Jokondino Okema of Pagak, working with students from Lacor, has begun to implement the water source mapping project. Each of the points on the map contains the results of a proof-of-concept water quality test, and a hyperlink to images and additional information about the water source. Students and teachers use GPS units to obtain longitude and latitude information. The location and water quality data are entered into a Google form embedded in a wiki page, which is automatically mapped each evening through This technology is teacher-friendly: the hope is that teachers will be able to create their own mapping projects using this same technology.

As partners of Voices of Africa, who recently won the World Bank Innovation Fair challenge, we will be heading to South Africa (albeit virtually) to mingle with other ICT/ICT4D experts!

Over at Project Diaspora, TMS Ruge responds to challenges from OLPC. A lot of what he says in this post makes me think of BOSCO-Uganda (as it is now and also where we want to see it go). I think a central question to the OLPC debate, as well as to the rampant spread of telecenters, is: "How do we provide technology while also offering value-add training that teaches a responsible and engaging use of technology over and above the basics?" Read more here.

Members of the Board of Directors of BOSCO-USA have spent the past week visiting BOSCO-Uganda projects. One of the main purposes of this visit was to introduce a new program called Classroom to Classroom Collaboration (C2C). Basically, science teachers in the USA and teachers in Uganda work together to collaboratively teach their students about data-gathering and analysis.

In order to generate content for the program, partner schools in the USA have raised funding for GPS and other equipment to test and track water sources in Pabo Secondary School, Lacor Secondary School, Lacor Primary Seven, and Pagak Primary School. The GPS unit is used to map the location of the water source on Google Maps, followed by testing. Results are posted on BOSCO's wikispace.

Funding for GPS equipment was kindly raised and provided by Robin Dirksen, a science teacher at Lead-Deadwood High School in South Dakota.

Here are some great photos from our trusty photographer, Justin, who was visiting with his father Tom Loughran, BOSCO-USA Board Member.

New Beginnings

It looks like I have some very big shoes to fill. The Bye Bye Bailey post made me realize how much Kevin has contributed over the years and become a part of the family. I hope I can offer a smalll slice of what he has!

I will join the BOSCO team in mid-March. With skills primarily rooted in journalism and communications, I look forward to building BOSCO's reputation and scope, as well as helping partner centers spread the word about their work.

More information on myself can be found on my blog and website. Kevin has been beyond helpful in helping me prepare and I can't wait to hit the ground running!


The time now is 1.15am .I have been on my bed, for the last 3hrs and there is no sign of sleep in my eyes. My only companion is my thoughts of your absence in the team and what the first day in office without you meant, so I chose to write this tribute.
Today, I arrived at office late by 8:45am.I received a rude welcome with an empty table with a plastic chair on my right hand side. The silence was unique in office. In Africa, there is a myth that whenever there was such silence, children were told God had been amidst them.
Before I could sit down, there was a call from the VOiP Phone in office, you helped installed. I t was a caller from Choo Pe(a place with no men).One of your students was finding out whether you would be turning up for training. Relaying the message that you left for the US and may never return any more was like breaking the silence of death of a loved on. His voice was full of excitement and anxiety looking forward to learning more.
As I came to terms with the reality of your absence; the tables were set ready for our usual Monday weekly meetings. There was one empty chair around the round meeting table. Stella had forgotten you had left us. I then remembered your last prayer at the meeting, a true reminiscence of Alfred’s famous prayer. The joy and excitement you brought to the team had gone with you. ``Is this what it means to miss a loved one?” were my thoughts. Surely, two years is such a short time.
After the meeting it all dawned on me that your friends in the nearby village who visited the CTC often might never show up at the gate any more. Your good friend the young catechist you trained to use computer and enjoy internet might never sit at the verandah again enjoying the worlds best creation, leave alone see you any more. The thought of moving back home to inform the neighbors that you had left and might not be back to see them and their children or enjoy their food given to you whole heartedly, just like the parable of the poor woman who offered the only coin she had as compared to the rich; its all she had just like its all this poor women could offer you for a meal and were excited you enjoyed it. I was filled with a mixture of emotion and gratitude that you are ready for a new life with clear knowledge of poverty and pain, suffering and salvation, and failure and faith. Surely, Stephen was heart broken they didn’t say Bye neither did the villagers bid you fare well. Yet, they were convinced it was mountains that don’t meet but people do, some day they hope to see you again.
Kevin, tomorrow I will be traveling to Pabo alone. The normal diet of dust from the trucks and Buses are all left but to myself. This is a plate I duely enjoyed sharing with you. The paths and pot holes may never see you again let alone a broken bike by the roadside as darkness sets in. Its imaginable to think you left the superb City Highways, storied shopping malls, classic restaurants full of Italian, Chinese and Mexican foods and came down here for our dusty road side chapatti, pot hole ridden roads and windowless rooms instead of the air conditioned rooms at home. More soul searching is that all this is for the Africans to leave a better life than your ancestors made it. What we will never forget is that during the word economic melt down; there were still fresh graduates of Notre Dame University keeping the virtue of voluntary service and service above self. For we who believe, blessed are the poor, blessed are the poor in spirit and blessed are those who heal the sick for the kingdom of God is theirs; we are convinced that your life is blessed.
On Saturday, I hope to show up at Boma to commemorate our Saturday culture of reading and watching CNN whenever you were home sick.
The Acholi have a saying;   ‘its better to serve you greens (food for the poor) better than serving you meat (food for the rich) yet they don’t own it. It could be stolen or got through deceit. As for us in BOSCO UGANDA, your send off was a mild one, yet a true reflection of our feelings for you. I have lived with Fr. Joseph for almost two decades, yet I have never seen him dance, he did it all for you. This time Sister Betty endured the cold around the fire place and it was all for you. In your parcel is an art piece of an Elephant, a symbol of the Acholi people. Please place it where you have your sight on before you sleep and when you wake up. Never forget us, Elephants are known for good memory and physical strength. May this strength be in your spirit and determination to make the world a better place than you found it.
I want to say welcome back to Africa, yet I haven’t forgotten your grandmother asking you to come back home, your friends poking you to drop the African dream to live the American dream and above all the meaning of your absence to your immediate family and the first Christmas without you in decades. That’s why some day, we hope you will be remembered with an African Bailey, names have meaning in Africa, your life and time in Africa had great meaning hence, worth the naming. We miss you and love you like we were born of the same womb.
God bless you and your family

