Computer training to help empower women globally
Kampala, the capital of Uganda, is a bustling city with an abundance of people, bodabodas and businesses. It was during this drive that Tom observed something stunning to him and left him with this question. Where were the women?
From Kampala, traveling to the village of Gombe is a dusty, unpaved and very bumpy ride; one will see evidence of what women do. The women are doing chores, retrieving water, cooking, cleaning, taking care of the children, cultivating, helping support the family.
Professor Susan Kiene believes that teaching women valuable skills can enable them to earn a living, support their families, and ultimately have choices in their life. That is the way to empowerment. Together with Tom Snyder, they created this idea of a training program to provide computer skills, a program that could be sustainable in nature.
On November 18, 2013, Dr. Lule, then Director of Gombe Hospital, Professor Susan and Tom Snyder met to discuss the viability of teaching computer classes to women in Gombe. We held a meeting with women leaders in the community. We only invited a few women but 18 women attended to provide support for this initiative! When the women asked about their cost, Tom replied: "There is no charge."
We look back and wonder how we even survived. One of the memory boards fried within the first few months and could not be successfully repaired.
Gombe lost power on many occasions. They even lost Internet access during the months of December, 2014 - March, 2015. Yet, these women kept at it.
With the help of some incredibly wonderful human beings, we made it as we continue beyond our initial couple of years to provide our training to hospital staff members in Gombe and survivors of Ebola in Liberia.
In September, 2017, we filed for 501(c)3 status as we look forward to scale our training to include many more women who want to be empowered through computer training.