- MTN Uganda Foundation has handed over a newly constructed and furnished maternity ward at Ibakwe HC II in Obongi district to combat the soaring maternal and child mortality rates in the region.
- The Ugx.400Million project was implemented by MTN Uganda foundation in partnership with Medical Teams International, the Office of the Prime Minister and UNHCR.
- This corporate Social Investment in Ibakwe HC II by the MTN Uganda Foundation is part of a Ugx.1 billion pledge made to the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) through UNHCR at the Refugee summit in 2017.
- Ibakwe health center II in Obongi district is to be upgraded to heath center III as per the Ministry of Health guidelines with the support of the MTN Uganda foundation
MTN Uganda Foundation has today handed over a newly constructed and equipped maternity ward at Ibakwe HC II in Obongi district, in a concerted effort to lower the soaring maternal and child mortality rates in the region. This project is underpinned by MTN’s commitment to creating shared value and improving the lives of the people living in the communities within which it operates.
In line with its commitment to investing in Uganda’s health sector with the aim of achieving SDG 3 which focuses on health and well-being, MTN Uganda Foundation injected a total of Ugx.400Million in the construction and equipping of a full-fledged maternity ward complete with delivery beds, running water, electricity, and sanitary facilities among others.
The maternity ward was commissioned today in an event held at Ibakwe Health Center II in Obongi, presided over by the Obongi District Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Matata Buga. Also in attendance was Amina Rukia, the OPM Secretary in charge of Health, MTI’s Country Director, Daryl Crowden and the UNHCR Moyo sub-office head, Sana Khana.
While handing over the newly constructed maternity ward, Phillip Odoi, the MTN Uganda Northern Region Business Manager said that the new maternity ward will ease the issue of overcrowding that the mothers previously faced while seeking antenatal and maternity services at the health center.
“Due to the ever-growing health needs of people living in this settlement, it is important that we support the government’s efforts in extending better health services to them,” said Odoi.
Plans are also underway to upgrade the facility into a health center III as a way of improving health services delivery to the masses in the Palorinya refugee settlement. The Palorinya refugee settlement camp in Obongi District inhabits about 80% of Sudanese refugees who fled their country in hope of a better and safe life in Uganda. The camp is about 10km away from the nearest capable health facility and has had an urgent need for improved health services in the area for a while.
This corporate Social Investment in Ibakwe HC II by the MTN Uganda Foundation is part of a Ugx.1 billion pledge made to the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) through UNHCR at the Refugee summit in 2017.
The first part of the pledge saw the MTN Uganda Foundation procure and distribute 10 cold chain refrigerators to 10 refugee health-supporting facilities. These facilities include; Arua-Oduoi HC III, Moyo -Idiwa HC III, Isingiro-Rulongo HC II, Kikuube-Malembaa HC II, Yumbe-Bidibidi HC III, Yumbe- Bangatuti H III, Yumbe-winga HC III, Lamwo-Awich HC III, Kyegegwa-Mukonde HC II, and Kamwenge-Kyempango HC III to safely transport and store medicines and vaccines.
The newly constructed maternity ward at Ibakwe HC II and its eventual upgrade into a HCIII will go a long way in meeting the health service needs of the people in Obongi district and its surrounding areas.
In his keynote speech at the Maternity ward handover ceremony held at Ibakwe Health Center II, Matata Buga, the Obongi district RDC said that the construction of a new maternity ward at Ibakwe HC II is going to highly contribute to the health centers’ upgrading to the level of Health center III as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Health.
” The construction and equipping of the maternity ward at Ibakwe HC II has brought me such joy and confidence in companies like MTN Uganda. This has indeed shown us that the company indeed cares about the communities so much that they are supporting the efforts of the government of Uganda by undertaking projects to make a positive impact in these communities.” Buga said.
MTN Uganda, in a bid to achieve its objectives of creating shared value and doing good together, has over the years accelerated the implementation of partnerships like this one with Medical Teams International and UNHCR that saw the realization and completion of the project.
MTN Uganda has over the years showcased its commitment to improving the communities in which they operate by engaging in socio-economic developments and ensuring that livelihoods are changed for the better.
Over the years, MTN Uganda has been donating all its Marathon proceeds towards improving maternal health services across the country. Some of the past beneficiaries include; Kawempe Hospital, Muyembe HC IV, Karugutu HC IV, Kalangala HCIV and Pakwach HC IV among others.
