BOSCO staff and volunteers use the sites in our network as staging grounds for a wide variety of community programming. Currently we focus mainly on digital skills training, digital archiving/preservation, and support for entrepreneurial ventures that leverage access to digital technologies.
Web 2.0 Training
BOSCO Uganda trains ICT through innovative Web 2.0 training. Collaborating from the start with local and international partners, these user groups document their stories, articulate their needs, and propose local solutions. In the process, they learn and improve their ICT skills. All this is done using collaborative tools like Wikispace, VoIP telephones and the Google suite. Following the Trainers of Trainer (ToT) model, each trained volunteer is responsible for training other users. This ensures that information is shared effectively throughout the community.
Documenting local stories in northern Uganda is the first step towards creating a collaborative environment where users restore attention to war-scourged cultural elements, enable greater cultural sensitivity from remote partners, and safeguard against the loss of cultural diversity. User groups are trained to produce photo essays and use Picasa and Flickr to store their pictures. Sharing their stories with the world has been a form of therapy in itself, helping users recover from the trauma of war.
Connecting Community Sites
BOSCO Uganda has established a collaborative network through an internal (Intranet) content management site, a VoIP telephony system and a collaborative Wikispace page (www.bosco-uganda.wikispaces.com). This has enabled projects like the BOSCO Uganda classroom-to-classroom project, which has linked schools in the US to rural schools in northern Uganda. Students and teachers map and test water sites and share results through intelligent mapping on the Wikispace.
Income Generating Activities
Rural site users have been trained to type, scan and photocopy documents. Community members are then charged a small fee for these services. This has enabled user groups to contribute and support their Internet site. Each site team is trained in basic finance practices, such as cash book management, to support their work and ensure accountability.