Nearly 25% of Ugandans live in poverty – and the majority of these people are rural women and girls. Across Uganda, only 8.5% of the population has access to electricity. Despite this dire situation, the country’s technology and communications sector is growing rapidly. Mobile broadband and Internet infrastructure, along with other telecommunications services, grew by more than 30% in 2009/10 and accounted for 3.3 percent of GDP, having “a profound impact on the whole Ugandan economy; making the ICT sector an important part of the economy.”
Unfortunately, rural Ugandan women continue to be deprived of such economic opportunities owing to a severe lack of education, the prevalence of child marriage – approximately 50% for girls under the age of 18 – and a high degree of gender inequality that prevents girls and women from accessing the technical training they need to succeed in these emergent economic sectors.
The solution we're proposing
Offer rural women and unemployed youth the life-changing opportunity to gain computer and business skills that will enable them to secure sustainable, safe employment in Uganda’s growing ICTs and small business industries.
W4’s Ugandan field project, the Maendeleo Foundation, is empowering rural women by offering education at the Advanced Computer Training Information and Incubation Center (ACTIIC) in Mukono. At ACTIIC, women are taught business skills relevant to real world jobs and are given free access to the Internet for research and learning purposes.
Maendeleo also incubates businesses at the center, providing support and marketing tools to young entrepreneurs. ACTIIC operates between school terms, in evenings and on weekends, allowing those who are working or in school to attend.
The impact of giving
By helping to fund ACTIIC, you enable rural Ugandan women to gain business training and computer literacy skills that empower them to secure safe and sustainable employment. By offering girls and women greater access to mobile and information technologies, you are creating gateways that not only improve the health and economic outlooks of these girls and women, but also help to eliminate harmful gender disparities.
Moreover, your donation helps young, talented women to start their own businesses under the guidance of the Incubation Center, thereby creating better economic and educational opportunities for themselves, their families, and their communities.
In the past two years alone, the Maendeleo Foundation’s Advanced Training Center has graduated 145 business students and 57 students in Basic and Advanced Computer Skills courses.
*Each student requires around 20 training sessions.