Key among the interventions MTN is undertaking this year, is the upgrade of Ibakwe health Centre II in Palorinya refugee settlement located in Obongi district and Bwizi health centre III in Western Uganda.
- This is in a bid to equip students in vocational training Institutes with the necessary skills for the 21st Century job market.
- This project that is currently in its second phase is under MTN Uganda’s ICT for Development project and is in line with the MTN Ambition 2025 Strategy.
- Previous beneficiaries of this project include; St. Daniel Comboni VTI in Moroto, Amello VTI in Adjumani and St. Simon Peter VTI in Hoima District. This second phase is also targeting 3 VTIs.
The students of Kasese Youth Polytechnic Vocational Training Institute (VTI) in Western Uganda are set to rip from the generous donation of a fully furnished Digital Resource center courtesy of the MTN Foundation in partnership with Enabel a Belgian NGO. This project is hinged on MTN’s strategic priority to build digital skills for digital jobs in alignment to the company’s Ambition 2025 Strategy.
The MTN Uganda Foundation which is the corporate social responsibility arm of MTN Uganda, in partnership with Enabel, an NGO that supports vocational training institutes with a vision to end unemployment and extreme poverty, is extending support to the ‘Skilling Uganda’ National Project in Vocational institutes through the provision of computers and fast internet connection. This is in fulfillment of the ministry of education and sports national program titled ‘Skilling Uganda’ as part of BTVET strategic plan 2012/3 to 2021/2.
The first phase of the ICT for Development project that happened in 2019/20 supported three VTIs including St. Daniel Comboni vocational institute in Moroto, St. Simon Peter Vocational Training institute in Hoima and Amello Vocational Training institute in Adjumani district with fully furnished ICT labs to promote digital learning in the VTIs.
To start off the second phase of the project, MTN Uganda Foundation alongside Enabel have completed and handed over the first of three ICT labs in Kasese Youth Polytechnic VTI. The ICT lab that cost 65 M has 10 computers, 4 batteries, a power stabilizer an uninterrupted power supply, and high-speed internet connectivity for a year.
Additionally, MTN has committed another 102M for the production of digital education content commonly known as How-to videos that shall be used for training at all the VTIs that MTN and Enabel have supported. These how-to videos shall facilitate training as learning materials for the students of all the beneficiary institutions as well as the neighboring communities.
The entire second phase is ongoing and will cost UGX 297,254,237 which will extend support to three vocational training institutes including Uganda technical college- Kyema in Masindi and Millennium Business school in Hoima and the Kasese Youth Polytechnic VTI.
Speaking at the handover ceremony for the Digital resource center of Kasese Youth Polytechnic, Richard Yego, the Managing Director MTN MoMo Uganda said that: “The aim is to skill Ugandan youth for the 21st-century job market by enabling them to access technical and vocational information online through open education resources for skills development.”
Yego further noted that the decision to support vocational institutions was based on the fact that vocational training was found to be an effective way of addressing unemployment, which is a major issue for the youth in Uganda today.
Cornille Bart, the Institutional Development Expert at Enabel said that: “We have been in partnership with the MTN Foundation for the past years to bridge the gap between Vocational Training Institutes and ICT solutions to support the educational needs of young people in districts all over the country. We are happy with the progress that the project has registered so far.”
While delivering the keynote Joe Walusimbi, the KaseseDistrict Resident District Commissioner (RDC) praised MTN Uganda and Enabel for supporting educational services in communities and recognizing government initiatives by supporting the education sector.
“We are in a highly developing technological era that requires all students to be able to have access to ICT tools that accomplish and solve everyday tasks. ICTs play a critical role in shaping the desirable 21st century work and life balance that is required,” He/she said.
Dickens Koma Olwoch, the Principal of the Kasese Youth Polytechnic VTI expressed his gratitude to the MTN Foundation and Enable for their generosity.
“The Digital resource center is going to create an avenue for our students to learn and share in the vast educational materials available on the web and in the training materials you have shared.” Said Olwoch.
He also noted that the institute will be able to connect with the advanced world of technology that will uplift them to a fast-paced workforce of the 21st century and not have them left behind.
Just last week, MTN equipped over 700 people from the grassroots communities across the country with digital skills that are requisite for the 21st-century job market, under its just-concluded 21 days of Y’ello Care staff volunteerism campaign.
MTN is committed to extending the benefits of a modern connected world to everyone across its footprint, according to its Ambition 2025 strategy.
- Residents of Koboko district are set to benefit from Koboko Resource Center in West Nile following the renovation of the structure and installation of ICT equipment by MTN Foundation Uganda today.
