Kampala, Uganda | ISAAC KHISA | As the world commemorates International Women’s Day, Hello World, a UK-based charity is making a mark in boosting digital skills in Uganda.
The organization has built 49 ‘Hello Hubs’ countrywide: thirteen located in the Nakivale refugee settlement, fourteen in the central region, eight in the northern region, and fourteen in the western region.
The solar-powered, outdoor, internet-connected computer kiosks have been designed to provide communities with hardware, power, educational software and can be repaired and maintained by the community.
They have also been set up to give people the opportunity to connect with the world, have a voice in their community, educate themselves, and begin their journey towards economic empowerment.
One of the beneficiaries, Brenda Kebirungi, based at one of the digital Hubs said she has benefited immensely from the Hello Hubs built near her locality in Gweri, Kadaali Village, North Division in Fort Portal City.
“Before the Hello Hub was built in our community, I couldn’t speak in public. Now I do,” she said during a recent interaction.
“There are quite many changes in this community, the Hello Hub has helped many people to improve their lives for example; the children who couldn’t go to school, they can now read, they can also write, people are charging their phones freely, they are enjoying free internet, making research either through their tablets or smartphones.”
She said Hello World has provided numerous life skills to residents including leadership, computer and interviews.
This development comes as data from the UN Women’s Gender Snapshot 2022 report shows that women’s exclusion from the digital world has shaved $1 trillion from the gross domestic product of low- and middle-income countries in the last decade a loss that will grow to $1.5 trillion by 2025 without action.
The U.N. recommends that a gender-responsive approach to innovation, technology and digital education can increase the awareness of women and girls regarding their rights and civic engagement.
The UN believes that advancements in digital technology offer immense opportunities to address development and humanitarian challenges and to achieve the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals.
This year’s International Women’s Day celebration has been themed: ‘DigitALL: Innovation and technology for Gender Equality.’
Very nice and encouraging