. After completing her Women’s Empowerment training, Harriet gained the courage to become an entrepreneur and start her very own coffee shop business. She has trained a number of youths with her computer skills and access to unlimited information. Harriet has been able to improve her standard of living with her knowledge and training from U-TOUCH. Her business serves as a great example of the hidden potential women in Uganda have, and the impact of U-TOUCH propels them into a life of success!
Did you know that over 86% of Africa’s population still has no Internet access? Rachael, a former SEVO International student, became aware of this issue when she realized her institution lacked computers. As a nursing student at SEVO, Rachael’s goal was to manage rescue, health care, and training facilities to service providers, highway clinics, and youth rehabilitation homes. A key part of this process is the Internet, and without it, Rachael was unable to fulfill her job as a student. She discovered the lack of Internet access and took initiative in her university by enrolling in U-TOUCH’s ICT Program. There she learned vital ICT skills that helped her in doing research and opening up a business. She is the proud owner of a drug shop in Uganda and uses her computer to track records in her business. With the help of U-TOUCH, Rachael has access to the world of information, communication, and education. Don’t take being connected for granted!
Within the Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) at U-TOUCH, economic freedom is achieved with the help of effective life skills, access to technology, and positive support from a team of understanding volunteers. Joanita, a senior four leaver, had hoped to join a higher institution of learning but was not able to afford the tuition. In hopes of attaining a certificate in secretarial studies, Joanita was ecstatic when she heard about the free ICT and WEP offered at U-TOUCH through the local advert. After her training with U-TOUCH, Joanita received many certificates for her hard work and devotion to learning and became employed at the Shivling Supermarket in Mbale Town. She saw an opportunity, then hope, and then the confidence to set her own goals and developed a plan to achieve them.
In contrast to the western culture, women are the backbone of Africa. They are responsible for bearing children, caring for their families, working in the garden, and walking for hours for water. Mirriam is a senior four leaver who found herself losing hope in education due to financial constraints. After hearing about U-TOUCH through a friend, Miriam was hopeful for a new beginning, and quickly became interested in the Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP). Shortly after, she joined the program, completed her training, and applied her entrepreneurial skills to her new business. She currently owns a shoe shop that provides stylish footwear for men and women. Being able to sustain your family through the income you earn is a vital goal for not only Miriam, but women alike in Africa. By financially supporting themselves and their families, women are able to empower and change their communities and economics.
Women’s empowerment training has been the most remarkable thing that ever happened to me. Through the training, I gained entrepreneurship skills, leadership skills among other skills that I use in my day-to-day life experiences.
Thanks to U-TOUCH for giving me a grant of 150,000UGX [$50] that helped me to resume my peanut butter business. This has greatly increased my financial ability. The business generates for me over 50,000UGX everyday and this income helps me to support my family. Unlike other vulnerable women, I am no longer financially dependent and I also employ two other ladies who help me with the processing of the peanut butter.
My success has had an important impact on the community by inspiring other ladies and I believe that as I advance I will also employ many other women.
I request U-TOUCH to reach out to a lot more vulnerable women out there who do not know about this program so that they too can discover the hidden potential they possess.
I credit all of this achievement to U-TOUCH WOMEN EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM.
THANK YOU FOR CHANGING MY LIFE.
I’m so grateful to U-TOUCH that through the Women Empowerment Program I was trained in many things like leadership skills and entrepreneurship skills that enabled me to achieve a milestone that is changing my life and helping me access greater opportunities. I emerged one of the Winners in the Business Proposal Competition that led to a cash prize of 150,000UGX. Using the grant I obtained a 120-liter blue drum that is very vital in the liquid soap process and restarted the Liquid Soap Processing Project that I had given up for lack of finances and limited entrepreneurship skills. I also purchased chemicals for liquid soap processing. I processed the soap and I’m excited that I have already started selling.
I’m excited to say that my sales are going up steadily and my liquid soap-processing center has attracted a contract of cleaning a reputable organization’s Regional Office here in Gulu. I have got several inquiries from women who want to be trained in liquid soap processing. This is the next project phase I will embark on. Also I have a strong vision of running a cleaning service, where I need to purchase a washing machine, and use this very liquid soap to do people’s laundry.
U-TOUCH, thank you so much for changing my life and empowering me with lots of information. I was humbled by the young ladies who were our facilitators. I believe every opportunity to acquire new knowledge should be taken seriously. As an empowered woman, I long for the time when we as “U-TOUCH alumni” will reach out to the villages to inspire woman who are remotely located to get information from us.