- MTN Uganda through MTN Foundation has invested UGX85million in the restoration of Koboko Resource center which included refurbishment of the physical structures and set up of a 10-computer lab facilitated with high speed internet connectivity for 1 year.
- The initiative by MTN is a reaffirmation of the telecom’s commitment to ensure Ugandans enjoy the benefits of a modern connected life.
Residents of Koboko district and surrounding areas are set to benefit from Koboko Resource Center in the West Nile region of Uganda following the renovation of the physical structure and installation of ICT equipment by MTN Foundation Uganda today.
Founded in 1999, Koboko Resource Center is the only public library in Koboko District which was created to meet the critical educational needs of the youth in Koboko, Maracha and Yumbe.
According to Peterlee Guma, the manager Koboko Resource Center, the establishment had for years struggled with dilapidated structures and received various concerns from the public about the lack of computers for advanced education research.
“People used to complain about why we lacked computers especially when they wanted to look for information on the internet beyond the hardcopy books we had at the facility. We received numerous demands from students from surrounding Universities for computers and internet services in vain,” he narrated.
Following the distress call from the resource center, MTN Uganda through MTN Foundation has invested UGX85million in restoration of Koboko resource center which includes refurbishment of the physical structures and set up a 10-computer laboratory facilitated with high speed internet connectivity for 1 year.
The computers are connected to a power stabilizer and 2 batteries to ensure uninterrupted power supply.
Speaking during the handover of the resource center in Koboko today, Samuel Gitta, the MTN Uganda General Manager Risk and Compliance said that MTN responded to the challenges faced by the resource center with the aim of transforming the lives of the people of West Nile.
“MTN’s decision to enhance the operations of Koboko Resource Center is anchored on our belief that everyone deserves to enjoy the benefits of a modern connected life. It has also become apparent that ICT is a critical aspect embedded in our lives today, as the world transitions to digital, accelerated even more by the emergence of covid-19 two years ago. Therefore it is paramount that we all have the ability to employ ICT skills in our day to day lives to ensure we are not left behind,” Gitta noted.
While representing the Resident District Commissioner Koboko District, his deputy Vincent Mugenyi lauded MTN Foundation for supporting government’s mandate of driving digital transformation across the country, urging the residents of Koboko to embrace technology.
“ICT presents a huge potential to improve national productivity through job creation for the youth and facilitating the creation of solutions to challenges in society. Therefore, this move by MTN draws the country closer to realization of our ICT goals as highlighted in the National Development Plan 3 and Uganda’s Vision 2040 which identifies ICT as an opportunity to spur Uganda’s transformation into a modern and prosperous country,” Mukiibi said.
Mukiibi also implored the people of Koboko to treasure and safeguard the resources to ensure sustained impact.
MTN Foundation is the vehicle through which MTN Uganda conducts its corporate social responsibility which over the years has left an impact in several districts spread across the country.
Similar to Koboko Resource Center, MTN Foundation has also carried out interventions in the sub-region including installing computer labs in Amelo Technical institute in Adjumani and Muni National Teachers College in Arua.
In the health sector, the Foundation renovated and equipped maternity wards of Aroi Health Centre III, Oriajin Health Centre III in Arua with a total of 30 hospital beds, mattresses, blankets, and mosquito nets, donated blood storage equipment at Arua Regional Blood Bank. The foundation also constructed and furnished a new maternity ward at Ibakwe HCII Obongi district and supported the refurbishment and equipping of the maternity ward of Packwach HCIV.
MTN Uganda has today joined the world to celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day with a commitment of UGX2.8billion dedicated towards the advancement of information and communication technologies (ICT) targeted initiatives in the country.
Celebrated on May 17th, World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is commemorated annually to raise awareness of the potential transformation that the use of the Internet and other ICTs can impact on societies and economies, as well as ways to bridge the digital divide.
MTN Uganda through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) vehicle, MTN Foundation has dedicated 60 per cent of its 2022 annual budget towards information and communication technologies (ICT) targeted initiatives.
According to Enid Edroma, MTN General Manager for Corporate Services, MTN Uganda is taking a deliberate effort towards sustainably educating and skilling Ugandans in ICT.
“Over the years, the focus of our CSR has been mainly in the health sector and I am glad to note that we have registered positive outcomes and touched the lives of so many people through the various initiatives undertaken. This year, we are shifting our focus more towards ICT as we strive to ensure no one is left behind amid the global shift towards ICT and digitization propelled especially by the effects of the coronavirus,” she explained.
