KIKANDWA ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATION COMMUNITY INNOVATION RESOURCE CENTRE
KEA CIRC REPORT FOR JUNE 2015
KEACIRC is pleased to announce that we are now our own landlords. We have no words to thank your our donors and the global giving team for your efforts and continuous finances to invest in our cause of building a community resource center in Kikandwa sub county. The first $9000 donations from global giving did a great work in our community to help equip the center with computers, a printer, cater for rent and allowance for the resource center attendant but in June 2015, we reached a milestone as we are no longer renting. KEA CIRC finally has its own premises and this has been realized with your donations. The resource center now is waiting to get a power connection since we have not yet installed it yet. Therefore computer lessons and secretarial services have been temporarily put on halt until a power connection has been put.
An Exposure Learning Visit
Kawempe Home Based Care Givers Alliance from Kawempe division in Kampala district made an Exposure visit to the newly constructed KEA CIRC premises in Kikandwa Sub County. The Immersion was intended to provide a powerful way to help the group to get deeper insights and experiences that they usually do not access in their work domain. They learnt in a personal way about KEA CIRC’s activities and services, Kikandwa community people’s lives, livelihoods, and cultures, and the conditions they experience and vice versa. This provided a touchstone to refer to, and a source of confidence, and the conviction of development initiatives leadership for CSO Leaders and the local community actors based on personal experience. Figure 1: The new resource center premises along the main roadThe group was welcomed by Seruzi Alexander; the head of the center. He outlined the history and introduced the activities carried out at the center. The center’s main objective was to establish and manage a Centre where knowledge and information can be shared and generated on various issues ranging from Environment, Natural Resource management, poverty eradication to food insecurity issues, health, youth unemployment and ICT Training.The group later proceeded to KEA’s headquarters in Kasejjere village to carryout field work where they got a chance to tour different projects like the Half + Half 1000 acre project, supermarket garden, community nursery bed and the hand dug well.
The director of KEA, Mr. Kaganga John welcomed the delegation to the forest. At first the group got puzzled as to why they were entering into a bush for their breakfast but after settling into the forest, they started enjoying meals with a variety of food and the environment itself. Towards the end of the breakfast, Mr. Kaganga asked the CSO Leaders why he had brought them to the forest and not anywhere else. Pauline answered by saying that Mr. Kaganga wanted the Leaders to be in close contact with nature; to enjoy and admire it; she went on to say that forest is a good relaxing and camping site with nice scenery. From the forest, the delegation was led to the “supermarket garden” where CSO leaders were shown banana and coffee plantations inter-cropped with fruit and timber trees and were exposed to different farming techniques and methods. From the field, and after a brief rest and entertainment, the CSO leaders, community members and other invited guests toured the exhibition and other projects at KEA headquarters to see what farmers and the local people and members of KEA do.
We are happy to notice the impact of the resource center in our community as it has become a modal Centre that many organizations admire. More and more visitors purposely come to visit the resource center but end up falling in love with the tremendous work that KEA is doing for the community. This Centre would not be in existence without your support. We continuously thank you for your efforts and hard work and finances you have put to make KEA CIRC what it is right now.
We are overjoyed with the acquisition of our own plot of land having the newly constructed resource center. THIS CALLS FOR CELEBRATION; Doesn’t it! Figure 4: A farmer displays his agricultural products during an exhibition
An extract of a report of January and February 2015 says that “KEA CIRC needs to scale up the access and use of ICT to fit the rural settings by providing material that is most needed by the rural community. Information on issues pertaining to agriculture, gender disparities, health, climate change and community development needs to be made accessible on a broader basis thus the need to continue empowering the resource center to meet its vision and objectives.KEA has recently got its own plot of land and is constructing offices that will house a state of art resource center with better facilities. This will help to save on the monthly rent expenses in the long run, funds which will be pushed to support other activities in the resource center.”
