Hope North after a year
We recently visited the Hope North school to launch new technology, and plan future work to bring the benefits of Technology for Good to young victims of Uganda’s civil war.
Occasional downpours of heavy rain marked the long drive from the capital of Uganda, Kampala, to Hope North secondary school*. Back in Sweden it was mid-summer and so in some ways, the scene was familiar, but we were very anxious about arriving late and how this would affect the evening’s program.
We were visiting the school, which educates young victims of Uganda’s civil war, to launch TV for Good. Despite the weather, some 200 people from the local community turned up and stayed for the entire screening of the movie “Invictus”, which was followed by dancing and good spirits all around.
From an Ericsson perspective, it was also a first hand demonstration of what our TV Anywhere platform can bring to remote, bandwidth-challenged areas. It also showed how a platform for enabling TV can also be used to deliver educational and other content for our project with Hope North, where we are assisting with access to ICT and various applications of technology.
The next day we met again with the youth that are enrolled in the program to hear how the last year had progressed in terms of basic ICT skills, and to discuss their future learning needs. All the basic challenges were present – lack of power, network outages – and we have consistently worked to tackle these challenges one by one. In the preceding months we assisted in getting a solar power system installed at the school, which has had a great impact, powering not just the computer center, but also the girls’ dormitory.
Forest Whitaker then led a discussion among the students on Invictus – about what it meant in terms of peace building and how the lessons learned could apply to their own environment and their role as peacemakers in the Youth Peacemaker Program. They examined the poem Invictus from their own perspectives, and shared views on what it meant and how Mandela was able to use sports to unite a nation – highly recommended, in case you haven’t already seen it!
Our journey with Hope North continues. Next on our agenda is to structure the ICT learning sessions for the youth, where our own staff are committed to sharing their skills and knowledge to make an impact by using Technology for Good.
*Hope North educates young victims of Uganda’s civil war, including orphans and former child soldiers.