She added: “Therefore, of the UGX4.8billion shillings afforded to the MTN Foundation’s 2022 CSR activities, 60% of that will be set aside for ICT related initiatives. This move is testimony to MTN’s commitment to creating a modern connected society and ensuring that communities reap the benefits. These efforts will also be complemented by initiatives supporting non-ICT sectors for instance, health and education.”
World Telecommunication and Information Society Day has this year been held under the theme: Digital technologies for older persons and healthy ageing.
Further explaining the rationale behind the strategic shift, Edroma said that MTN is seeking to support and empower marginalized groups of people such as women and people in rural areas among others through ICT targeted initiatives undertaken by the MTN Foundation.
Key among the initiatives and focus this year; is the MTN Internet Bus which traverses parts of the country equipping people with basic computer skills, the MTN ICT Community hubs and the National ICT Innovation Hub program.
In 2020, MTN also introduced the MTN Youth Skilling Program which among other aspects trained and equipped youth with digital skills to enable them create and sustain businesses digitally. More than 100 youths have been equipped with skills in ICT since inception of the program.
According to Edroma, the vision behind the strategic shift to boost ICT training is to realize a Uganda that is much more technologically savvy to create solutions for challenges in the country and also enable her citizens compete on the global space.
- MTN Foundation has today handed over a newly refurbished and equipped Mother Kevin health centre III in Mbulamuti sub-county, Kamuli district.
- This initiative underpins MTN’s commitment of improving the livelihoods of the communities in which it operates through its corporate social responsibility.
In order to extend quality maternal health care services to the people of Mbulamuti, sub-county, MTN Foundation has today handed over a newly refurbished and equipped Mother Kevin health centre III in Kamuli district.
MTN Foundation, through Joint Medical Stores in 2020 refurbished and equipped Mother Kevin health centre III in Mbulamuti, with the aim of kick-starting operations at the facility which was non-operational for 10 years, due to lack of medical equipment.
The project which cost UGX122million focused on equipping the labour ward with items such as delivery beds, medicine trolleys, baby resuscitators, suction pump, catheter, patient beds in the maternity ward, oxygen cylinder and regulator to mention but a few. The laboratory, post natal ward, store and doctor’s room among others were also equipped with an array of medical equipment.
Speaking during the official handover of the facility held today at Mother Kevin health centre III in Kamuli, the MTN General Manager for Customer Experience, Dorcas Muhwezi said that the project was driven by the telecom’s vision to improve the livelihood of the communities in which it operates.
“MTN sought to empower the hardworking staff of Mother Kevin health centre III in order to provide safe and quality health care to the people in Kamuli and the surrounding districts. This initiative underpins our commitment to improving the livelihoods of the communities in which we operate through our corporate social responsibility,” Muhwezi said.
Through this project, MTN Foundation also constructed sanitary facilities such as a placenta pit and lavatories for the health centre.
The Executive director Joint Medical Stores Dr. Bildard Baguma, said this project is testament that combined efforts culminate into great achievements.
“The 30,000 patients who are going to benefit from the infrastructural upgrades and state of the art medical equipment that this project has provided are the reason why we are so proud of our partnership with MTN Foundation. We look forward to more projects like these to impact even more people.” he noted.
While making his remarks, the Resident District Commissioner, Kamuli district, Robert Mutemo applauded the MTN Foundation for the impact that it has created in the district.
“I am extremely happy and grateful to the MTN Foundation for the work it has achieved at this facility. I am informed that since the equipment of this facility in 2020, the health centre in 2021 provided services to over 1500 people in the region. This would all not be possible if it was not for MTN Foundation and its commitment towards supporting the government agenda of ensuring that all Ugandans have access to quality social services,” he said.
Further recognizing MTN’s initiatives in the region, Mutemo said MTN has over the years continually demonstrated a fondness for the Busoga sub-region through the numerous donations and CSR activities undertaken to improve the livelihood of the people in Busoga.
In 2020, MTN boosted palliative care services in Busoga sub-region through a cash donation to Rays of Hope Hospital, a non-governmental organization that provides palliative care to improve the quality of life for people with life-threatening illnesses and their families in Busoga region and the neighboring districts.
In the same year, the telecom also signed a 2-year partnership with the Obwa Kyabazinga bwa Busoga Kingdom worth UGX 600 million with focus on the kingdom’s social, cultural, and economic programs in the areas of health, sports, and culture.
