The African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) and the Katine Community Partnerships Project have developed a remarkable community media resource center in Katine, Uganda. The resource center not only improved computer literacy for the village people, but also gave a sense of community within the area. Many local residents simply utilized the center to explore what it’s like to click a mouse or to explore through endless web-pages available to them on the Internet. This successful media resource hub has already taught 137 young students basic computer literacy. Local residents are always eager to go back in their spare time to further improve basic computer skills.
Unfortunately, AMREF is expected to leave Katine next year and crucial unanswered questions still need to be addressed. AMREF has managed to form a seven-member committee made up of volunteers to take their place. The voluntary committee is struggling to persevere through financial shortcomings in order to upkeep the facility and the computer equipment. In addition to the expenses, the center does not have a budget for the regular volunteers who put in countless hours to train the community members. Therefore, the motivational spirit for these volunteers to stay is slowly fading.
John Ogalo, the leader of the seven-member committee, is determined to develop a plan to sustain the facilities needs. His committee needs to strategize what Katine, Uganda must do to keep the local computer center alive because without a thought out plan, the center will inevitably fail. Ogalo along with many others have hope for the resource center and believe that this will be the stepping-stone to a bright future for the residents in Katine. The resource center is one of many simple, yet powerful strategies for development in places like Uganda. Ogala’s management committee strives to initiate a sustainable plan for the innovative media resource center at the heart of Katine.
– Daphne Jeon