Stories

Kevin - U-TOUCH sponsored student

Kevin’s Story

My name is Kevin. I was, born on 11th September 1997. When I reached seven years, my father and mother died 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 and me to her home in town. My aunt would give us guidance and show 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, going through tough times 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. I have studied there for the past three years and now I’m in senior four. I will sit for a national exam at the end of 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 made 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

Gloria cutting hair

Alo Gloria

“I had lost all the hope in life, having droped out of school in S.5 (A-level). However, I got my hope rejuvenated in December 2015, having undergone a both ICT and WEP training at U-TOUCH Gulu Center. I found the Entrepreneurship lesson quite adoring, and I wonderful started a mobile saloon venture. I could I initiate calls, by calling friends about my mobile services, as they needed not to get out of their homes in quest for saloon service. In a day I could at least get a client. I started the venture with only Ugx 15,000 because I had even missed out, on the small grant U-TOUCH awarded select WEP trainees. After 3 months, in March I had caught some market shares of clients in Gulu town; and to some extend it became overwhelming in that, the customer calls per day grew up and I could not now manage all calls in a day. I had to venture more into, a beauty shop for servicing my customers; I opened up a static service point, the saloon shop. I placed my shop amidst competitors, but to win the race, I had one unique offer, and that is to refund transport/boda boda cost incurred by clients that call me to go to their places.

Now I own a fully stocked beauty saloon for which I daily work on 5-10 women customers, each paying an average of UGX 10,000. I have employed an Assistant, a trainee, who helps me achieve a daily target of 10 customers in a day.

The power for success really belongs to your hands, but only if you are informed and guided with basic skills; which I gained at U-TOUCH.”

Gracious and Denis, ICT Trainer - Pader

Good Hope

Gracious and Denis, ICT Trainer - Pader
Gracious and Denis, ICT Trainer – Pader

My name is Gracious. I hail from Patongo Town Council in Agago District, About 40 Km from Pader. I first learnt of the free ICT training at AMREF /U-TOUCH Center at Pader in January 2012. I then applied and joined it in February and completed in April 2012, I then graduated in May. I had, prior to joining U-TOUCH, unsuccessfully looked for a job but now when I got back home after the training, I asked my father to help me with some capital to start a business of my own. Convinced by my newly attained computer skill backed by a beautifully designed certificate of completion, he gave me funds to start a secretarial and stationery business.

Patongo had been lacking a quality and reliable computer services. Some people have the resources but lack the skill to operate computers. As a result many businesses had in the past opened and closed barely after 4 months of operations. I felt that, I could fill that gap. I then travelled to Kampala and purchased a used photocopier, a computer, a binder and an assortment of stationery and opened the business called Good Hope Stationery in May 2012, a few weeks after my graduation. The choice of name is self explanatory. U-TOUCH is a dawn of Hope in my life. Services offered include Typesetting, printing, photocopying, binding, scanning, sale of stationery and computer training on Office 2007 applications. My clientele range from Schools, NGO’s, Churches, all the neighboring sub counties to individuals.

Achievements

I have operated this business for 8 months now. I feel these are some of my achievements;

• My skill has not only been retained but also enhanced.
• I am self employed, the work keeps me busy and I am not even interested in looking for other jobs.
• I now have enough resources to cater for my basic needs like cloths, housing, education, and Health.
• I have trained 3 people in basic computer applications.

Challenges

• High cost of maintenance for computer. Patongo lacks skilled people to repair and maintain computers. The ICT Trainer Pader has promised to provide support in terms of maintenance of equipment.
• The weather is very harsh and not conducive for the computers. There is a lot of heat and dust in Patongo and this also affects the sensitive parts of these machines.
• Some customers bring jobs but they don’t come back to pay and pick them. This leads to wastage of time and resources.
• I still don’t have a standby generator incase of load shedding.

Future Plans

• I intend to add more computers, provide internet and training services to many people in Patongo.
• I intend to upgrade my studies starting August this year. I want to study accounts from Nsamizi School of Social Works and Social Administration, so that I run my business professionally.

Conclusion

I want to thank AMREF and U-TOUCH for the free training rendered to us in ICT and enrichment programs like entrepreneurship, life skills and job skills. I had not realized their value then, but now I have realized that the best life decision I have ever made in my life was to join U-TOUCH. My life has been totally transformed, I am self-reliant now. I strongly encourage other people, especially girls, to join the training at AMREF/U-TOUCH Center, Pader.