“Efforts such as this one by MTN fortify government efforts towards extending quality and affordable health care for all Ugandans,” Mutemo noted.
- MTN Foundation in partnership with Smart Girls Foundation has today embarked on the construction of a skilling facility with the capacity to train 400 girls annually in vocational programs.
- The training facility will specialize in vocational and business upskilling, inclusive of courses like electricity installation, house painting, tailoring, carpentry, welding, catering, among others.
- The launch of the event comes as the world joins together to celebrate the International Women’s day on March 8.
MTN Foundation in partnership with Smart Girls Foundation has today embarked on the construction of a skilling facility with the capacity to train 400 girls annually in vocational programs.
The facility which will be housed at the Smart Girls Foundation offices in Kampala will specialize in vocational and business upskilling, inclusive of courses like electricity installation, house painting, tailoring, carpentry, welding, catering, among others.
Speaking during the ground-breaking ceremony held in Kampala today, MTN Uganda General Manager for Customer Experience, Dorcus Muhwezi said the project is envisaged to give birth to 40 new women-led businesses in the country.
“The objective of the project is to widen career prospects and opportunities for women by diversifying and breaking the glass ceiling into careers that were previously regarded as a preserve for men,” Muhwezi said.
The project is expected to cost UGX230million which will facilitate the construction of an auto vehicle servicing station, a newly constructed washing bay and the renovation of 3 classrooms and a main hall with a capacity of 30 students per room. In addition to training the young women, the vehicle servicing station and washing bay are also expected to ensure sustainability of the project through generating income for the Smart Girls Foundation for services rendered by the trainers to the public.
Smart Girls Foundation is a not for profit organisation centred on skilling and empowering the girl child with the vision to transform their lives for a brighter future.
In her remarks, the Guest of Honour, the Resident District Commissioner Wakiso District who was represented by John Baptist Nsaba, the RDC Representative welcomed the initiative by MTN saying it complements government’s ambitions towards promoting gender equality and empowering the girl child.
“I wish to commend MTN for consistently championing efforts geared towards supporting government’s vision and policies such as the equal opportunities policy and the UN sustainable development goal 5 which focuses on achieving gender equality and women empowerment,” she said urging other private sector players to emulate MTN’s initiatives to propel the country’s economic growth.
The launch of the project comes as the world joins together to commemorate the International Women’s day held on March 8 under the theme: Gender Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”.
In celebration of the International women’s day, the MTN Foundation engaged in various activities with the young girls at Smart Girls Foundation including kitchen gardening and mentorship sessions in career guidance facilitated by members of the MTN Women Group.
The partnership between MTN Foundation and Smart Girls Foundation is one of many interventions undertaken by the former to empower women and girls in Uganda.
In June 2019, during the 21 days of YelloCare, the annual staff volunteerism initiative, MTN supported the Smart girls Foundation with a donation worth UGX30million with the aim of enhancing the girls’ learning experience. As a result, the organisation increased the number of girls trained at the facility from 30 to 64 in a wide range of programs including mechanical, electrical installations and welding.
In the same year, MTN announced UGX50m sponsorship towards the Kyabazinga Girl Child program aimed at supporting and improving the lives of women and youth in the Busoga region.
Similarly, MTN Foundation in 2016 partnered with the Forum for African Women Educationalists Uganda Chapter (FAWEU) to provide full cover University Education scholarships for ten (10) Ugandan girls across the country.
- MTN Foundation has today handed over a newly refurbished and equipped maternity theatre and ward to the Karugutu health centre IV in Ntoroko district.
- The facility was in dire need of renovation to restore the dilapidated structures.
- The Karugutu health centre IV refurbishment is part of a larger commitment by MTN Foundation and its partners to refurbish four other health centres across the country through UGX1.3Billion project funded by proceeds from the MTN Kampala Marathon since 2018.
In an effort to boost maternal and child health care, MTN Foundation has today handed over a newly refurbished and equipped maternity theatre and ward to the Karugutu health centre IV in Ntoroko district.
Karugutu health centre IV is a government-owned facility which serves a catchment population of 27,000 people in the western region of Uganda. According to Fredrick Kahuma, the hospital incharge of Karugutu health centre IV, there was a dire need for renovation of the dilapidated structures especially in the maternity theater which affected service delivery.
“The theater lacked properly functioning equipment to carry out some surgical procedures, for example we didn’t have a suction machine that is used to remove fluid in order to get a clear view of the area one is operating on. The doors were also broken and walls were damaged which posed a security threat to equipment in the theater as well as an unsterile operating environment for the pregnant mothers,” Kahuma recounts.
