MY DAYS AT RICNET AS AN ICT INTERN
Charity Bosco, ICT intern from Ndejje University, 2012.
When I told people that I was going to do my internship at RIC-NET many used to ask me that “is it an internet cafe?” This was because of the word ‘NET’. Even me when I was first told to go and try RIC-NET for internship placement, I thought it was an internet solution center. This was before I joined it for my internship but now I know it well.
Located on Mugurusi road in Fort Portal town, RIC-NET is an organization whose major activity is information sourcing and dissemination to the community through its affiliate centers which include: Bwera information center (BIC), Busongora rural information center(BRIC), Kamwenge community information center (KACOICE), Kyaka rural information center (KRIC) and Semuliki information center. Its Vision is “a society effectively using ICT for timely access and utilization of relevant information for development and governance”.
My internship began on 4th, June with orientation by the Program manager Ms. Kyomuhendo Joselyne where I got to understand RIC-NET better. And each time that went on I got more dissolved into RIC-NET’s environment and excited about it. While at RIC-NET I learnt a lot from the day to day work assigned to me and from the training sessions conducted by the ICT Officers.
Allow me to go ICT; I will not talk about what I used to do as an ICT intern but what I learnt from RIC-NET and about it’s ICT activities/operations. I discovered that RIC-NET is engaged in designing and running a number of online platforms. WEBSITES; RICNET has engaged in designing and updating websites for different districts and organisations. Some of the websites it designed or updated include: www.ricnet.co.ug, www.kabaroledistrict.go.ug, www.kasese.go.ug, www.uchaguzi.co.ug which was used for election monitoring. From this I got the chance to know the tools used to design most of these websites. That is joomla and wordpress.
And by the way, RICNET has not only stopped on website designing, it has also gone ahead, to do web hosting. For more information visit www.rwenzoriweb.com.
Similarly I learnt about blogging: RIC-NET designs and runs blogs. This is to enhance information sharing through the daily updates on activities done. I learnt that anyone or any institution can run a blog. Personally I developed my own blog through which I am sharing my personal experiences with friends, www.chrtbscbosco.blog.com
Other on-line platforms that run at RIC-NET include, D-GROUPs, where members to the group initiate a discussion on the development/service delivery issues in the district, www.dgroups.org, Bulk Sms; key messages are sent to the community with just a single click of the button. I call up on the community to stop worrying about mobilization of communities. RIC-NET is the ideal place for you for each message cost just 45sh. It is cheap, faster, and reliable and reaches many people instantly. The platform can be reached on www.ricsms.com.
Other social Media championed at RIC-NET include: Skype; U-report, Twitter, and Face book. During my orientation opened a Skype account and have since been using it to communicate internally with staff and externally with friends. I learnt that skype is one effective channel to communicate and or share documents. At RIC-NET “Skype” is the word of the day and one platform that every staff can’t do without.
Apart from online platforms, I also learnt that RIC-NET is involved in the setup and running of information centers at district headquarters inform of e-society centers. This has already been done in Kasese and Kabarole and yet to kick off in Bundibugyo, Kamwenge and Kyegegwa. E-societies (electronic society) are district information centers that get information from the local government and disseminate it to the local people. They involve private sector, civil society and local government.Precisely I have a lot as far as ICT is concerned, administration and organizational operations. I will forever be grateful to RIC-NET for giving me the opportunity to train with them. Honestly I had a fantastic time at RIC-NET.