Good Hope Stationery in Potongo
Good Hope Stationery

“Opportunity only knocks once, embrace it.
Thank you U-TOUCH,  for TOUCHing my Life”
~ Gracious

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Barbara – An Update

Barbara used her U-TOUCH training well.

Barbara U-TOUCH beneficiary gains employment using technology
Barbara

Last year Barbara told us about coming to the U-TOUCH Digital Library Center in Pader with hope and a plan.  While awaiting the results of her college entrance exam she wanted to “learn computers.”  She committed herself to the 12-week curriculum, learning ICT (Information Communication Technology) and taking advantage of the other enrichment programs – Life Skills, Job Skills, Entrepreneurship – with hopes to use all if it to continue her education. 

Little more than a year later, Barbara is a first-year student in Business Administration at Uganda Christian University, Mukono; and she is interning with the Accounts section of the Pader District Local Government.  For both of these opportunities, Barbara needed and used the computer literacy skills she acquired through U-TOUCH. 

Uganda Christian University has a well-equipped computer laboratory with Internet connections.  Most of the lecturers send notes to their students via e-mail and expect research and coursework to be completed and submitted via computer.  Her skills have also enabled her to stay connected with her sisters and friends at other universities and at the U-TOUCH Center back home.

During her long holiday break, Barbara wanted to keep busy and use her skills.  Her father helped her by making inquiries at the Pader District Local Government.  Her volunteer position there is giving her invaluable work experience as she uses MS Excel and other specialized Microsoft accounting software to enter data, balance the books and provide analysis. 

Barbara also knows how she wants to use her education after graduation — in her own business.  She plans to open a commercial internet café in northern Uganda to “create jobs for young people and also impart the skills to others.”

 “The world we live in today is becoming more challenging….Any person without computer knowledge is disadvantaged.…I wish to thank U-TOUCH for positively touching my life.”  ~Barbara

 

 

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Beatrice

Beatrice

Aciro Beatrice is my name and surely am happy with the positive impact that U-TOUCH has made in my life. Surely due to life and health education I have got I can manage my life well to live a positive life style and avoid some risks that might come due to poor life style that a person can live.

I was working when I came to U-TOUCH center as a sales agent in our organization call Bay Port, a financial loan organization. But due to the training I got from U-TOUCH I have been promoted to Customer Care officer  which makes me more happy than I was before.  The VSLA training I got has made my work very easy because people who come for loan I know how to work with them. Microsoft  Excel has made my report writing and calculation very easy. I don’t struggle with my work at all. 

The best thing a person can do is to seek the opportunity of helping some body in this world. I’m happy for what U-TOUCH is doing in our community because it’s causing huge changes among the female gender.  

I did not expect to have this global connection as I do now –it’s amazing, I love it.

 

You can make a difference in the lives of women just like Beatrice
 

 

 

 

A message from Kinyera TF Macmillan

I am Kinyera TF Macmillan, a male Acholi of 24 years old, a student at U-Touch Digital Library Center Pader with a magnificient interest in information and communication technology, software development and passionate heart for communal service. I am a resident of Ajanyi Village, Aringa Parish, Puranga Sub-County, Pader District in Northern Uganda.

Before joining the U-Touch DLC Pader in May 2012, I was serving the community of Pader Central High School as a student teacher for English Language, General Paper & Geography as well as a Patron for Club & Society after completing Senior Six in the year 2011.

When I joined the U-Touch Center I expected to learn computer theoretical background, be knowledeable to connect & use computers,Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Word processing, Internet E-mail & online communication, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft power point presentation,  jobs & life skills, health management skills,  and research techniques.

With the computer knowledge acquired I intend with passion to help those who did not get access to the DLC acquire similar skills andknowledge freely, open computer library and mentor people with similar objectives & interests like mine when fortune smiles, become video & film producer on peace conferencing, join mass media for communal benefit, carry intensive research on health to keep my community disease free, alert communities on jobs, life & business enrichment skills to lift them out of a depression.

The U-TOUCH managements & staff ‘God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On U’ with a conscience more precious than Gold & Pearl, for the selfless shouldering 0f the vulnerables, the needy & the unfortunate communities with vision. May God bless your ‘brains’, ‘hands’ & prosper your plans

Meet Barbara!

Barbara in Pader, Uganda

The first time I attended programs at the U-TOUCH Center, Pader, Uganda, was January, 2012, with basically orientation and induction to U-TOUCH Center. Before joining the center, I was home for my vacation while waiting for my Form Six (college entrance exam) results. My plan was to learn computer but because of financial issues I was unable; so I just remained home helping with house work.

