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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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Featured Volunteer: Alana

U-TOUCH is changing lives by building connections across the globe.  This is how one high school student used those connections to make a lasting difference in the lives of kids just like her.

Alana
Alana

Alana Olson is a sophomore at Scripps Ranch High School in San Diego.  She loves her AP European History class and English, running cross-country, and playing piano which she’s been studying for six years.  She is also in the Creative Minds Club – no surprise—and she’s a passionate cook.

The fact is Alana has been passionate about cooking most of her life.

She has always loved watching her mom cook all kinds of wonderful international foods and she watches Food Network “religiously.”

“I first began to be interested in nutrition because I was interested in how much the two seemingly very different fields of cooking and health care…are so intimately connected and how they dramatically affect our day-to-day lives.”

Alana became a full vegetarian about three years ago and says she has not missed meat one bit since.

“Though I have no intentions of trying to “convert” people into vegetarians–I think it is a very personal decision–I like people to know the reasoning behind my decision. I became a vegetarian because I feel (that) since I am so fortunate to have access to such an abundance of food, there is no need to kill an animal for it. There are so many sources of vegetarian protein out there that are much better for the environment, more economical, better for your overall health, and most importantly, do not require the killing of an animal.”

She even has a blog, where she shares vegetarian adaptations of signature international dishes, a la Alana. It includes fun tips and tricks, a guide for the rookie vegetarian, even a featured ingredient of the week!

Alana also is deeply committed to sharing her blessings, feeling a responsibility to give back to those in need. 

“…I have had the good fortune to be born into a family that loves to travel, I have been able to experience cultures from all over the world and realize how intimately connected we all are as people of this earth… Learning about all of the horrendous atrocities that have occurred in northern Uganda in the last few decades made me realize that these people have lost everything–their homes, their families, and their pride–yet somehow continue to show resilience and joy. This is beyond admirable to me and makes me want to improve their lives in any way I can.”

Last year, Alana figured out how she could combine her passion for food and nutrition with helping others. Her project, Cents for Seeds, has raised money in her local San Diego community, to help students at Kitgum High School in Kitgum, Uganda, plant a garden to product good, nutritious food to eat. Alana specifically wanted to work with Ugandan high school students because she “thought it would be cool to interact with kids our age living in a completely different world.”

 

Planting Seeds at Kitgum High School - Cents for Seeds

But growing healthy food was not the only goal.  Alana prepared educational PowerPoints to teach students about nutrition. She hoped they would then introduce their new ideas about nutrition to their families and friends. In fact, Alana has plans to introduce the program at other schools, including elementary schools. Fundraising for that is already underway!

The Kitgum High School garden in is ‘producing’ results, not only in the diets of young Ugandans, but in the lives of students here who are learning about some of the most pressing issues of our planet in a first hand way.  It is just one of the ways that U-TOUCH is changing lives. 

 And Alana is just beginning.

“In the next few years, I would love to visit (our) garden in Uganda. I want to see the progress, meet all of the wonderful people who have helped me along the way and the kids whom the garden will benefit.”

She also wants to continue to work through U-TOUCH, and maybe get involved with new causes too.

“I would love to do a project benefiting the environment and animals, or maybe something to empower women in 3rd world countries and help them get the education and fair treatment they deserve. At this point, all I know is this project is only the beginning and I can’t wait to see its progress and do further work with U-TOUCH.”

 

Donate to help Alana expand the Cents for Seeds projects to more schools in Uganda

 

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

CompTIA and U-TOUCH

Thank you to CompTIA MSP Partners as well as Small Business Owners and IT Business Growth Professionals for selecting U-TOUCH to share your most deeply appreciated philanthropic generosity. 

U-TOUCH, using an innovative approach has brought technology to Uganda and is bridging the digital divide.  U-TOUCH is making a differnce where brilliance was equally distributed though opportunity was not. At the U-TOUCH Digital Library Centers thousands living in abject poverty, that is less than $1.00 per day have successfully gained computer skills to certification. Using their natural brilliance and creativity they finally have access to gain knowledge from the Internet, the greaest library in the world.  Instead of dependency upon others the people of these impovershed regions are becoming connected. Using their new found information to make decisions the people are moving forward, improving their livelihoods and creating progress in their world. Innovative solutions are being developed for problems faced in the harsh circumstances in which they live. Youth both in and out of school, health workers, teachers, government workers, farmers and small business owners, are but a few groups who are using technology to learn information and communications to develop new approaches in their fields.  Students who never before owned a textbook have for the first time visually seen their course material come alive.  Computer theory taught in schools has become practical.  Students are gaining knowledge and passing exams with high performance grades. Health workers are updating medical information on diagnosis and treatment and developing electronic medical record keeping instead of referring back to years of hard copy patient record books. Members are gaining jobs, applying for educational opportunities and employment online.  Job promotions are regular and members of the U-TOUCH Centers have become highly valued individuals in their local communities. They have learned to become community ambassadors, collecting data and creating power point presentations to share on health, life skills, job skills and peacebuilding and conflict resolution. U-TOUCH is changing the course of visions, of goals and of lives. 

The seminal work that U-TOUCH is doing is only possible through the generosity of the three philanthropic CompTIA Communities including MSP Partners, Small Business Owners and IT Business Growth Professionals.  U-TOUCH has greatly benefited by receiving $13,300 from CompTIA’s generous communities. Thank you does not convey how grateful we feel for CompTIA’s participation in helping to create such an important and impactful change in the world. With the generous support of these three CompTIA communities people living in disavantaged regions in Uganda are now connecting globally and working hard to pull themselves out of poverty. Please know U-TOUCH the world, making a huge difference!

Learn more about CompTIA Communities here: CompTIA – Creating IT Futures

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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3 Ways You Can Make a Difference

Kabale School of Comprehensive Nursing in Kabale, UgandaU-TOUCH is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, all volunteer organization which is funded by donations, grants and fundraising events. We need your support to provide much needed services to the beneficiaries in Uganda.

1. Donate Your Time
U-TOUCH relies on volunteers for clerical assistance, community outreach, social media and a variety of other functions. Whatever your interest or talent, there’s a place for you on the U-TOUCH team! 

I want to volunteer!

2. Donate Technology
U-TOUCH appreciates donations of laptops, mice, external hard drives, digital cameras and video cameras!  In general items 4 years old or newer are preferred but please contact us if you have any questions.

I want to donate equipment!

3. Donate funds
Your generous donations make it possible for U-TOUCH to provide computer technology, computer training,health education and business/entrepreneurial coaching and support to disadvantaged communities in Africa.

I want to donate!

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.