Reach Up Program inspires young micro entrepreneurs in Uganda –the case of DOT Uganda

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DOT Uganda in partnership with WOUGNET delivers training programs that equip community members and entrepreneurs with technology, business, and entrepreneurial learning experiences. DOT Uganda programs are delivered and facilitated by young new graduates from Ugandan universities (DOT Interns) who act as trainers, mentors, and coaches in their communities. The Reach Up Program is conducted at the WOUGNET Community Development Through Technology Center (CDTC) in Kampala

ReachUp! is DOT’s foundation economic program. This program trains young university graduates to deliver technology, business, and workforce readiness skills in communities that are developing, under stress, or in transition.

As one country was celebrating it’s independence day, the 4th of July was the day, participants from the Community Development through Technology Center – WOUGNET Uganda were also in high moods as they graduated and celebrated the completion of the Reach Up! Curriculum.

After a period of one month’s training, participants were filled with joy as they showcased their future plans after the training having acquired the knowledge, skills and positive attitudes about their different livelihoods from the Reach Up! program.

It was a bright morning, participants came clad in their best attires, all in moods for the celebrations. They shared their livelihood projects and the things that they had learnt from the training with our invited guests from WOUGNET- Uganda and the invited community leaders, the two facilitators (John and Vivian) and some of their invited friends. Many of them were more interested in making PowerPoint presentations to explain their livelihood projects. Some participants brought products from their newly established businesses using the knowledge gained from the Reach Up!

They were also given inspiring and motivating messages about the world of business and the job market from our invited guests. The room was filled with smiles as they received their Certificates of Completion, handed over by Moses Owiny – the Program Manager (WOUGNET Uganda) together with the facilitators.

As a facilitator, it hurts to see your participant/friend say GOODBYE because we had created a tight relationship. It all happened so fast and to our surprise, they too did not want to leave. Nonetheless, it makes us proud the fact that the participants appreciated our efforts and the Reach Up! program in general. On that note, we as the facilitators were also given gifts from the participants who thanked us for opening their eyes, expanding their knowledge in term s of business, entrepreneurship and how basic computer skills can be integrated into their livelihood projects.

We concluded the day with the cake eating. Oh! the CAKE! was “veeery” delicious. They contributed to buying their cake and ate it jealously for it was their money’s worth.

 

By

VIVIAN NAMAZZI – DOT Reach Up Facilitator