Actually, after the training, I feel my plans have been achieved and my situation has really changed. I have made new friends and I have also learned new skills, like typing, using MS Word, calculation skills using MS Excel, communication and research skills using Internet, presentation skills using MS PowerPoint and also enrichment programs like Life skills, Entrepreneurial skills and Job skills among others. What I have learned and I feel will really benefit me in the future are Job skills, Life skills, Entrepreneurial skills and also the Calculations using MS Excel. 

Looking ahead, my life will really change because of the ICT (Information Communication Technology) knowledge that I have acquired from U-TOUCH. In a year from now, I see myself as a student in the University pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Accounting and Finance or Bachelor of Business Administration. And in 5 years time, I see myself as a professional international Accountant.

For those who are still computer illiterate, I appeal to you to come and join any U-TOUCH Center because this training is free of charge; you just have to dedicate your time and that’s all.

I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to U-TOUCH and its sponsors for the free ICT training that it has offered to us. I am really so grateful because you have changed me and I can now face the world.

 

It is only through your generous donations that U-TOUCH is able to provide training and computer access

to the many students that attend U-TOUCH centers in Uganda

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Daniel’s Story

Daniel from Pader UgandaNAME : OCORA DANIEL
LOCATION : U-TOUCH CENTER PADER

I joined U-touch on the 4th of January, 2012.I was a student in Lira Palwo senior secondary school and I was planning for further studies.

Actually this training at U-TOUCH center made me change because I made new friends, learned new skills as a result of attending the U-TOUCH center programs.

So far we have learned the most common packages in computer (computing) which includes Microsoft words, Microsoft excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, internet and communication etc were by this can make me hold any place in computer center. I can apply the knowledge I have got in some offices and also be called to connect public address system in some places such as churches, schools and many others functions that may be addressed.

Looking ahead, my life will change between now to five years. I intend to open my own computer secretarial center in one year using the skills I have got from this training and in five years to come, I intend to be as a trainer in information and communication technology.

 

Achiro Stella Patience

My name is Achiro Stella Patience, I live in Lulojo village and am 20 years old. I started attending the U-TOUCH center on the 18th of January 2012.

I was a student and my plan was to work hard and achieve my goal in computing. After receiving the training, my plans and situations has changed a lot.  I didn’t get a job but I have improved on my research, made new friends and learnt new skills on results on attending the U-TOUCH Center. I have learnt on how to do research and making friends using a computer.

My life in 1 year will change alot due to the computer knowledge and in 5 years time I would have got a job in computing to change my lifestyle. I would like to appreciate the U-TOUCH center for the training offered for us.

Too-lit Jacob: U-TOUCH Kitgum

Jacob in Kitgum, UgandaName: Too-Lit Jacob
Location: west land (Kitgum town council)
Age: 18 years old

It was on the 13th may 2011 that I have attended the U-TOUCH program in the center.

Before I came to the U-TOUCH center I was at the school for my ordinary level at Kitgum Town College.  My plan is that if I had finished my ordinary level, then I would like to be a teacher.

After I have receive my training at U-TOUCH center, my plan changed simply because I have improved in school. I have also made a new friends from various places; like Miriam  from Senegal, Sadam Ochola  and many more. For the program concerning job, I have not yet got it and I am still struggle for the job. I hope with the free access to internet at U-TOUCH I will be connected.  Surely God’s willing I will get it.

What I have learn from this center as a participation at the U-TOUCH is that this center has allowed me to practice during Tuesday and Thursday in every week and in those days they allow me a free internet servies hence making me to interract with my fellow friends outside the country. What I think of my future is that this center will improve the lives of the people in northern Uganda, especially Kitgum District where this center is located. In my future I think will be a good computer wizard.

My life will be improved through this knowledge and experience I have got from this center. I will be a hard worker to let my family start a good foundation for their lives.

What I want to share with this center is that they should continue to develop this program from town up to the village so that everyone should knows how to use computer, and how computer look like because most of the people in the village they don’t know what computer look like.And also I’m appealling to the center authority to continue their spirit of giving a chance to other people also to learn about computer.

Editor’s note: Ordinary or “O” level is the equivalent of the last 2 years of high school. Secondary schools are commonly referred to as colleges, while universities are post-secondary institutions.

Education in Uganda