Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Information Technology Literacy for Youth Empowerment: Detonating a Ticking Time Bomb

Project #
University of Oklahoma
  • Robert "Bob" Okello

Information Technology Literacy for Youth Empowerment: Detonating a Ticking Time Bomb

Aiming to create a program that will have a positive impact on an expanding number of young Ugandans, Robert “Bob” Okello built a partnership with BINDEC Uganda, a community-based organization that works to develop skills and bring resources to promising young people, women and others.

Robert bought 10 new HP computers, and he secured a donation of $1,000 from the University of Oklahoma Alumni Association to cover shipping costs. Working in a village in the northern region of his country, he organized the renovation of a facility donated by the community, to serve as the project’s home and a BINDEC Uganda field office. Renovations included tiling, rewiring and painting; a local carpenter built furniture. A launch event for the new Digital Literacy Training Center drew almost 200 guests. By that time, 27 students, most of them school dropouts, had registered for the first training.

For the future, Robert writes, “BINDEC Uganda is committed fully to sustainably manage and expand the project, and assigned a manager to the center with a seasoned IT technician to do monthly maintenance tasks on the computers.” The biggest challenges, he adds, are to manage demand for the trainings — “there are only 10 computers at the center that must serve thousands of students” — and to develop a reliable, possibly solar power supply, with local electricity subject to frequent blackouts.

“We envision the project inspiring the rise of a new breed of ‘technopreneurs,’ to create innovative solutions to some of the most pressing challenges in their local communities and across Uganda,” Robert concludes.