The Internet has become an integral part of our day to day life. Almost nothing gets done without the help of Internet. Many people use the internet to access social media and communicate with others, or for school, work, and research purposes. Often, they depend on access to the internet to help them find employment or educational opportunities. They need services like Google Maps to help them plan trips or visit new spaces, and they use the internet to access the news. Search engines and directories also help many find basic services like a nearby doctor or plumber. Many internet users also go online to take courses and to learn new languages and skills.
The bottom line is that internet access makes people’s lives easier. It helps them find a great deal of information that wouldn’t otherwise be accessible to them.
Of course, not everyone has easy access to the internet. Through our various outreach programs, DTML battles poverty by means of education. One of the ways we’ve done that is to help make the internet and e-learning programs accessible to communities around the world.
Among the many beneficiaries we support is Shammah High School in Luwero, Uganda. Last year, DTML donated a year’s worth of internet access to the school, as well as computers, projectors, and school supplies.
Now, Shammah High School has a fully operational DTML Computer Club. The computer club gives the students access to the internet and e-learning tools outside of allocated classroom times. Not only does this computer club serve kids at the school, it’s also used to run free community outreach sessions. These sessions have attracted over 400 kids from local communities. In addition, many adults have visited the computer laboratory in the hopes of learning basic computer literacy skills.
Over the past year, the presence of computers and internet access has enriched the students’ lives in many ways. The students have learned that the internet isn’t just a source of entertainment and a space for social media, but a place where they can learn a great deal.
Thanks to the computer laboratory, the students have learned to conduct research on the topics they cover in the classroom and they’ve improved their general knowledge a great deal. This doesn’t only help them improve their academic performance at school – it also means that they learn valuable research and computer skills that can be used to help them pursue further education and to enrich their careers.
According to Shammah High School principal, Jehoakim Muyobo, the main goal of the computer club is to engage as many students as possible to help them improve their computer skills and knowledge, and to encourage them to share their knowledge with others outside of the classroom. As such, the computer club doesn’t just help those who attend it, but the communities around them too.
All Shammah High School teachers are receiving training in a Microsoft computer literacy course. This will serve them as well as their students for many years to come. The teachers have also been encouraged to keep soft-copy notes instead of hard copies, which cuts down on the time needed to create and copy worksheets and administrative papers. Internet access has also enabled the school administration and management, as reports and notes can be sent via email.
Principal Muyobo notes that their community program has drawn a great deal of interest and appreciation from the community. “We are confident that the activities we have put in place, such as the DTML Computer Club, can help the school and even the community more so as to spread the knowledge, love, interest and desire for the acquisition of technological skills,” he wrote in a letter to the DTML.org directors.
While many of us take the internet for granted, many others don’t have access to the internet at all. Projects like the DTML Computer Club in Luwero help bridge this gap. These projects are especially important in Uganda, which has the most expensive data in East Africa as well as relatively slow internet speeds.
To ensure Shammah High School has internet access for another year, and to support other outreach programs run by DTML, consider making a donation. Even a donation as small as $5 can make a tangible impact on the communities we serve.