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.
Twenty women between the ages of 20 and 30 participated in the U-TOUCH intensive three-week Women’s Empowerment (WE) program, developing leadership, business and technology skills for the Digital Age.
The program was developed to address issues related to women’s rights in the home and in the community, employment and women in business. In a safe and confidential environment young women learned how different the Ugandan culture is with respect to women’s expectations and rights when compared with other countries in the world. By the end of WE training, men were invited to join them and participate in some highly interactive and exciting discussions of the roles and rights of women.
Having access to technology has advanced women’s understanding of their hidden potential and the WE program has empowered them to become ambassadors of women’s rights and the WE program to girls in school and in their villages. WE graduates understand that they need to educate both women and men if they are to achieve equality for women.
Women are the backbone of Africa. They bear the children, care for their families, work the garden, and spend hours walking for water. Too often these responsibilities keep them from the education and opportunities that would improve the lives of their whole families. Empowering women changes communities and economies.
On a dirt road in the business district of Gulu in northern Uganda, a large, 5000 sq. ft. building has been renovated into a bright, busy, center of opportunity. The U-TOUCH Technology Innovation Hub (TIH) is the first of its kind to serve local enterprises with graphic design, print and copy services. As a provider of digital services for local businesses, the Hub’s income will support U-TOUCH with a sustainable business model for future training and service hubs.
In a separate training classroom in the Hub, community members study ICT (Information and Communication Technology), graphic design, business services, and women’s empowerment, with more classes planned in photographic and video production, and entrepreneurship.
The building itself was given to U-TOUCH by the Gulu District Local Government and grant funds secured by U-TOUCH allowed renovation of the property to accommodate the business center.
The Hub is providing a place where business ideas are being developed and launched. For this reason, the Gulu District Local Government is excited to partner with U-TOUCH, which has already made significant progress in helping the region, –decimated by the 20 year LRA War–in its economic recovery.
In 2010, U-TOUCH established it’s first Digital Learning Centers and offered free computer literacy and skills training. The TIH is the realization of a dream to provide U-TOUCH program graduates with the next step – advanced skills training and employment opportunities.
U-TOUCH welcomes Vanessa Roy and Grace Harter to the U-TOUCH team for Summer 2014!
Vanessa Roy was born in Missoula, Montana where she earned her BA in Social Work from the University of Montana in 2009. After graduation, she workedas a case manager at a YWCA domestic violence shelter and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine. In 2013 Vanessa began studying for her Masters in Economics and International Development at Johns Hopkins SAIS. This summer she will be interning at U-TOUCH working on curriculum development.
Grace Harter was born in Washington, DC and received a BA in International Studies from Washington College. Soon after graduation, she joined the Peace Corps and served in Ukraine. Currently, she is studying for her Masters in Economics and International Development at Johns Hopkins University. She is excited to work on monitoring and evaluation at U-TOUCH this summer.