Bosco is committed to the mission of overcoming the isolation suffered by the people of Northern Uganda.

I am deeply grateful and encouraged by the manner of cooperation between The Archdiocese of Gulu, Horizont3000 and Unicef. Bosco USA stands ready to collaborate by sharing technical expertise and the search for resources to continue further deployments to the areas not yet connected to our system.We also are building communities through Web2.0 collaboration. These communities already participate in peacebuilding and development.The expansion of Bosco will further expand the reach of these communities.

-Gus Zuehlke, president Bosco USA

BOSCOUganda and UNICEF have signed a funding agreement focusing on the further expansion of the ICT activities in Northern Uganda.

The project “Connecting Rural Youth – ICT for Participatory Development” is designed for a period of 7 months, beginning in August 2009. Its helps BOSCOUganda to further foster and intensify its computer and internet related activities for rural communities.

The project objective reads as follows:
“Creating access to information and communication technologies to girls and boys in and out of school in order for them to share experiences with other young people in Northern Uganda and the world and access international databases and information to increase their knowledge and enhance their learning so that they can participate in the proposed youth forum for the 2010 African Union Summit in Uganda while expanding their opportunities to engage in the future development of their region and country.”

More computer trainings for rural youth
Through the funding of UNICEF, BOSCOUganda can now start enhanced trainings for the computer users, especially for the young people in the rural ICT centers. Furthermore the project will involve a total of 8 sites who will be fully connected to the wireless internet network, equipped with computers and solar power, and participate in the Web2.0 training programme.

BOSCOUganda proofs its reliability
“The new partnership with UNICEF has proven our reliability and shows that we are ready to cooperate with international organizations”, says Fr. Joseph Okumu, Executive Director of BOSCOUganda. It’s a great success for BOSCOUganda and also a strong signal towards the quality of the work of the organization in ICT for rural communities – and hopefully just the first step of more support and partnerships coming up in the future.

It all started early 2007 when a civil servant from Austria was sent to Gulu through HORIZONT3000 in order to support BOSCOUganda and the rural ICT project.

At that time the first phase of the wireless internet – solar power – computer installations in rural Northern Uganda was almost done. People in several displacement camps started using the new technologies to get in contact with the outside world and read newspapers through the internet. But it was also clear that more local support for maintenance and training was necessary in order to make that great idea of ICT in Northern Uganda a success in the long run.

HORIZONT3000 is the biggest Austrian Non-Governmental Organisation for Development Co-Operation, working in Uganda, Kenia, Tansania – and several other countries around the globe. Its main strategic areas include rural development as well as peace building and conflict transformation. And beside financial support to local organizations, HORIZONT3000 is running a personnel program – providing technical advisors and consultants to support capacity building of their partner organizations.

BOSCOUganda has become one of the most successful partners of the capacity building program of HORIZONT3000 in Uganda.

Although it started with a lot of challenges: When I came in as a Technical Advisor in 2008, there was still no real local structure, no staff beside the director Fr. Josef Okumu, no office, no transport, etc. My own “office“ was just a table and a chair at the veranda of the CTC Guest House in Gulu – nothing else. And it became worse: In August 2008 one of the main towers through which the project was connecting the rural internet centers, was bought up by a telecom company and could not be used from BOSCOUganda anymore. And as if that wouldn´t have been enough already, the main server in Gulu got hit through lightning as well – the whole internet connection to the rural sites was cut off.

But since then a lot has changed:
  • the whole internet network has been build up again and expanded to new locations,
  • the organizational structure of BOSCO in Uganda has been defined,
  • the organization is now operating with 5 local employees who are officially contracted by the Gulu Archdiocese,
  • a Strategic Plan has been developed, defining the way forward for the next years,
  • BOSCO has got a fully equipped office,
  • new partnerships have been established,
  • an accountability system has been developed providing regular update of the organizations financial status,
  • a local technician has been trained and is already doing further wireless installations on its own,
  • and so on…

HORIZONT3000 will continue supporting BOSCOUganda at least until the end of 2010. The Advisory Programme of HORIZONT3000 always focuses on strengthening local structures and training their staff. Our success is defined by the level of external support needed by our local partners: The more independent a local organsation can operate, and the less personnel support they need from outside – the more successful is our own work.

And BOSCOUganda is on its best way to proof being a success story of our advisory programme.

Stefan Bock
HORIZONT3000 – Austrian Organisation for Development Co-Operation
Technical Advisor of BOSCOUganda


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