At that time the first phase of the wireless internet – solar power – computer installations in rural Northern Uganda was almost done. People in several displacement camps started using the new technologies to get in contact with the outside world and read newspapers through the internet. But it was also clear that more local support for maintenance and training was necessary in order to make that great idea of ICT in Northern Uganda a success in the long run.
HORIZONT3000 is the biggest Austrian Non-Governmental Organisation for Development Co-Operation, working in Uganda, Kenia, Tansania – and several other countries around the globe. Its main strategic areas include rural development as well as peace building and conflict transformation. And beside financial support to local organizations, HORIZONT3000 is running a personnel program – providing technical advisors and consultants to support capacity building of their partner organizations.
BOSCOUganda has become one of the most successful partners of the capacity building program of HORIZONT3000 in Uganda.
Although it started with a lot of challenges: When I came in as a Technical Advisor in 2008, there was still no real local structure, no staff beside the director Fr. Josef Okumu, no office, no transport, etc. My own “office“ was just a table and a chair at the veranda of the CTC Guest House in Gulu – nothing else. And it became worse: In August 2008 one of the main towers through which the project was connecting the rural internet centers, was bought up by a telecom company and could not be used from BOSCOUganda anymore. And as if that wouldn´t have been enough already, the main server in Gulu got hit through lightning as well – the whole internet connection to the rural sites was cut off.
But since then a lot has changed:
- the whole internet network has been build up again and expanded to new locations,
- the organizational structure of BOSCO in Uganda has been defined,
- the organization is now operating with 5 local employees who are officially contracted by the Gulu Archdiocese,
- a Strategic Plan has been developed, defining the way forward for the next years,
- BOSCO has got a fully equipped office,
- new partnerships have been established,
- an accountability system has been developed providing regular update of the organizations financial status,
- a local technician has been trained and is already doing further wireless installations on its own,
- and so on…
And BOSCOUganda is on its best way to proof being a success story of our advisory programme.
HORIZONT3000 – Austrian Organisation for Development Co-Operation
Technical Advisor of BOSCOUganda