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Monday, October 12, 2015

RIC-NET MEETS THE BOD OF LIBERTY COLLEGE OF MANAGEMENT AND JOURNALISM-KASESE



The director RIC-NET stressing a point during the meeting.

The director of Rwenzori Information Centres Network Mr. Murugahara John Silco together with Miss. Kabugho Robinah on 9th .Oct.2015 met with the BOD of Liberty College of Management and Journalism in Kasese at the college premises to discuss the terms under which RIC-NET was to offer the college radio equipments. This meeting follows an earlier request that was made to RIC-NET by the college management on 20th .August. 2015 asking RIC-NET for support/ partnership towards strengthening their media department for effective information dissemination to communities and skills development among the learners at the training and education centre.
The college premises.
Liberty College of Management and Journalism is a product of Liberty Development Foundation (LIDEFO) established in 2004 as a vocational and professional training centre for the youth and adults from underprivileged backgrounds. The college was started in an effort to meet the demand for service. The college has a population of about 340 students of which 36 students are doing journalism. During the meeting, RIC-NET discussed which it was willing to support Liberty College as follows.
·       The college should show how RIC-NET as an organization is going to benefit.
·       RIC-NET is only willing to offer the equipments on condition that those equipments are going to be college owned not individual owned.
·       RIC-NET asked liberty college BOD members whether what is in between them is going to be a short term partnership or. If no, then the college should draw clear guidelines of how their relationship is going to work with RIC-NET.
·       RIC-NET is only willing to offer equipments if only Liberty College was also willing to be of help to the community members that RIC-NET supports in terms of availing to them skills like hairdressing, computer training among others.
·       RIC-NET is only willing to offer the equipments if Liberty College is willing to observe the conditions onto which RIC-NET have laid down for them to get a radio.
In responding to the conditions that had been put forth by RIC-NET, the BOD of Liberty College said it was;
·       Willing to work closely with RIC-NET
·       Willing to maintain the partnership that is existing between RIC-NET and Liberty College.
A simple radio transmitter Liberty College has been using for students' practicals.
·       Willing to support the community RIC-NET serves in terms of the necessary skills.
·       Willing to let RIC-NET do the managerial role of the radio as Liberty College does the administrative role.
As the meeting came to an end, RIC-NET asked the director Liberty College to come to the offices of RIC-NET to check to available equipments and see whether they would work out for the college.
                                     

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

U-REPORTING TAKES THE LEAD IN MAKING PEPOLES VOICES HEARD IN THE RWENZORI REGION

Proud to be U-reporters
As way of information sharing and dissemination, RIC-NET has taken an extra mile in emphasizing and encouraging the community to adapt to the new trend of U-reporting to discuss different sensitive issues and matters different communities. In the due course, U-reporting has turned everyone a watchdog in the society so as to have those in authority held accountable, monitor the developments in different areas, share and discuss different issues that even the most disadvantaged person’s voice will be heard.
The District Information Officer Ntoroko Districts displays out his U-report T-shirt

U-reporting is a free SMS system that allows one speak out his/her mind about what is happening in the community to the rest of the world to come up with a logical conclusion. As a saying goes “A problem shared, is half solved,” 

RIC-NET being supported by UNICEF continues to preach and encourage people embrace the new method of sharing information,to have their problems, grievances and complaints checked since those responsible will be held accountable using the  medium channels within their reach.

 It is everyone’s right and responsibility to adapt to the new method of information sharing and dissemination and make his/her voice  heard. Do not sit back to for wait your leaders to speak for you, JOIN U-reporting now and be a change agent in your community by texting “JOIN” to 8500.

ACCESS TO DATA AND INFORMATION FOR POVERTY ERADICATION

It’s approximately more than ten years since Uganda passed the Access to Information Act and following the United Nations new program of upholding to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) End poverty in all its forms everywhere,End hunger,achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture,Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages among others, Development Research and Training in conjunction with Rwenzori Information Centres Network have completely indulged in using information for poverty eradication platform under the umbrella of involving organizations and individuals in producing, processing, disseminating and sharing information for development. To implement this, the dual organized a half day workshop on 6th/October/2015 at St. Josephs Inn, Virika in Fort portal town on the role of information in development and the role and responsibilities of each stakeholder in ensuring an effective role of information in realizing Sustainable Development Goals.
Among those who attended the workshop were District Information Officers from the districts of Kabarole, Kasese, Ntoroko and Bundibugyo. Farmers and plant doctors were also present who discussed and shared a lot of information in regard to the primary objective of the workshop which was "to evaluate the impact of information in poverty eradication". Issues like technical people like the CAOs and LCVs should be involved in the ICT working world, information being something intangible, political leaders always do not take it as priority, access to information leads to an informed and empowered citizenry willing and able to make right decisions, media has played a significant role in information dissemination among others discussed. It was such an interactive exercise where farmers and plant doctors shared their experiences with the rest of the participants where they applauded the information centres like RIC-NET and BIC for supporting and empowering them with the ICT skills and gadgets which has enabled them to reach greater heights in their day to day farming activities. This was evident when Mr. Alex Thabulenga a beekeeper proudly exhibited his produce from bees and their products such as honey, propolise and bee venom among others. In his exhibition, he explained the prices of different bee products on both local and international market, their uses among others which knowledge he attributed to the use of internet and information centres from where he gets more information on how to carry on his farming whereas another one form Semuliki cooperative union in Bundibugyo that deals in cocoa shared his experience through which they have used ICT to connect their smaller cocoa growing primary units and so reach international Market.  
Mr. Thabulenga exhibiting his products from bees.
Threats and challenges such as competition, costly internet, limited knowledge on how to operate ICT tools such as smart phones, illiteracy, mobilization being difficult, inadequate tools and skills for capacity building, the law sometimes prohibits the giving of some information among others were all raised. The workshop was closed by the District Information Officer of Kabarole District who called upon the people to embrace change putting in mind the law, asked the CAOs to be involved in the ICT working environment and requested for registries in districts for more information dissemination.