It is against that background that the MTN Foundation with support from the official partners of the MTN Kampala Marathon: Rwenzori Bottling Company, Vision Group, Stanbic Bank and Huawei dedicated UGX180million towards the refurbishment of the health centre. The project was implemented by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) through Ministry of Health.
The Karugutu health centre IV refurbishment is part of a grand commitment by MTN Foundation and its partners to refurbish five other health centres across the country through UGX1.3Billion project funded by proceeds from the MTN Kampala Marathon since 2018.
While handing over the facility, Ibrahim Senyonga the General Manager of the Enterprise Business Unit said the initiative to refurbish Karugutu health Centre IV reaffirms MTN’s commitment to improving the lives of people in Uganda through supporting government endeavors to extend quality social services to the communities.
“Under this project, MTN Foundation has invested UGX180million to rehabilitate the maternity theater and ward of Karugutu health center IV with quality infrastructure. The health center has also been equipped with medical equipment such as a suction used during operations, delivery beds, delivery kits and baby warmers used in neonatal intensive care units among other items. Our hope is to save lives of mothers and children during childbirth,” Ibrahim said noting that the initiative is timely as the world draws closer to celebrating the International Women’s Day.
Senyonga was reiterated by the Director Curative services at the Ministry of Health, Dr Charles Olaro, who was representing the state minister for health. He appreciated MTN for its support in ensuring affordable healthcare services in the country.
“We value the engagements with private sector such as MTN Foundation in the improvement of public health services. Around most of the already accomplished interventions MTN has undertaken, we are now seeing increased utilization of maternal and child health services. I am optimistic we shall be able to see it here (Karugutu) too,” he said.
Similarly appreciating MTN and its partners for the effort, Kahuma said: “We have received a range of equipment that will enable us offer better and efficient health care to our patients. The additional beds will also enable us carry out more operations so more women and children will receive medical attention,” he said.
Other health centres expected to benefit from the project include: Muyembe health centre IV in Bulambuli district, Kalangala health centre IV in Kalangala district and Pakwach health centre IV in Pakwach district.
As part of the project, MTN Foundation in 2020 invested UGX400m in refurbishing and equipping Kawempe Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Dr Edson Muhwezi, the assistant representative UNFPA said the organization takes pride in a partnership with MTN Foundation to leverage each other’s added value to reduce maternal deaths and help women and girls in Uganda.
There is a high number of youth skilling programs today but very little or no information is known about the impact they have actually created.
Among the most recently launched is the MTN Foundation Youth Skilling program. The program funded by MTN Foundation, the charity arm of MTN Uganda and implemented by Ubunifu Systems was created with the aim of empowering youth to become job creators. The program also sought to boost innovation with the aim of solving challenges in society.
Following the recently concluded inaugural graduation ceremony where 60 youth were empowered with technical and digital business skills, MTN and Ubunifu systems organized a webinar deciphering ways in which organizations can track the impact of youth skilling programs. The webinar also spoke to how youth can implement the learnings from the programs.
Speaking during the webinar, the guest speaker, Edmund Walusimbi , founder of The Secret Initiative, a youth motivational program and campus ambassador of Startup Africa, advised youth to only learn what they intend to use.
He urged the youth to utilize the PDCA management formula which involves planning, doing, checking and acting.
“You plan a process and execute the process. As you do that, you notice areas that need improvement, garnering feedback, interact with customers and that ushers you into the checking stage to analyze what works and what does not. The final stage is acting upon the information you have received. This now needs to become a vicious circle because it will help improve your personal and business brand,” he said.
Irene Nandyose, a co-founder of Candid crafts, a business that provides market for artisans and alumni of the MTN Foundation Youth Skilling program also has an individual business knitting and crocheting. The young lady says she has gained a lot from the MTN Foundation Youth Skilling program to the benefit of her crocheting venture.
“Personally I have seen changes in the projects I am involved in. In the beginning, I had a low stock turnover due to high pricing. After the training, I picked lessons from entrepreneurship, marketing and product development training to research, engage and interact with my customers which has since boosted my sales,” she narrates.
Speaking to organisations, Walusimbi said it is important to ensure that they have key performance indicators for the trainees undertaking the program.
“It is important to identify key performance indicators. They are a form of performance measurement used for tracking impact of organisations. These can be tailored around the roles or vision of the organization for example a digital skills training center can be assessed through the ability for people to create websites and online advertising campaigns,” he explained adding that it is important to ensure the indicator is reliable and relevant.
