BOSCO Uganda’s pioneer volunteer gets ICT job
“Perseverance is not a long race; it’s many short races one after another,” — Walter Elliott
In 2008, with the help of funding from UNICEF, I embarked on training over a hundred formerly abducted youths, orphans, child mothers and teachers. One of my training sites is in Pabo village, 36kms north of Gulu town. Pabo is known for cultivating rice for subsistence farming and having accommodated an estimated 46,000 people in the area’s Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.
During these trainings, I used a Web 2.0 approach where students were expected to learn practical Web 2.0 applications emphasizing social networking and collaboration. My class was like a typical Universal Primary Education (UPE) class with close to one hundred students on only one computer. My only other teaching aid was a blackboard.
As months passed, a number of students excused themselves because of the difficult learning experience. Some of the youth resumed their commitment to alcoholism and scouting girls by the road side. A few teachers also dropped out from the program due to family commitments and personal reasons. Patience indeed is a virtue not for all. A number of youths persevered for the full eight months and qualified for level one (1) certificates. During my field visit back to Pabo today, two new staff members of Pabo Comprehensive Secondary School were being inducted on their new appointments in the school. One of them is the new head teacher, Mr. Okumu Charles, and the other is a pioneer of the BOSCO Volunteer program, Okwir Bosco. Okwir Bosco is a Senior Four drop-out of last year. He did not continue with his education due to inadequate financial support. However, Bosco is a beneficiary of the above described Web 2.0 training program in schools. With the skills acquired on how to use the Intranet, Internet, Wikispaces and google Mapping, he will be training more students on Web 2.0 applications as a full time staff member.
BOSCO Uganda’s mission is to provide innovative ICT solutions using a collaborative web based approach to foster socio economic development and peace building in northern Uganda. Bosco’s humble achievement is a true testimony of the realization of this dream. Bravo Bosco, Bravo BOSCO