Climate Change

Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. People are experiencing the significant impacts of climate change, which include changing weather patterns, high temperature levels and many more extreme weather events. Climate change is a global challenge that does not respect national borders.We need an urgent action to address climate change and achieve a sustainable future for this and future generations. We need to take collective responsibility and stand against all activities that are causing this climate change to make this world a better place for each and every one. 

We focus on making Ugandans better.

 

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Computers are becoming common in Uganda especially in urban areas. Many offices and academic institutions provide internet for their clients and students respectively. A small percentage of high and middle class Ugandans have acquired modems with huge data packages for internet access leaving out those who can’t afford them. Computers are very common in towns especially in offices and schools compared to villages. However it’s only the urban community that has the opportunity to learn how to use the computers since it’s where they are accessible. This is the main reason why Maendeleo Foundation invented an innovative Mobile Solar Computer Classroom to address problems like limited hands on technology in rural communities by making computers available to people of all ages to expose them to technology and also make them associate with the rest of the world since it’s now a global village.

Written By

Kiddawalime Isaac

ICT Trainer

SHARING KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

Understanding student’s problems is a very crucial part in the learning process. Poor performance is one of the biggest challenges in most schools. Poor performance comes due to problems like poor reading and writing skills. Through our ICT training in schools, we have been able to come up with peer to peer learning as a solution to address this problem.We started by creating a collaborative learning environment where sharing knowledge and learning from each other is encouraged among the students. Since students had the desire to learn ICT, this was a very good beginning point. We started  by identifying quick learners and average learners and  grouped them with students with learning difficulties. This made sure that they all learnt from each other since they all had different learning abilities.

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A few weeks later, we realized that  those who were scared to even touch the computers at the beginning had started touching them and following what their friends were telling them to do in addition to getting some guidance from the trainers.Most of them were happy and excited to see this happening.

Apart from improving their performance, students have also developed skills such as; working collaboratively with others, leadership, problem solving, sharing, communication, critical thinking and how to make friends.

Peer to Peer learning is becoming  increasingly important and  is being used in a variety of disciplines in many countries.

Maendeleo Foundation continues to employ different strategies  so as to address even the most difficult problems that prevent learners from exploiting their  full potential  through using ICT.

Written by:

Kiddawalime Isaac (ICT Trainer Maendeleo Foundation)

A Visual Update From Our School Program!

We concluded our term two 2016 successfully on 2nd September 2016. Today, we would like to share with you a few photos from the end of the term!

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The term was filled with exciting topics for our students. Some classes had fun with the paint game, keyboard game and Easy Typing Puzzle and from this they acquired basic computer skills that will help them when we introduce new computer programs next term.

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Click here to see one of the final products of Maendeleo’s school term, a beautiful certificate designed and created by the students!

With our students that were using Microsoft Office Word during their practical lessons, they covered various topics such as typing, editing, inserting pictures, tables, designing certificates, typing letters among others. Maendeleo Foundation is delighted to share with you some of the exciting moments our students had in the various schools under the School Program.

Feel free to contact us in case your school or community needs our services on +256 790 910 737 or Email: info@maendeleofoundation.org .

My Maendeleo Experience

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My name is Nansubuga Rebecca. I am a third year Student at Kyambogo University receiving my Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Finance. I just completed the Basic Skills computer training at the Maendeleo Foundation Training Centre.

I first used a computer when I was in senior one. At university we also do an ICT module but it was not comprehensive so I did not get enough practical skills. I decided to look for a computer training centre where I could gain practical computer skills because I realized these computer skills would help a lot with my coursework and research at the university.

My guardian knew about Maendeleo Foundation, so when talked to him about getting computer skills, he advised me to come to their Computer Training Centre. I joined Maendeleo Foundation Computer Training Centre because I was convinced it could meet my ICT requirements.

From my training at Maendeleo Foundation I acquired skills in the following:

  • Using Microsoft (MS) Word
  • Using MS Excel
  • Using MS Point
  • Typing Skills
  • Printing
  • Connecting a projector to the computer
  • Using the Internet

I plan to use the acquired skills mainly for my own benefit. For example, I believe the internet will help me so much with my course research work at the university. In the future (after university), I plan to use these skills for record keeping in business. I also want to learn Graphics Designing to be able to design logos.

