11 11, 2015

Sebastian – Sponsored Student Update

By |

We met Sebastian in 2009, when he was 11 years old.  He had lost both parents in the LRA War and was living with his grandmother and seven cousins. We enrolled Sebastian at Negri Secondary School where he was named a “bright and excellent” student, eager to learn.  With his cousin Julius, Sebastian built a reading hut, where he practiced to become a proficient reader and scholar. On day, Sebastian figured out how to wire the family’s kitchen hut with a light bulb so that his grandma could cook after dark.  Then, while still 11 years old and never having seen a computer or television, Sebastian built a working radio from a collection of junk parts!

SebastianSebastian loved coming to the U-TOUCH Digital Center to study using the Internet.  After ranking #1 in his class for four years and one [...]

10 11, 2015

Trager Watson – Donor Profile

By |

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 [...]

10 11, 2015

My First Visit to Uganda

By |

While I been involved with U-TOUCH for five years it was not until this past summer that I finally had the opportunity to travel to Uganda. I spent three weeks traveling to each of the five U-TOUCH Digital Centers and meeting the dedicated staff with whom I had been conversing with via email and Skype. My mission for the trip was to provide mentoring and support to the staff on the ground in Uganda. From the warm greeting at the airport by Charles, our former Project Coordinator newly appointed as U-TOUCH Country Director, to the farewell party at the end of our visit, I was enchanted by the grace and warmth of the Ugandan people.

As I traveled to each of the centers to observe classes and speak with the beneficiaries the challenges related to the existing infrastructure became immediately apparent. With roads in poor condition and constant power outages [...]

10 11, 2015

Reflections of Summer 2015 in Uganda

By |

I went to Uganda, as I do each summer, to bathe my soul in the love and inspiration of the people who have suffered great hardship, yet hold onto hope in the future they are building.  Every year I travel with optimism about the progress I will see and I have always been pleased! But this year was different. I went as a skeptic, determined to take stock of our progress with a critical eye, to look hard for evidence of stalling momentum or shortfalls in our plans.

Women's Empowerment

Well, I was pleasantly surprised at the overwhelmingly positive outcomes of U-TOUCH training in Uganda. All five Digital Centers in Mbale, Pader, Kitgum and Kabale and the Technology Innovation Hub (TIH) in Gulu have shown deep impacts in families and communities.  As a result of your support, unemployed young women and men–with their [...]

14 02, 2015

The Power of Peanuts

By |

Women’s empowerment training has been the most remarkable thing that ever happened to me in the year 2014.


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 financially 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.


The grant has made me 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 [...]
1 09, 2014

U-TOUCH Launches New Women’s Empowerment Program

By |

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 [...]

15 08, 2014

U-TOUCH Opens First Technology Innovation Hub in Gulu, Uganda

By |

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 [...]

3 06, 2014

Welcome Summer 2014 Interns!

By |

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.



GraceGrace 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. [...]

14 04, 2014

A new way to support U-TOUCH!

By |

Shop at AmazonSmile and Amazon will make a donation to U-TOUCH!


Amazon Smile

3 03, 2014

Compassion to Passion!

By |

Deborah Plotkin speaking at  TEDx San Diego in February 2014

Deb Plotkin: Born and raised in New York City, with the tragic loss of her father early in life, Deborah learned to be strong at an early age, turning hardship into resilience and opportunity. Through her work, she established her path and passion for giving a voice to those in need and a way to fulfill their dreams. Deborah initially became an advocate to give that voice to children with autism. After she and her husband spent years facing challenges trekking mountains in the US, the Himalayas in Nepal, Ecuador and Tanzania, Deborah’s drive and determination to help others only grew. The lessons on the way to the summit were adding up. After facing unexpected storms and avalanches, yet conquering the peaks, it was time to give back. Deborah was instrumental in the fundraising efforts [...]