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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I THANK RIC-NET FOR MY INTERNSHIP PLACEMENT





Kabugho Harriet
I’m so grateful to the staff and management of Rwenzori Information Centres Network for opportunity to train with you. I am particularly grateful for the technical support and learning that you have given to me.  Without the hands on experience and training by the ICT Officer- Yosia Baluku and Systems Administrator- Charles Asiimwe I would never have acquired the several skills that I have now. Among others I’ve learnt how to use different social media like Skype, twitter, bulk sms, and YouTube. I’ve also learnt networking and computer maintenance and the basics of video capturing and editing. . Also  I thank the Directors of RIC-NET for having availed me chance of conducting my internship from this organization ,a lot has been experienced during my working  and learning  at RIC-NET.
In the bid to boost the human resource capacity in the Rwenzori region and beyond, RIC-NET offers placement opportunities for students to train with them in ICT, administration, information and documentation. During my placement I learnt that RIC-NET is a great institution that is passionate about causing positive impact in the community in it’s different programs and interventions but specifically through the use of ICTs. 

Besides the ICT training I was engaged in field work, where I attended a training innovative methods of effective teaching of English in secondary schools. This was held at Verina gardens in Kasese and specifically targeted teachers of English from selected schools in Kasese and Kabarole districts. From this training I learnt how to facilitate and moderate sessions, and how trainings are conducted. In a related development, I was oriented on how to chair meetings, write minutes, activity reports and news stories. From this I have also been able to improve on my communication, writing and management skills. I am glad I was involved in these activities.
Being at RIC-NET has been a great experience and remarkable time for me in my education. I am certain that the skills and knowledge acquired give me an advantage and confidence to compete for jobs when the time comes. My time here has been of great value I would never take it for granted.
Great thanks go to all the RIC-NET staff for the hospitality, love and support. You were like family to me, I would never wish for another place other than this organization. God bless you.




Wednesday, July 17, 2013

HOW THE WEB BLOG TRANSFORMED MY ORGANIZATION’S STORY



Mr. Kiima Charles, Executive Director- RRHS

Rwenzori Rural Health Services (RRHS) is a community based organization (CBO) whose vision is to see every house hold having all the health amenities, acceptable health records and reduced morbidity and mortality rates in the community. In the bid to boost its capacity, skills and knowledge on community service, RRHS networks with several likeminded organizations. In the same vein, we reached out to RIC-NET to support us in the development and use of on-line platforms and other social media. The purpose of which was to acquire skills in the same to allow for a wider and faster sharing of information about RRHS activities with the outside world and to also match with the current IT trends, aka dot.com society.

I desperately wanted to have a website for my CBO and to learn how it operates. I pestered RIC-NET Director Mr. John Silco to orient me in this because I had previously seen him working on the Website for Kasese District. John later invited me to the E-Resource  Centre at Kasese  District Head quarters and introduced me to one ICT Officer Samuel Mukamba to me teach me what I needed to learn.

While at the E-Society Centre I learnt how to develop and use a web blog; I actually started with developing one for RRHS; http://rrhkasese.blogspot.com and also uploaded relevant organizational information and activity photos on it. Little did I know that this was the beginning of great visibility and growth for RRHS. It was our turning point as an organization. Immediately International friends and organizations started contacting us. They thanked us for our interventions, and expressed interest in supporting us.  For starters RRHS got a lot of on-line technical guidance from one Jim Chapman a project consultant based in the USA.  Jim’s guidance helped us in refocusing and improving our interventions for the better. We later received 363,000shilllings from Mithai Avondestonet in the USA for community rural medication free supply Program. With this we were able to extend free medical services to a bigger number in the community. As usual results were documented and shared on the blog. 

From our routine sharing another partner supported RRHS with 3,500.000 shillings for renovation of water springs in the community. This was aimed at improving access to safe and clean water by the community.

The pace had been set, many more institutions and persons that accessed our blog reached out to us and supported our different community I interventions; Volunteers without boundaries in the USA donated 10,000,000 shillings for starting a mini gravity flow scheme to run approximately 4.5 kilometers in Nyakabingo Village, Rukoki Sub County; meanwhile another partner donated approximately 12,000,000 million shillings for constructing a water reservoir tank to feed into the gravity flow scheme; in Oct 2011 the Dutch Organization too donated 14,000,000 million shillings  to construct a rural maternity centre.
The constructed rural maternity Centre
Other support was received from SNV. 

