First cyber-volunteer at work in Uganda!

© Photo: courtesy of CTPH
© Photo: courtesy of CTPH
Irene Amodei, Sarah Webborn, Spanish translation Tahona Santana Naranjo
29 November 2006

It seems that around the equator things are moving forward!

ICVolunteers has in fact recently signed a partnership agreement with the Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), a Uganda-based non-profit organisation, the mission of which is to promote conservation and public health by improving primary healthcare to people and animals in and around protected areas in Africa.

The CTPH put together the first information and computer training centre in the Buhoma Village, at the tourist site of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located at the Congo- Uganda border, 500 kilometres south west of Kampala. The CTPH Telecentre, a combination of conservation and technology, offers a solar energy powered community network Wi-Fi access point and provides ICT-related training and information on the linkage between public health, sustainable environments, livelihood and education, with a special focus on youth, farmers and women.

The Telecentre is also used by eco-tourists on their way to the Bwindi Impenetrable Park, where some of the last mountain gorillas live. It is therefore a place for information and training, as well as awareness raising about environmental issues.

On 7th  November 2006, Swithin Mutaasa Serwadda  joined CTPH on the Project named Development of ICT Membership Programme.

"I have a strong desire to contribute to efforts directed towards the improvement of the livelihood of many, using my skills, especially here in Africa" he said to Cyrille Schmid, the CyberVolunteers Program project manager in charge of  follow-up and arrangements with the CTPH. "Sharing is the key to appreciating others more fully and, for me, the best way this can be done is by offering my expertise for community service. I believe it is also a great, exciting learning opportunity to discover how much I can do with my skills to impact the lives of others".

During his two months volunteering Swithin will participate in developing a range of online marketing tools for the Telecentre, such as a membership database, a member's interactive online forum and e-newsletter to be directed at the eco-tourist visitors to the park. Swithin will also assist with training Telecentre staff to update the website regularly and contribute to further development of the Telecentre web portal as an interactive tool for communication and education with the global community.

And this is just the beginning.

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