Uganda: In the News

Uganda continues to stay in the news for a variety of reasons.  The three articles quoted below are about as diverse as you can get:

  • According to Time magazine’s “The 50 Best Inventions of the Year” (28 Nov 2011):  The Digital Drum/”UNICEF’s Digital Drum is designed to help rural communities in Uganda that have difficulty getting information about health, education and other issues.  These solar-powered computer kiosks, which come loaded with educational content, are made of locally available metal oil drums and built to be durable against the elements.  The first Digital Drum was installed in March at a youth center in the northern Uganda city of Gulu, and UNICEF plans to deliver the devices to all parts of the nation.”

    Demonstration Model of UNICEF's Digital Drum

  • According to an article in the SLTrib (18 Nov 2011) by Lisa Schencker:  Ugandan rabbi visits Utah/”Uganda isn’t a place that typically springs to mind when people think of Jewish populations around the world.  But [Rabbi Gershom] Sizomu, a small man who exudes an air of calm, want to change that.  He hopes to turn his 1,500-member community of most poor subsistence farmers into a thriving center of Judaism in Africa that will benefit his people and their Christian and Muslim neighbors.
  • On (posted by LenYee Yuan on 19 Oct 2011) there is another interesting development for Uganda and the world:  “Designers are using a human-centered approach coupled with local leaders and resources to empower communities from within. A great example of this is the work of Design Without Borders in Kampala, Uganda. With 75% of hospital-reported injuries in Kampala linked with motorcycle taxi-related accidents, there has been multiple attempts to get the boda boda drivers to don helmets. Using Design Without Borders‘ human-centered research approach, designers worked with boda boda drivers and local manufacturers to develop the bePRO Motor-taxi Helmet, a lightweight helmet suitable for hot climates using readily available fiberglass composite. The final design is affordable, includes integrated ventilation, holes for hearing passengers, durable closures and graphics from the young Kampala artist, Ivan Bargiye. As Kristoffer Leivestad Olsen, designer with DWB explained, “The shift from export to local production and manufacturing for a potential market of millions is powerful.”
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