I appreciate the wonderful work done by the trainers because I have gained a lot of skills in the period I have trained at Maendeleo Foundation and I would refer it other people who need computer skills training.

Nansubuga Rebecca has excelled in her computer training at the Maendeleo Training Centre in Mukono. In her final days with us she used her newly acquired computer skills to write this blog post. Thank you, Rebecca.

By Nansubuga Rebecca

 

Technology and health working hand in hand

Can you imagine going to a hospital to figure out if you had broken a bone without access to an X-ray machine, or determining if you had a rare illness without a medical test? Luckily, these important medical tools are available to you because of one thing: technology. Without technology, we wouldn’t have highly developed machinery in hospitals, effective medications, accurate tests for illnesses, or digital medical records. All of these things have been made possible by technological advances over time.

Now, through technology and ICT, we are pleased to see that the Internet and other networks are being used to spread health information. All it takes is a few minutes and a Google search to find anything from the symptoms of Hepatitis to the treatment for malaria. And, best of all, using the Internet for health information is nearly cost-free. Individuals who may have avoided going to a hospital or health clinic for financial reasons are able to investigate their illnesses online and then determine if a doctor’s visit is necessary. Some organizations and professionals are referring to this new form of technology as HIT, or Health Information Technology.

In addition, there is a new wealth of information on preventative medicine available. Preventative treatments include things such as antimalarial tablets, vaccinations, and even a healthy diet and exercise schedule. While traditional corrective medicines treat illnesses one has, these preventative treatments are intended to stop an individual from ever getting an illness, and information on these preventative treatments can be found online as well. The Internet is being used to help people determine how to cure their ailments, but also to promote general health and healthy lifestyles.

So, what resources should one use to find health information online? A few reliable sources are www.webmd.com, where you can enter your symptoms into their “symptom checker”, and www.cdc.gov, which provides information on common diseases across all regions of the world. You should always verify the validity of a source before trusting it. For example, a government or United Nations website is likely very credible and has done adequate research, but it is not advisable to take health information from online chat groups, forums, or personal blogs.

As we recognize World Hepatitis Day, Maendeleo Foundation would like to encourage everyone to continue using the Internet for not only personal use, social communication, and employment, but also to improve your life and health! ICT is an ever expanding field, and we should take advantage of all of its benefits.

Happy World Youth Skills Day!

As we observe World Youth Skills Day, let us focus on giving skills to the youths in every way possible. Skills can simply be defined as the ability and capacity to carry out an activity. They come from training, experience, talent(s) or practice.

Most emphasis is put on academic (theoretical) training while the other forms of giving skills are suppressed. For example, many schools focus on examinable subjects because they can quantify students’ ‘skills’ with marks and grades.

In addition to theoretical learning, there are also hands-on, practical ways to gain skills. The practical part of academic training is still a new emphasis for some schools, which still leaves a knowledge gap. Unfortunately, some students leave school with only theory and no practice/experience. The more practice one has, the more experienced or skilled one gets.

Skills in particular academic fields are acquired through internships and volunteering. When we teach computer literacy through our Maendeleo courses in schools, we first teach theory so that the students can understand computers and technology, but most of the time the students engage in practical learning while they try out new skills on the computer.

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These Maendeleo pupils take a break from theoretical learning to practice drawing diagrams for their fellow classmates. Having the chance to show off their drawing and teaching skills is great for their confidence in the classroom.

Skills can also be developed by promoting one’s talent. Many schools and organizations promote youth skills such as sports, music, dance, and drama. These are great programs that can help boost creativity and talents in students!

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Students at a local primary school are given the opportunity to dance and sing for a special occasion during the school day. Taking time away from theoretical learning can actually increase creativity, attention, and interest for students! 

Many parents and schools take advantage of opportunities to enhance youth skills. For instance, during holidays parents can take their children to soccer academies so as to equip them with soccer basics which lays a foundation for good footballers. The same should be done for many other fields like music, cooking, and making crafts. A 12-year-old who can perfectly play a musical instrument will attract a lot interest and hence will succeed in life. A lot of people earn a leaving from skills such as crafts making, soap making, or tailoring.

Maendeleo Foundation contributes to skilling the youth so as to bridge the skills gap. Some of its skill-based programs include but are not limited to the following:

  • ICT training packages for people of all ages
  • Business and entrepreneurship training
  • Work readiness training where youth are equipped with skills for writing CVs, application letters, interview skills, communication skills

We are happy to have the opportunity to enhance youth skills with our programs, and are excited to see that the need for youth skills is being recognized by more parents, teachers, and organizations every day!