This offers capacity building to RHS in its advocacy for clean and safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene in ten primary schools in Kasese District. I am grateful to RIC-NET for equipping me with the knowledge and skills in the use of on-line platforms and social media that have enabled me to share our work and also attract support from all the above partners and more.
RRHS is equally grateful to all its partners and funders for their interest in it and support given, without which it would not have been able to cause positive impact in the community, and also register the various achievements. Among others RRHS is particularly grateful to the Foundation for Community Development and Empowerment (FCDE) in USA for awarding it a Certificate of acknowledgement of its good performance in community work. 

Apart from attracting funders, RRHS has also been instrumental in passing on these skills and knowledge to other institutions for instance it guided Miriam Medical Centre to develop and regularly update its weblog; http://miriammedicalcentre.blogspot.com/; which accordingly has in return enhanced the centre’s visibility on the services offered. I appeal to everyone to dedicate their efforts to community service and to value regular sharing of information using ICTs because the world seems to have moved in this direction as opposed to the traditional methods.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

KABAROLE HOLDS FIRST REGIONAL CHAMPIONS' DEBATE

The debate which was held on 13th July 2013 at Nyakasura school brought in a number of schools like St .Maria Gorret girls school, Kibiito secondary school, Fort portal secondary school, Mpanga secondary school, Rubona secondary, St Leos College Kyegobe, St Paul’s college and Kasese Muslim secondary school under the theme of Uganda at 50 basing on good governance.
There was an opening debate on the topic “this house believes that phones should not be used in schools" as a sub motion where by every school participated.
According to Joseph Tusiime a student at St. Leos College “phones should not be allowed in schools because of internet which eases student’s accessibility to pornography and he encouraged schools to set up telephone booths.
 The opening debate was won by the affirmatives that were in favor of phones not being granted in schools.
The second debate was based on the topic that Uganda’s education system will keep her underdeveloped. Each two schools were selected and allocated to different rooms to debate on the topic.
In room 1 where Strida was, Karungi veronica a student at St. Maria Gorret girl’s school who was negating said “their plan was to make education both theoretical and practical.
 Mr. Muhiigi premise from Kabarole research centre who was addressing the students asked them “how prepared are they to ensure their dreams come true. He also said their struggle is about poverty, human rights and also urged them to identify their role in the development of Uganda.
Conclusively, Nyakasura School emerged to be the winner of the day, Kasese Moslem secondary school the second, st Leos collage the third, and finally st Maria Gorret girls secondary school the fourth.



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

TEACHERS APPLAUD ICT INNOVATIONS IN TEACHING OF ENGLISH.



Charles Kaliba from RIC-NET training Teachers
Teachers from Kasese District have appreciated the new innovations in the teaching process using ICT tools. This was revealed during the two day refresher training that was held on 4th and 5th July 2013 at Kasese E-society Center Education Department of Kasese District Headquarters. The training was organized by Rwenzori Information centers Network [RIC-NET]. The ICT innovations in the teaching-learning of English have come as a plight to answer the low literacy level in schools where English is the key to the understanding of other subjects in secondary schools.

Mr. Felix from St. Theresa Girls SS presenting his sample lesson
According to Mr. Felix Kule the head of English Department St.Thereza Girls Secondary School, he shared that the potential for integrating speaking and listening, reading and writing has been enhanced by use of interactive multimedia resources. Most importantly, ICT engages pupils to work actively on language both when reading and writing and has the potential to highlight the way in which meaning is constructed. The innovations have helped to engage the learners effectively and reduce boredom even when the lesson is after lunch where people tend to doze.
According to Ms Hellen Mbambu the teacher of St.Charles Vocation Secondary School Kasanga, she mentioned that the new innovations have helped me to be more organized in her presentation of the lesson and lesson materials. The innovation require more time in research and reading which is important in increasing the knowledge of the subject matter. Teachers have been able to store properly their teaching content for future reference for other teachers who shall come after.

According to Ms.Edna Kunahimbire of Kilembe Secondary, she mentioned that an ICT oriented lesson has; ICT caters for Different learning Styles of learners, it increases the attention span of learners, and ICT offers flexibility of anywhere anytime learning”.
Teachers Sharing a light moment
In the closing remarks, the lead trainer Mr. Charles and Executive Director RIC-NET Mr. John Silco; the two asked the teachers to continue being creative and take the innovations in good faith in lesson preparation and presentation. Mr.Silco added that photo stories and Cineduc can easily be incorporated in other teaching practices and bring the learner to comprehend more the content of the lesson. Even the stubborn learners can easily be catered properly.