Based upon this background, we continue to make the rural area of Kikandwa a better place to live in. We are going to use part of the last month’s disbursement to put a roof on the newly constructed resource center and the rest will be used to clear up monthly rent and facilitate the resource center attendants to continue with the lessons.
ICT services are no exception to the high population growth rates. Consumption of these services is mainly present in the urban areas than the rural areas. There exists a digital divide between the urban areas and the rural areas. Though there is an ever increasing demand for ICT services in the community, nationally and internationally, we cannot ignore other factors affecting the community like poor health, sanitation and hygiene, and poverty.
We take this pleasure as the management of KEA CIRC to congratulate Nakitto Betty (former student of KEA CIRC) for receiving a $1000 grant from The Pollination Project to enable the rural community of Bbambula parish to access safe drinking water. This would not have happened if the resource center didn’t teach her vital computer skills to enable her do research on water points in Kikandwa Sub County.
KEA CIRC is making progress one step at a time through providing a platform to community youths to access opportunities like that of The Pollination Project; opportunities which can help transform and develop rural areas.
These are among the success stories that are starting to emerge because of the resource center and will impact more people from other communities.
The management of the resource center continues to thank our donors for the continued belief in our cause by sacrificing their hard earned money and donating it to the resource center. We also thank Global Giving for providing a platform where organizations can turn ideas into reality.
Impacting Rural Farmers
2015 has started on a rather good note as we accomplished a lot in the last year. KEA CIRC’s mission is to make a community full of career ICT professionals with the knowledge to transform themselves so that they can affect and transform their lives for a positive social change. Despite our location where we are situated within a context which is essentially characterized with low ICT use inspite of an ever developing global village. We started this resource. Compelled by a very high population growth rate of 3.03% translating to nearly seven children per woman, it is not hard to imagine the challenges that the people encounter to access ICT services. This population growth rate creates strain on the country’s resources including arable land as the majority of people live in the rural areas and are farmers.ICT services are no exception to the high population growth rates. Consumption of these services is mainly present in the urban areas than the rural areas. There exists a digital divide between the urban areas and the rural areas.Therefore access in rural areas is limited due to poor infrastructure,high levels illiteracy, and high costs of connectivity coupled with lack of technical expertise to implement and deliver services effectively. These are major impediments preventing people especially women from using ICTs for development.This is why KEA CIRC is working with rural Kikandwa, to provide internet connectivity and PCs for the whole community. With ICT, the community especially farmers are able to find and share information and access forecasts from weather stations. Radio broadcasts detail the symptoms and treatment for crop diseases, videos demonstrate pest control techniques and web pages provide satellite imagery and analyses of local soil and vegetation. This information helps rural farmers to plant appropriate crops most suited to the region and the expected weather, increase their crops’ resistance to pests, all of which enable them to significantly increase their yields. Additionally, specially developed software collates and distributes market data to farmers’ mobile phones so that once their crops are ready to sell, they have the information necessary to secure a good price for their produce.
The Role of ICT in Rural Education
There is an ever increasing demand from schools, religious institutions for computers and ICT services. This is not simply because ICT literacy creates employment opportunities, but also because ICT is recognized as an important educational aid and service in itself.ICTs demonstrate traits of being alternatives to formal education and display noticeable beneficial effects on student learning, motivation and ultimately on student achievement across a diverse range of subjects. 30 farmers have so far been trained in computer literacy and these are people who are either school dropouts or never received any sort of formal education.These are among the success stories that compelled the management of the resource center to increase the fundraising goal on global giving because more people from other communities have started to see the impacts of ICTs on farmer beneficiaries.The resource center is going to partner with Rural Women Initiative; a women led organization in Kikandwa, to train under privileged girls in the positive use of ICT to change their lives. This will help bridge the gender gap in the use of ICT in rural areas of Kikandwa Sub County because the primary target of the partnership will be women and girls in the community.
Thus we call on your continued support to help these farmers get enough income from their efforts through the use of ICTs. We also continue to thank all of you who have unconditionally donated your hard earned money to the resource center to make our vision and mission possible