Maendeleo Foundation Executive Director recognized as prominent leader in the education technology field

Congratulations to our Co-Founder and Executive Director, Asia Kamukama, for being recognized as a leader in education technology by the Makers and Shakers Education Technology Index!

Asia and Maendeleo Foundation as a whole are recognized alongside other reputable and international foundations such as Duolingo, Khan Academy, Girls Who Code, and LEGO Education. We are honored to be grouped with such esteemed foundations working in the education technology field.

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The selection process was strategic and competitive, as only fifty ‘thought leaders’ are featured in the index and they have been selected by a committee of renounced professionals within the field. As Makers and Shakers explains on their website, they aim to highlight organizations that are creating innovative and meaningful uses for technology in education.

The Makers and Shakers Education Technology Index wrote the following: “Asia has been actively promoting basic literacy and the use of ICT for Development in Ugandan schools and communities for nine years. As Co-Founder and Executive Director of Maendeleo Foundation Uganda, she has been actively involved in building the organization’s structure and designing innovative and relevant programs and projects. She has been a key person behind award-winning projects.”

Congratulations, Asia, and thank you for your constant dedication and leadership! We cannot wait to see what wonderful things you do next.

Visit http://www.makersxshakers.com/laureate/asia-kamukama/ to see the featured profile on Asia and Maendeleo Foundation.

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My life changed because of Computer

Those who have fully attended our ICT training sessions have a complete Practical education and a specific line of work fitting into them to earn a livelihood. Kakembo Paddy trained with Maendeleo Foundation Advanced Computer Training and Incubation Center during his senior six vacation. Between December 2012 and March 2013, Paddy completed training in basic computer skills, graphic design, and digital photography. He was able to receive this training because of a full bursary offered to him by Maendeleo Foundation. Paddy uses the computer skills he learned to work as a photographer and photo editor with Events Guru (one of the leading photography and videography and  studios in the heart of Kampala), and to pay for his Bachelors of Commerce degree from Makerere University. Below is an interview with Paddy.

 

Question: Tell me about yourself.

Answer: My name is Paddy Kakembo. I was born in December 1992, which make me 23 years old. Right now I am a photographer and editor, and am also pursuing a degree in Bachelor of Commerce at Makerere University.

 

Q: Which schools did you attend?

A: I attended Nalusse Primary school and Bishops Senior Secondary School (for O’level and A’ level).

 

Q: When & where did you start using computers?

A: I first used computers in my O’level but was not efficient. I only became efficient after I joined the Maendeleo Foundation Training Centre during my senior six vacation in 2012.

 

Q: Why did you choose Maendeleo Foundation over other computer training centres?

A: I chose Maendeleo Foundation for computer skills training for a number of reasons. The Maendeleo Foundation Training Centre was near my home so I needed no transport. Also, there were sensitization activities the organization carried out about its services which convinced me to visit their office to see what they taught. These included posters & fliers. After asking around, I realized they were cheaper than all the other places.

 

Q: What training course(s) did you complete at Maendeleo Foundation and how much did you pay for each?

A: First I enrolled for the Basic Skills Training which covered Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the internet. I later did graphics designing and photo editing using Photoshop. All of these were hands-on, skills based courses. For all the courses, I didn’t pay any money because I was given a full bursary.

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Q: How did you end up at Events Guru?

A: I joined Events Guru through a cousin. She was also in her S.6 vacation and was working with a company near Events Guru studio in Mukono. At that time, Events Guru need someone who could use Photoshop. I was about to complete my graphics design course at Maendeleo Foundation so I went to Events Guru and after discussions with them I realized the company was doing the same things I had studied at Maendeleo. So, the computer skills in Photoshop were an added advantage.

 

Q: Has photo editing helped you in any way since you started out? What have your achieved using your computer skills from the Maendeleo Foundation?

A: Photography and photo editing helped me a lot. I have used these skills to earn a living and pay for my Bachelor’s degree at Makerere, I have made friends at different levels, I have met many different (big) personalities and talked to them, and I have also got the opportunity to move to many places within and outside Uganda. I have managed to teach other individuals, which makes me proud.

 

Q: What is your inspiration for keeping in this industry or field?

