Coope Information Centre, one of the longest standing BOSCO-Uganda sites, is currently thriving with an active volunteer base, plenty of locals wanting to be trained, and expansive plans for the future. In fact, the local community is so invested in this project that some members of the community have come forward and donated their own land to the project for future use to build a larger structure to house the ICT equipment.
The Coope Information Centre was first installed as one of the original BOSCO sites in 2007. Office space was rented in a small, humble room just off the side of the main road going through what was then Coope IDP camp with thousands of residents. Today, the IDP camp has cleared and Coope has once again become the local trading centre for the surrounding villages while the ICT centre has expanded with more equipment to try to meet increasing demand from the local residents.
Dedicated and trained BOSCO ICT volunteers currently hold regular classes to teach their fellow community members vital 21st century ICT skills. One demographic that has especially benefited from this training is out-of-school youth. Formal schooling is an expense many high school aged youth are not able to meet. Fortunately, BOSCO-Uganda volunteers are able to train these youth to gain valuable ICT skills which can then translate into future careers.
Oling Kenneth is a local youth involved in computer repair work at the Coope site. He is training fellow youth in computer repair work despite the fact that he has never had formal training himself. Volunteering for BOSCO-Uganda has given him valuable “on-the-job training” which he has generously passed on to the next generation. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgKAp_6mvEI&feature=plcp]
Coope Information Centre is just one example where the local community has invested their time and talents to learning valuable new skills in the emerging field of ICT in rural Uganda. The self-determination of all of those volunteering and working to improve their own lives and lives of their fellow community members has been inspiring. Keep up the good work Coope!