Evaluation of the trainees is also important. Walusimbi explained that organisations can utilize online forms to assess the qualitative and quantitative data about the impact of the program.
“Some of the tips on creating smart evaluation forms include: mostly using specific objective questions during the assessment. Make the form short and concise to fill, highlight anonymity as people love secrecy when it comes to giving honest feedback,” he notes.
It is also very important to explain to the trainees the vitality of honest feedback for improvement of the training programs.
There are also simple software programs that can be used to make the smart evaluation forms for instance Google forms, Microsoft forms and Air table.
Walusimbi also advised to create a community of the trainees (alumni) with the goal of building sustainability of the empowerment.
An alumni, he said will create an accommodating environment for the youth to bond and freely share ideas for growth.
“Recognize the fact that everyone grows at different paces to give room for the members to grow at ease. It is also important to document the achievements of the members to create proof of the impact,” he tipped organisations.
Nelson Munyanda, a manager at MTN Foundation in charge of youth empowerment said the Foundation is glad to have witnessed positive results from the trainees such as Nandyose noting that MTN is keen to see results and commits to create a sustainable and successful skilling program to reduce unemployment among the youth.
Prior to 2010, it was survival for the fittest to access water from a borehole in Kiryandongo district where over 2000 people relied on only 2 functional boreholes.
Kiryandongo district which houses survivors of the Bududa landslides in Mbale is also the host community for refugees in the refugee resettlement camp.
As Julius Weleka, the chairman LC 1, Panyadoli A village as well as chairman of the Bududa community narrates, the water situation was so bad that it led to fights between themselves and refugees.
“The relationship between us and the refugees was very bad because people were fighting for water. Sanitation was also very bad because people did not have water. The number of people getting sick was also high,” he recounts.
There was a sudden twist of events when MTN set up 10 boreholes in the area which has since let out a sigh of relief having attained significant accessibility to water.
The boreholes which were an initiative of the MTN Kampala marathon stemming from the proceeds in 2010 have led to increased hygiene in the region especially amongst the children and youth.
“When MTN came in and gave us those boreholes, life changed. Up to today, we don’t have a big problem of water. The boreholes have come to the rescue of more than 4000 people including the refugees who are bordering the village. Now people can cook and bathe which has greatly improved our sanitation,” the 47-year old Weleka says.
Bududa is a disaster prone area with many people affected by the perpetual landslides.
Multiple efforts not only from government but also private sector have gone towards ensuring those affected in Bududa have a second take at a better life.
Wim Vanhelleputte, the MTN chief executive officer, recognizes that the role that the private sector must play in the country’s socio-economic development.
He says that MTN Uganda is greatly proud to have contributed to the restoration of livelihood in the community that was plagued by unprecedented natural disasters.
“The rationale behind directing the proceeds towards Bududa landslide survivors was to ensure that those that had survived enjoyed safe water services and are safeguarded from diseases,” he says.
One of the pillars of the marathon is to enable disadvantaged communities have access to and benefit from social services ensuring that no one is left behind.
In the spirit of togetherness and leaving no one behind, MTN has for the past 16 years undertaken initiatives with the aid of close to UGX4billion collected in proceeds.
MTN Kampala marathon proceeds include all
Born in 2004, MTN Kampala marathon has dedicated millions of shillings of the proceeds to providing mama kits to expectant mothers in internally displaced people’s camps.
MTN Uganda and partners have also used the proceeds to renovate and equip maternity wards at Health Centre IVs in various parts of the country.
Between 2015 and 2016, MTN installed state of the art toilets embedded with biogas digesters for clean energy in 10 public schools around Kampala city including Kitante primary school among others.
The marathon proceeds have also drawn water into various districts of northern Uganda including Amuria and Nakapiripirit to mention but a few through the setup of multiple boreholes.
“The boreholes enable us to get clean water and also the distance is not far. Prior to the setup of boreholes, we used to fetch water from water ponds, rivers and the bush which was very dangerous for us since sometimes it would be late in the evening,” a beneficiary from Kotido where one of the boreholes was set up says.
Cognizant of the importance of water in life, MTN prioritized provision of clean water services to disadvantaged communities to mitigate spread of disease and dehydration.
MTN Kampala marathon in which the telecom partners with Stanbic Bank Uganda, Huawei, Vision Group and Rwenzori Mineral Water is the epitome of a successful crowdfunding vehicle.