My name is Kevin. I was born on 11th September 1997. When I reached seven years, my father and mother died in the LRA War and I became an orphan. Then I started schooling when I was eight years in primary one. This was during the time when the insurgency in Northern Uganda was at its peak and I had no one to stay with and to take proper care of me.
Fortunately, my aunt came to the village and took my brother, Sebastian, and me to her home in town. My aunt gave us guidance and showed us love and care. She taught us how to work in the house, washing clothes, cooking, sweeping the compound, gardening, and how to relate with our friends, relatives and neighbors. It was hard for me until U-TOUCH came to support me in school. I was in Primary four and with U-TOUCH support I reached Primary seven in 2012. I sat for my Primary exit exams and passed very well. I was then admitted to St Mary’s secondary school, in Gulu town where I have studied for the past two years. I am in senior three this year.
U-TOUCH has been so helpful and supportive of my life and education in particular. My school fees and scholastic materials have all been taken care of and that has allowed me to concentrate in school and do well. In the future, after my studies, I would like to become a teacher or businesswoman. From my business I would like to be able to support my family with their needs and pay school fees for other needy children, just like U-TOUCH is doing for me. I thank U-TOUCH so much for its continued support towards my education
My name is Auma Lillian Lucy, aged 19 years old. I hail from Pader town council.
I heard about the free computer training at U-TOUCH through the radio. Thereafter, I became interested and applied for the program. After completing training at U-TOUCH I became competent in use of computers and was hired as an Office Assistant at the Management Training and Advisory Center at the Pader Outreach Center. Now I am proud that I meet my expectations and above all, the training added value in my life in the following ways.
a) I create office documents for this institution using MS Word program and also for my research work.
b) The Internet knowledge helps me in carrying out my research in the different coursework given and making communications.
c) The health education especially on the reproductive health made me to be aware of the tips on how to prevent unplanned pregnancy.
d) Above all the ICT knowledge added much value in me especially in this position that I hold at this institute. The computer certificate was an essential requirement. I emerged the best and am proud of my position. All this is the result of U-TOUCH.
My words to the youth who are computer illiterate, is that the world is going digital, therefore there is need for us to embrace it fully, by utilizing the free training offered by U-TOUCH. Thank you to our facilitators and the entire U-TOUCH team.
Our Baby is One Year Old!!!!
It’s hard to believe that the first U-TOUCH Technology Innovation Hub (TIH) opened its doors little more than a year ago, in August 2014. With the only high-capacity color printer in the area, the U-TOUCH graphic center enables local businesses, schools and other organizations to print professional quality materials right in Gulu rather than in Kampala, 6 hours away.
Graphic designer Oceng Denis, assisted by fine artist and videographer Ibolit Emmanuel, heads the department, with Lapyem Denis providing marketing support. Since opening it’s doors, the TIH has produced posters, business cards, announcements, invitations, magazines and programs. Recently it has been developing websites for local businesses and organizations.
In addition to the growing graphics department, the TIH has just graduated its third class of Digital Literacy students as well as four Women’s Empowerment classes. Plans for 2016 include more class offerings, including videography, as well as expanding the U-TOUCH Internet Café. The TIH is making an impact on the local workforce, businesses and the community itself.
It’s not easy to succeed in the high-flying world of Wall Street hedge funds. Trager Watson did that and one better. With $3,000 and lot of guts he started his own fund and in 6 years built his company to more than $500 million before learning a lot of lessons about managing that kind of torrid growth. You could say this guy from Arkansas has acquired a lot of wisdom outside the “Natural State.”
After Wall Street, Trager spent some time traveling in Asia and around the US, formulating his personal code for the next chapter of his life: Live life with a purpose outside yourself.
So when he ran in Deb Plotkin at a charity conference he could recognize the real deal. She enthusiastically shared U-TOUCH and the personal stories of beneficiaries—“as if they were her own children.” And, she completely astounded him with how much she has managed to accomplish with so little.
Since that day, Trager has looked under the hood and kicked the tires. He’s traveled to and around Uganda, visiting U-TOUCH Centers and comparing what he heard to what he saw. His take? It’s real. While plenty of charity organizations pump money at problems, U-TOUCH is offering something with a much better return. U-TOUCH is changing lives. He saw that the more the Ugandans learn, the more they grasp. And he is not the only one to recognize that, with it’s English speaking workforce and political stability, Uganda is a great candidate for the growing technology outsourcing industry.
Given his path, you can believe Trager when he says: Life is not simple. But it’s not as difficult as we make it. What matters is integrity and hard work; and a purpose outside yourself. He sees all of that in U-TOUCH.