Aliker David Martin
Project Coordinator
Bosco Uganda
Skype: aliker.david.martin

BOSCO hosted staff from Unicef Madagascar today who were on a visit to assess rural connectivity solutions that are being implemented in Uganda in hopes of replicating these solutions back in Madagascar.  BOSCO connects schools, community centers, health clinics, and CBO/NGO outstations in rural areas to a network of high speed Internet that is transmitted via long-range WiFi.  We also implement the use of solar panels to power low-power PCs at each of our sites.

Unicef Madagascar hopes to return to Madagascar and implement some of the same rural connectivity solutions that are already underway in BOSCO's network.  BOSCO is continuing to work with Unicef Uganda to finalize a 2-year partnership that will allow BOSCO to double its network presence across northern Uganda, including entering Kitgum and Pader Districts to the East.  BOSCO is proud to work in partnership with multinational organizations like Unicef who have the capacity to take best practices in rural connectivity and make them widely available in new locations. 

BOSCO Project Coordinator David Aliker 
introduces the Unicef Madagascar 
staff to youth at Pagak ICT Center

Blog posting by email

Hi, all.  I'm Tom Loughran, a science educator from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, USA.  I've been involved in the BOSCO project for the past four years, but haven't yet been to Northern Uganda.  I'm heading to Gulu shortly, and want to be able to post updates from that trip.  So I've enabled an email address for posting text and pictures by email.  This is a test of that system.  There are good reasons to be able to email pictures and text to a blog: that blog has followers; it is embedded in various sites by rss feeds; and it is publicly searchable as a blog post.  So emailing a story to the bosco-uganda blog is a great way to communicate with a lot more people than you might think to include in an email. More to come soon!

David Aliker and Stella Akiteng, both Project Coordinators for BOSCO-Uganda, accompanied Unicef representatives from the Gulu zonal office to visit a number of our BOSCO sites today, including, Lacor, Pagak, Pabo, Coope, and Unyama (see our site map here). 

We are just winding up our smale scale funding project with Unicef.  Most of the project was geared toward adding a few new sites to our network and implementing, for the first time, our grass-roots Web 2.0 training program at each site.  In this program, youth at each site learn to train each other to use valuable collaboration tools on the web, including:  email, Wikispaces, blogging, and other social media. 

David Aliker and BOSCO volunteer Jokondino Okema 
demonstrate how they use their mobile solar panel to Unicef staff

This week, BOSCO is hosting our first ever Web 2.0 training workshop, on site at our office in the Catechists Training Center, Gulu.  We are hosting 16 young men and women representing 8 of our rural sites (see site locations here). 

They are going to be focusing on learning collaborative, web based applications like Wikispaces, Google Docs, and other social media applications.  Our users have already learned how to create their own blogs.  You can see their work here.

Upon completion of the workshop these users will return to their rural based ICT sites and will be the primary peer trainers, initiating the Train the Trainer process.

Please take 30 seconds to vote for BOSCO, a finalist for a $20K Better World Books' Readers Choice Literacy Grant: Vote by Jan 20th! Thanks to Paul Miller at Better World Books for alerting BOSCO to this opportunity!


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