Established in 2001, Nakaseke Women Development Association (NAWODA) seeks to empower Ugandan women by training them in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and in the integration of these skills into their daily income-generating activities. The ultimate goal is to reverse the current trend of unequal gender access to new technologies, providing higher-income employment and entrepreneurial opportunities to rural African women. Broader activities address larger issues hampering the flourishing of women in Nakaseke District, such as HIV/AIDS.
Communication Strategies: 

Activities include training women in computer skills, encouraging women to produce handicrafts and to search for markets, linking Nakaseke women to international and national women organisations and other donor organisations, improving adult literacy, and training Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) in areas including disease prevention. Face-to-face contact and technology training, thus, are central to NAWODA's efforts to empower women and to sustain their wellness, broadly defined.

In addition to learning, earning, and networking to improve their own lot, participants have sought to disseminate development-related information to a larger audience by embarking on educative drama and cultural music festivals. The organisation is also working to guide HIV/AIDS orphans in education and social life. Further, by training women and the community in the use of natural medicine, NAWODA hopes to create a force of people able to provide medicine "even for the [economically] poor".

Development Issues: 

Women, Technology, Economic Development, Education, Rights, Children, Health, HIV/AIDS, Reproductive Health, Nutrition.

Key Points: 

According to organisers, Nakaseke women started using computers and also developed a culture of reading and writing as a result of their ability to access telecentre services through NAWODA. They indicate that "[t]his has also benefited their families as they have encouraged their children to develop a culture of reading from home, hence improving on their academic performance. Some women as a result of appreciating the value of education have registered for adult education classes. Some are also attending computer literacy classes at the Tele-centre, though money is a constraint."

Nakaseke women were the pioneer users of the information tool entitled "Rural Women in Africa: Ideas for Earning Money", which was produced by the International Women Tribune Centre (IWTC) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Once a graphic or text box on this CD-ROM is clicked, the women hear a voice speaking in their own language - Luganda. According to organisers, this device has not only facilitated learning about economic opportunities but has improved literacy (women who have no reading ability are enabled to read the words as they are spoken).

Partner Text: 

Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) - Uganda; International Women Tribune Centre (IWTC) - United States; Tukolere-wamu e.V. - Germany.

Source: 

Letter sent from Dorothy Okello to the Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) Update Newsletter (June 2002) on June 1 2002; WOUGNET website; and emails from Daka Grace (Coordinator, NAWODA) and Henry Serunkuma to The Communication Initiative on April 11 2005 and September 5 2008, respectively.