For the 16 years, the marathon has realized a collection of UGX4billion from runners around Kampala, all of whom indulge for various reasons.
The turnout has also registered tremendous increase as more than 20,000 people took part in the run in 2019.
What runners are saying
Over the years, Ugandans from different area codes have got together clad in shimmering yellow shirts, sharp and shooting for the number one position at the MTN Kampala Marathon.
The run has brought together vast numbers of people from different corners of the country, background, cultural, spiritual and religious affiliation for a just cause.
Wilfred Agaba from one of the media publications runs and visits the gym periodically prior to the run.
The lean gentleman along with his friends practice ahead of time in anticipation of a competitive run come November during the MTN Kampala marathon.
“In 2019, I ran and even received a medal for participation meaning I really came close to winning. I defeated all my friends this year. I feel good because I know I earned it,” he says.
He also admits that the element of charity empowers him to take part in the run.
“Not all of us are privileged to have what we need, so I pay to run because at the end of the day, I know that I am helping someone else,” Agaba explains.
Like Agaba, other participants view the marathon as an opportunity to get together for a similar cause, be it competing, exercise or charity.
Athletes on the other hand attribute part of their career success to the run saying it has been pivotal in their path towards attaining international recognition as Olympic winners.
“I am excited to return to the MTN marathon where I last ran in 2010. I would like to thank MTN for bringing up new comer runners and others can get sponsors from here,” Jacob Kiplimo, half marathon world champion says.
“MTN marathon built me to become an Olympic champion,” Stephen Kiprotich, Olympic gold medalist says.
- The MTN Uganda Foundation, together with Fenix International Uganda as an implementing partner are set to light up other 56 schools with 200 kits in 24 districts under their “Light up A Village Project”.
- Under this project, the MTN Foundation has donated an overall total of 560 solar kits worth 380 million. Fenix International Uganda will install and maintain the kits.
- Acute power shortages even when connected to the national grid is the biggest challenge that students face especially when they have to study at night.
The MTN Uganda Foundation in partnership with Fenix International Uganda are set to light up more schools in an ongoing project dubbed “Light up a village”. With an extra donation of 190 solar kits, 56 schools from 24 districts will have light and power to facilitate proper learning outcomes by increasing reading time, secure learning environment especially in the night as well as supporting teachers’ preparation for lessons.
The Light up A Village project has so far donated over 560 solar kits across several schools in various districts in Uganda. Health centers and settlement camps have also benefitted from the same project.
Implemented in partnership with Fenix International Uganda, a next-generation energy and technology company whose mission is to improve the quality of life of customers through inclusive energy, the project is in partial fulfilment of MTN’s vision of brightening lives across all the communities within which it operates.
Speaking at the handover of the kits today, The MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer noted that: “With the availability of solar power, students can now have extended learning times and teachers can put in more preparation time which will at least try to level the ground with learners and teachers in urban areas that have easy access,” Vanhelleputte said.
He further noted that by providing solar lighting, It will provide a safe learning environment for the learners and hopefully this will encourage enrollment.
The project worth 380 million kicked off in late 2019 and has so far seen installations of solar equipment in off-grid regions like Buvuma Island where schools and health centers were lit up to improve education and health care services in the area. Still in 2019, the MTN Foundation donated and installed 100 solar kits in the Bunambutye resettlement camp in Bulambuli district while another batch of solar kits were donated to several schools in Kamuli district.
Other districts that have benefitted from this project include; Apac, Pader, Adjumani, Lira, Nwoya, Yumbe in Northern Uganda, Kanungu, Kabale, Sheema, Rukungiri, Kiruhura, Kamwenge, Kabarole, Kibale, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Kyotera, Rakai, Luwero, Masaka as well as Bududa, Bugweri, Bukwo and Iganga.
As several learners and teachers are looking forward to having schools reopen, the acute power shortages despite being connected to the national grid is still one of the biggest challenges most schools face countrywide. This has affected performance of school children since revision time is hampered each time there is no electricity. Therefore by providing solar lighting, learners can be able to read for longer as they recover the study time they lost in the previous year 2020. Over 45,000 learners will benefit from this project.
The MTN Foundation has undertaken to support a number of government initiatives in the education sector. MTN Foundation has been building and rehabilitating schools in various parts of Uganda in partnership with PEAS. MTN Foundation has also been extending ICT skills to learning institutions through setting up fully functional ICT laboratories. The Telecom has also extended computer literacy to rural schools through MTN ICT bus. The bus is fully equipped with ICT facilities with which the children and given basic ICT training.