My Beautiful Lace Woven From Links
In my community women are the best weavers of baskets, mats and crafts. I want to believe that their brains are also woven this way. This is art, talent, and endowment from God our maker.
I first used a computer in 1996 in my place of work in a rural district and I had never occurred to me that it would go beyond facilitating me write reports. I signed up for my email address four years later in a foreign country with just a handful of people to communicate with via email. Nothing really seemed exciting. I would check on my emails once a month because there seemed nothing urgent and compelling.
Over the years, a lot of improvements and applications have been added that have made weaving the internet fascinating. Search engines have enabled exploration for anything you want. I have successfully looked out for opportunities on the internet. Such as employment, personal development (vital voices Leadership fellowship, Virtual Leadership Development Programme, Voices of Our Future Fellowship, personal growth are opportunities I have got through weaving the internet.
Social net works such as Facebook, twitter, linkedin are what I use to network with my contacts. I majorly use Facebook to connect and network with over 600 people, on My World Pulse community -240, linkedin over 500: I have 96 followers and follow 120 on twitter. A quick analysis of membership in my networks shows two thirds of my networks are women because of my interest in women issues. I have also created discussion groups on these platforms which have been very instrumental in me learning more from other women and parts of the world. If not how would I have been able to know and appreciate what happens in the other parts of the world?
My turning point was when I met fellow women on World Pulse who shared experiences, resources, offered encouragement through engagement and participation in various campaigns through this platform of the internet. The ‘My journal’ is a great feature that has encouraged sharing our stories with our connections. This has nurtured and opened me up.
I have a website that is http://aliasourroots.com. We are harnessing the power of the internet to connect women on a mentoring programme. We nurture women for virtues and values. Empowering Women through Mentoring (EWoM) is dedicated to empowering women through mentoring. Our Goal is to guide young women achieve their life goals and become leaders. Experience shows that women are more successful when they have access to mentors who can help them navigate the ‘unwritten rules.’ EWoM seeks to mentor young women from various backgrounds to achieve their dreams and to implement social change activities that change lives and communities. Young women and girls are looking up to people (mentors) for support: encouragement, motivation, inspiration knowledge and sharing experiences so that they can maximize their potential, develop skills, improve performance, achieve life goals and become the person she wants to be and contribute to bringing about the change she wants to see in her community. We are harnessing the power of the internet (email and skype and telephone) to connect women from across the other parts of the world and women in Uganda.
I endeavor to access the internet at least three times a week if I’m in a no internet access area. Otherwise, I do it on a daily basis. There is a lot to do with the internet.
Dr. Dorothy Okello’s story excited women like me on her super achievement. Dr. Okello has distinguished herself among a vast and talented pool of candidates from across Africa for her work to increase participation of girls and women in digital sectors in Africa and around the world. She is Africa’s first-ever Digital Woman of the Year, an honor bestowed upon her at an Africa ICT Days gala ceremony for the Digital Woman Award finalist that took place on 16 November 2013 in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
I acknowledge the challenge of access to internet due to high costs and low appreciation among women in these places. However, to address this problem, we are now sourcing for support to establish 2 internet access sites in Kumi and Pakwach so that our mentees can connect easily with their mentors and also involve more women in using the internet for development. Your support is welcome. I have to invest in internet especially if I’m working at home. I can access internet from office but I cannot have adequate time for my personal work. But can check my emails from office.
Sometimes, there is a tendency for some people to think that everyone on these social networks is seeking for a love relationship. Government (Ministry of ICT) also needs to create more awareness on internet security and how to avoid risks such as hacking into our email accounts. Many young women have been victims of such scams especially on Facebook, let alone making it affordable and accessible to all.
Together we can interest more women in weaving the internet and we shall have the whole world harnessing digital power for empowerment and development.