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 [...]
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 [...]
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. [...]
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 [...]
I am Amaa Jennifer from Pader Town Council. I am currently working as a Secretary to the office of District Registrar Electoral Commission Pader District. Additionally, I care take the same office in the absence of my boss.
Prior to joining U-TOUCH Pader Center, I was working as Manager Posta Uganda Pader branch. I had no knowledge of computer then.
On the 5th January 2012 after learning of the free training ICT trainings at U-TOUCH Pader Center. I enrolled for the training. My expectation was to obtain the relevant computer skills to enable me acquire a good job with an attractive salary.
At U-TOUCH center Pader, I acquired skills in word processing, editing, formatting, and working with spreadsheets, presentations in powerpoint and web search using Google. My communication also improved because of access to internet.
After three months of training, I was confident that my expectation would soon come to pass. In April [...]
My name is Komakech Simon, 23, from Pader Town Council, Northern Uganda. Before Joining U-TOUCH, I was at an impasse. My chances of continuing to the higher Institution were uncertain. I was financially constrained to move further with my education. Then I got relieved when I heard an announcement about the free ICT training at U-TOUCH Center. I had no prior knowledge on computer. On receiving this good news, I began to dream of success because I knew that after attaining that training, I would find something to do and save money to further my education. I enrolled for the free ICT training on 4th February. My ambition was to attain working knowledge in Computer to prepare me for a job.
After the 3 month training, I realized that my life had been totally transformed. I had acquired the skills [...]
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 [...]
Earlier this month the U-TOUCH Gulu community decided that they would like to come together to share with the world that the people are so very happy with what U-TOUCH is doing on the ground. We also just so happened to have Bosmic Otim, an incredible Northern Ugandan singer songwriter on our team. We decided to host a street parade and concert to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of the U-TOUCH community and invite others to join the movement. It was incredible to see the large team of volunteers working so hard to organize the event. Sylvia Latim, Maria A., Bosmic, Williams, Patricia and many more were all instrumental in making the event a huge success! Bosmic Otim invited other talented singer songwriters including BS Labong, Pretty B, Joe Emrold, Maria A., and a group he has worked with named “Nile Republic”.