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Center for Uganda Rural Empowerment (CURE) using Information and Communication Technology

Kyazanga community has all resources and requirements that flourishing communities have. In the past, depravity and poverty have taken a toll on the area, sending it into depression.

Joseph Lukwago with the Old Boys and Girls of Kyazanga Modern Primary School through Joy for Humanity are joining hands in a new project to bring this community to a thriving state which is going to be a practical example to the rest of the communities in Uganda.

The youthful team believes that the youth are the leaders of today and tomorrow and they can greatly assist in “building a community for a better tomorrow”.

They want to encourage and empower the youth with leadership skills that will promote the quality of life for themselves, their community and country at large.

   
Joseph imagining the future community we will have if we start using ICTs

Joseph a fresh graduate and a holder of a BsAIT (SMU-India) and Advanced Diploma in Software Engineering (Aptech Computer Education) believes that Information and knowledge can do wonders to change the face of the poor in rural, isolated and underprivileged regions.
If knowledge can make a difference, we’re going to test that. We are going to show that it can really make a difference.

For the past, Uganda has not been having an Information and Communication Technology ministerial post which has made us lag behind in this important sector. It’s just in 2006 that the government announced the creation of a ministry of ICT. With this ministry as a new born baby in Uganda, It will take the ministry many years to achieve its objectives because it wouldn’t differ from the stages a child goes through until he/she becomes a useful citizen of the country.

More still the growth of this ministry work is going to begin in urban areas and for the rural areas it is going to be a different story because without power supply in the rural areas, this ministry has to again wait for power!!

Mass poverty is having a devastating impact on our environment and economic growth, which also affects our ability to compete against countries with better physical infrastructure for connectivity, informed citizenry and more educated population for foreign direct investment, which we badly need to face a fiscal surplus.

Information Technology is the road, which must be brought to the doorsteps of the poor be it rural or urban regions. The poor should be given the equal opportunity to master the skill to use this technology to their advantage. We must design the information technology in such a way that a totally unprepared poor person can immediately get a hang of it without feeling threatened and convert acquired knowledge for his wealth creation.

There is no society or nation in the world, which is technologically backward and has attained widespread well-being, prosperity and economic power.

Having acquired the skills and knowledge in ICT, Joseph wants to use his knowledge not only to benefit him but to use the knowledge to make a difference in his community and the country at large.

Since Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have had a significant impact on the lives of people in the more affluent countries - bringing them closer together, making differences less important and amplifying economic activity and growth, Joseph and his team have come up with a project Center for Uganda Rural Empowerment (CURE) using ICT.

Kyazanga Scenario- Joseph always asks his fellow youth “what are your plans/aims in life”? The obvious answer is “planning to go to town in search of employment”. This is very common and ultimate dream of most of the rural young men.

When these youth get to cities, they do not want to go back to their villages despite of hardship, uncertainty and difficult living conditions in the cities. There is an urgent need to find out the reasons behind this non-stop rural-urban migration of young brains from villages and workout policies and strategies involving various stakeholders from Government, Non Government, Village councils and civil society groups.

CURE using ICT aims to improve quality of life and alleviate poverty among the disadvantaged rural community of Kyazanga which is going to act as a practical example and center to the rest of the Ugandan communities.

We aim at encouraging working families and people with mixed incomes to move into the rural community to provide social and economic empowerment by participating in all round economic development of the country which will benefit the area by reducing concentrations of poverty.
Other goals include providing support services, establishing high standards of personal and community responsibility and creating community partnerships.

One top of the list is connecting the community with the rest of the globe without changing their geographical boundaries by have a CURE Information Management System (CURE-IMS)
With CURE-IMS, we are going to have situational analysis and formulation of strategies for using ICT for community development. This is to make us grasp the socio-economic conditions of people’s lives in order to identify community needs and to formulate concise strategies for the utilization of ICT in the community.

The community people have knowledge and it is very important to understand it because knowledge is not something acquired only in schools but it takes different forms.

Using CURE- IMS, collected data/ information will be studied and analyzed to prepare a guideline for the strategies and action plan.

In conclusion, we believe that poverty which was initially defined as an income concept can simply be correlated with “Information Poor”.
“A more informed citizenry is in a better position to exercise its rights, and better able to carry out its responsibilities and increase their income level within the community and region”

Easy access to public and private information can reduce the chances of corruption; humiliation, can save time, money and can empower the poor.

The effectiveness of community empowerment therefore depends in part on poor people’s ability to empower themselves to access information and knowledge resources through which they are able to analyze situation, learn necessary skills, seek social justice and participate in equal economic opportunities.

“We can end up entering a new bright future if we redesign an information-oriented democracy of the next generation”

Prayer Request

  • Pray that the government of Uganda should strongly know that we can use ICT for the empowerment of the poor in the rural areas and lead them to the road of prosperity.
  • Also pray that the government policy should be poor-oriented rather than corporate- oriented that prevent many poor people from making use of ICT for their empowerment.
  • Pray for God’s wisdom to be upon this team to the accomplishment of this important task.
  • Pray for strength, courage, energy, sufficient supply for all the needs required in this project.
  • Pray for cooperation between different people and organization to stand with the team to the achievement of the project’s aims.
  • Pray for different people, organizations and ICT experts from all over the world to join hands with this team.

Practical approach to cause

  • You can volunteer to be part of the team during the period of data/information collection from the community people.
  • You can also assist in regular advice on how this project can successfully be carried out.
  • You can assist in the provision of transport facilities like motor bikes which are mostly going to be used by the team because of the poor infrastructure in the villages.
  • You can assist in the provision of computers, printers, photocopiers, scanners and other accessories which are going to be vital in setting up the Information and Communication Center which is very vital in this process.


Why is this project going to succeed?

This project is going to succeed because it’s headed by an IT professional who has also been involved in community development since his childhood.

The Local Council Leaders have greatly supported the use of ICTs for the community empowerment and sustainable poverty alleviation and they have promised maximum support and to work hand in hand with the team.

The leader of the team knows that victory is going to be achieved and the success of this project will bring glory to the name of the mighty Lord.

So never again can we confess that we can’t make it, for “We can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens us” Phil. 4:13 and…

Never will we confess lack, for “Our God shall sufficiently supply for all of our needs according to His riches in glory through Jesus Christ”. Phil. 4:19

God bless you.

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