A: First I like what am doing, which I liked even before joining media production. I also have a dream of starting my own company in the future. The field is also well paying.

 

Q: What do you dislike about this career?

A: Some people don’t want to pay after service delivery, and some people undermine this career.

 

Q: How would you describe a good photographer or photo editor?

A: A good photographer or editor is one who is willing to learn and make research about what is trending or new on the market at a given time. One who is willing to accept and learn from their mistakes and do the right thing. He/she should also be a good time manager.

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Q: What else do you do apart from working at Events Guru?

A: Mainly I study at Makerere University. Sometimes people give side photo editing jobs which I do when not at work and at the university. On a few occasions I managed to get contracts for my own functions like covering weddings, introductions, graduation functions, and birthday parties which bring extra income.

 

Q: Where do see yourself in, say, five years?

A: In five years I will be 28 and will have finished my Bachelors’ degree. I will be able to save more because I am currently using my savings to pay for my studies. I plan to be self-employed with my own business and able to train other people in photography and videography. I will achieve this using my savings.

 

Q: How do you spend your free time?

A: I watch football and movies. I also research for tutorials to broaden my photography knowledge. This has helped me improve the quality of my work and know about other applications like Adobe Lightroom.

 

Q: How are you using your computer skills to help other youths/people?

A: I use the computer skills to train other interested individuals and to help anyone who approaches me for help with a problem I can solve. This also makes me proud.

 

Appreciation

I would like to appreciate what Maendeleo Foundation did for me and for a job well done.

Stephen, one of Paddy’s work mates since 2015, says Paddy is hardworking, friendly, always stands for what he wants, and is very focused when it comes to work. The Maendeleo Foundation would like to congratulate Paddy on his hard work and successes.

21st Century Refugees and Their Access to Technology

As we recognize the United Nations’ World Refugee Day, one of our former interns, Jake Lockledge, offers his insights on the conditions faced by refugees in Uganda. Jake is an International Studies major at the University of Michigan and is currently completing research on refugees’ access to technology within the UNHCR Nakivale refugee settlement. 

Since the General Assembly voted in December of 2000 that June 20th would be internationally recognized as World Refugee Day, a lot of things have changed. The world is more energy-efficient, social media has reshaped communication, and Jose Chameleone made his debut. But, a fair amount hasn’t changed. People still battle prejudice, income gaps continue to rise, and Yoweri Museveni is still the president of Uganda.

In 1951, the international community defined what it meant to be a refugee and in 2000 they decided to recognize refugees’ struggle annually. Forced migrants have not somehow migrated in a world outside our ever-changing society; rather they have experienced its changes with brutal force and now find themselves navigating entirely new lives in new countries.

Uganda plays a central role in the protection of refugees within the East African community. Over 477,000 asylum seekers and refugees have crossed Uganda’s borders to reside in a country surprisingly dedicated to their well-being. Uganda’s Office of the Prime Minister allocates plots of land to refugees to encourage economic participation, subsistence, and development. While the government’s treatment of refugees is by no means perfect, and their policies could be adjusted, I think their program has particular merit given the culture it rests in and the world surrounding it.

One of the biggest changes that has come in the 16 years since World Refugee Day became recognized is technology. There is an app for everything, the world relies on Twitter feeds and Facebook posts, and “do you have the Wi-Fi password?” has become an extremely common phrase. The situation is no different for refugees. Technology influences the way people communicate, gather information, and share that information for the benefit of others. People who have been forced out of their home nation have to familiarize themselves with the unfamiliar. Internet-enabled smart phones and computers offer a chance to be connected with the world, so that task becomes marginally less daunting. They can answer important questions such as: What rights do refugees have in Uganda? What crops grow in Western Uganda during the dry season? What is the political condition of South Sudan? Technology also offers employment opportunities. Those with programming abilities, and even basic skills like typing and printing, have opportunities to secure wage earning professions as secretaries or computer technicians.

This World Refugee Day, I invite you to consider the work of the Maendeleo Foundation, striving for computer literacy across Uganda. Now, imagine if it were able to reach beyond nationals.  What if refugee settlements contained computer literacy programs? What if we capitalized on a government mindset that seems to prioritize the sustainability of its refugee populations? A lot has changed in the past 16 years; perhaps it is time for refugees’ ability to access technology to do the same.

Jake Lockledge, ’17