" My journey to Uganda was the furtherest I have ever embarked upon. In fact, it was the first time I have been outside Asia. The doubts and anxiety I had were quickly dispelled and replaced by the warm welcome received from the team of Self Help Foundation.

Like life, there were many ups and downs in my time in Northern Uganda. There were times when meetings with schools seems excruciatingly long and redundant. And yet overcoming these challenges are always fulfilling beyond words can describe. During my time there, I taught computer introductory classes to secondary school students predominantly.

Amongst the many things that will always stick with me, it is the thirst for knowledge these children possess that struck me the most. It was not unusual to find them staying behind after class just to access the computers. And trust me, they were devouring the few videos there were on it, be it about other sports, cultures or animals. While children from my home country may be more skilled in handling today’s computers, their hunger for knowledge pales in comparison!

One particular instance I will always remember was the look of disbelief on the teachers face when I told him that instead of teaching students how to use the word processor, I opted to teach them how to use the paint program. Why you Muzungu, if I wanted my children to paint they can always use crayons and manila paper!

Yes, prior to coming to Uganda, I had never dreamt that I would be teaching children how to use the paint program. But what the school and myself failed to realize at first glance is that the mouse and cursors are the basic of human computer interactions at the core. Before anybody can work the word processor, they must speak the language of the interaction, which meant getting used to the graphical user interface unknown to the new user. Just like a boy must first learn how to hold a pen before becoming the world’s top author, the students must learn the basic manipulation of the mouse and get used to the hand-eye coordination required. Just like life, everything begins when we have mastered the basic. So I guess everything happens for a reason and we truly have to dig deeper before any conclusions. At the end of the day, it is truly an amazing feeling to know that somewhere out there, somebody may lead a better life because you took the effort to change the way they are taught about something.

My internship in Self Help Foundation was definitely enriching, fulfilling and an experience I will never forget. Most of all, it taught me that as long as there is the will to contribute, there is always a way."

Regards,
David

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