As the tech industry continued to grow in 2016, I – along with many others – have been privileged to play a role in and benefit from this thriving ecosystem. Apart from allowing me to help make a difference for customers that I serve by solving their organizational challenges, I am deeply grateful that this profession has secured a stable future for me and my family.
At the same time, I am deeply saddened knowing that many people aren’t in the same position. It’s unfortunate that in this age of rapid innovation and technological advancement, there’s still global strife, poverty, and constant human suffering in many parts of the world. Despite these challenges, it’s encouraging to see that organizations and people are stepping up and doing what they can to make a positive impact in the areas that need it most.
I believe that technology plays a critical role in uplifting the lives of many. As such, I want to contribute and step out of the status quo. I have always supported and helped out in various charitable causes personally and professionally. However, tech luminaries like Bill and Melinda Gates and Dona Sarkar as well as organizations like Microsoft Philanthropies and Humanitarian Toolbox have inspired me to take it to the next level and do more with my expertise beyond making a living with it.
Where it Begins in 2017: Destiny School in Kampala
That’s why I have committed to make 2017 the year of #TechForGood. I will personally and professionally advocate technology for good initiatives to educate, empower, and engage those who need it most.
I am excited to let you know that I am going to Kampala, Uganda from December 26 to January 6 alongside WorldHelp and Mclean Bible Church to begin a long-term partnership with local schools that will train teachers and students for careers in web technologies and cloud computing. Microsoft Partner Network kindly showcased the initiative in a recent blog post.
Why Uganda, you may ask? By 2020, there will be half a billion internet users in Africa – presenting an opportunity for African businesses and digital entrepreneurs. Youth unemployment across Africa is high (35 percent in South Africa, 17 percent in Kenya, and 13 percent in Nigeria) – developing digital entrepreneurship and creating new job opportunities for young people is critical to Africa’s transformative growth. But digital skills are still under developed, making it harder for African economies to get the most out of the web. A way to address this gap is by teaching coding which can help kickstart the tech industry in Africa.
As a first step, I will help and facilitate a cloud computing boot camp to 50 students at Destiny School in Kampala. The school provides education for over 1,600 students through sponsorships, and has graduated 200+ students with an excellent academic core, but no trade skills. These students often struggle to find jobs in the Ugandan and larger African economy. To kick off our partnership with the school, our aim is to train these students for digital careers.
In addition to the training , we will also provide a computer lab, laptops, internet access, software, cloud services, and interactive training materials to ensure that this initiative is sustainable.
How Can You Join the Cause?
My ask is simple: Any financial support that you can contribute will be greatly appreciated and help us achieve our objective in Uganda this December and beyond. Please click here to donate – any amount can make a difference.
Thanks in advance for your help and support! As you put together your plans and goals for the New Year, I challenge you, too, to make 2017 Your Year of #TechForGood.
I’m always interested in hearing about others’ philanthropic initiatives. Leave a comment here or tweet at me to let me know what you (or your organization) are planning for the next year!