EIFL press release: Libraries in Uganda offer essential digital skills training to women and youth

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Press Release
May 2021

4 May 2021, Kampala, - A new project is underway across the country, strengthening digital literacy training capacities of 25 public and community libraries. The initiative will provide internet access and training to 13,500 women and unemployed youth and connect them to free online learning opportunities over the next two years (January 2021 to March 2023).

“Digital skills@your local library" project will raise awareness about the facilities available at the libraries and offer training and support to librarians so that they, in turn, can engage communities in learning. A combination of online classes and group library training on both computers and mobile devices will be offered to communities through libraries.

The project is funded by Belgium, through the Wehubit programme implemented by Enabel. It is implemented by two international non for profit organizations, EIFL and P2PU, and two local organizations - The National Library of Uganda,  which is in charge of library development in the country, and Maendeleo Foundation, which has deep roots in development of digital literacy in Uganda.

“By the end of the project I it is hoped that we will be seeing our communities in a much better position as far as digital literacy is concerned,” said Adonia Katungisa, Director of the National Library of Uganda, “It is important that we work with libraries to train trainers that can meet local skills needs and grow a network which can support this initiative further.”  

Initial visits have been made by project coordinators to meet and engage local officials and libraries and to consult with people who could potentially benefit from training in each of the selected libraries across the country. These visits set out to establish, early on, the digital skills that could have the biggest impact on people’s lives in each community, revealing a desire by community members to learn about subjects including farming, hairdressing, searching for a job, business administration, online banking and much more.

“In every library we visited I saw lots of excitement from women,” said Asia Kamukama, Executive Director of the Maendeleo Foundation, “I met one woman who said she will use every spare minute to try and learn something new.  She told me - people judge us because we aren’t educated and are without skills. This project is an opportunity for us to prove that we can learn and improve our prospects for the future.”