The Catalyst For Long-term Social And Economic Transformation
Pader district, like other districts of Northern Uganda has been a victim of the civil war orchestrated by Lord Joseph Kony. The two decade old war has led to untold suffering of people especially children and youths of school going age. Even when the war ended more than 7 years ago, Pader is still grappling with problems such as high illiteracy rates especially among girls, unemployment, gambling, and disease. Alcoholism and lack of information due to absence of public libraries and internet services.
In 2010, U-TOUCH opened its center in Pader with the aim of reversing some of the problems highlighted above. To date, more than 650 youths have been trained on basic ICT Skills. Using the free internet provided by the center, Youths have been empowered with the knowledge and skills to search for jobs online, obtain academic materials online, obtain health information related to Sexual and Adolescent Reproductive Health, Water, Sanitation, Tropical diseases among others. Those with access to capital have started or created jobs for themselves, others have gotten new jobs, and many others have enrolled back to Colleges and other higher institutions of learning in pursuit of academic excellence and employment. The in-school youths are using the internet in their institutions to compare notes. U-TOUCH has transformed the lives countless youths directly and indirectly. Below is a story of one of the many lives touched and transformed by U-TOUCH.
My name is Atim Berna Prisca. I joined U-TOUCH Pader on the 1st October 2010 and completed on the 5th February 2011. Before Joining U-TOUCH, I was an English /Literature teacher at Bishop Flynn Secondary School, Pader District. On joining U-TOUCH, My goal was to obtain knowledge and skills on computer usage, to enable me improve my work output at the school. I also wanted to use the internet to create connections to rest of the world through e-mail.
After the 12 week training, I got a promotion as the Deputy Head teacher besides my teaching roles. My output at work increased tremendously,
“Today I type my work on computer, edit, format and print handouts and assignments for my students. This has implified my work at school. I also use the internet to search for news, connect with friends locally and internally, search for phrases on web dictionary and online encyclopedia. The spreadsheet application helps me manage student data with a lot of ease”
My future plan is to upgrade from teaching secondary level to University level and also establish a computer center where people also get access to computer skills and internet.
Finally, I am calling upon all the youths to embrace the free computer skill training U-TOUCH, in order to be competitive for jobs. Most jobs today require computer knowledge. Anybody without ICT skills is disadvantaged and cannot compete for a job. I would also love to see the Resource centers extended to hard to reach areas. To crown it all, great thanks goes to U-TOUCH Pader and all the U-TOUCH community for transforming my life, May you continue touching more lives.
FRANCIS BODO – Project Assistant Pader”