Mission Mobile Education Trustees’ Annual Report for the Financial Year Ending 31 January 1999

 

Mission Mobile Education, a charitable association, UK Registered Charity number 1059184, in accordance with its constitution, is administered and managed by the members of the Executive Committee: Ms Lisa Stern, Mr. Jitendra Gathani and Ms Lorna Khawaja, office address, 27 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3XX.

The Charity's objects are: "the advancement of public education in Uganda particular but not exclusively by the provision of a mobile educational unit; and the relief of poverty, sickness and distress by the provision of such funds and equipment as the Executive Committee in their absolute discretion think fit."

As a means of achieving these objects the Charity has adopted a policy of vigorous cost cutting, streamlining every aspect of its operations, using donated equipment or services where possible, seeking tax concessions by governments, and relying upon volunteer staff.  The programme has thus been able to continue to expand with only the minimum of inputs.  Also as a matter of policy it was decided that by using recycled older PCs for Internet connectivity, and teaching marginalised Ugandan youth rather than local elites, for their Train the Trainer workshops, the programme might better   serve as a model for other developing country projects. 

 

The Executive Committee appointed  Programme Officers to organize charitable activities, both in the UK and on the field.  Programme Officers manage the volunteer staff, collect and disburse the funds and donated equipment as they judge fit to further the Charity’s objects.  The volunteer staff, each one according to his or her capabilities, carries out activities organized by the Programme Officers.

 

Highlights of the financial year ending January 1999 for Mission Mobile Education are listed as follows:

 

1.      Reorganization of Uganda Connect workshops, selection of new trainers.

2.      Newbie workshops for Uganda ISOC.

3.      Wireless schools network project proposal submitted to government.

4.      Participation at World Bank's World Links for Development workshop.

5.      Sensitisation and training of government officials in Internet technologies.

6.      Participation at UNESCO/IDRC/ITU conference for setting up Multipurpose Community Telecentre (MCT) in Nakaseke.

7.      Futher demonstration of GSM data technology at the annual AITEC computer show leads to schools being sponsored by CelTel for Internet connectivity by GSM.

8.      Presentations of HF radio data network at Telecom Africa 98 in Johannesburg.  Project Director invited to as Honourary Forum Committee Member for ITU's Telecom Africa 98.

9.      Uganda Connect team help in launch of Nakaseke MCT.

10.  UNESCO chooses Uganda Connect Train the Trainer programme for the training of its Nakaseke MCT trainer trainees.

11.  Project Director and Project Manager co-ordinate the Network Training Workshops for ISOC's INET'98.

12.  Equipment and funds gathered for installing wireless networks in Uganda.

13.  Wireless network tested and demonstrated prior to shipping to Uganda.

 

1.       Reorganization of Uganda Connect workshops, selection of new trainers.
Mission Mobile Education director, Lisa Stern, worked with the Uganda Connect team at their Ministry of Education workshops in Kampala, helping them to reorganise to improve productivity and also guiding them in the selection of new trainers.

2.       Newbie workshops for Uganda ISOC.
Uganda Connect offered their workshop facilities in Kampala to the Uganda Chapter of the Internet Society for the introductory workshops, giving hands on experience in Internet technologies to the uninitiated.

3.       Wireless schools network project proposal submitted to government.
  A proposal for using high bandwidth spread spectrum microwave radio network for linking schools was submitted to the government, in which concessions for licensing were requested.  The State Minister for Education accepted the proposal.

4.       
Participation at World Bank's World Links for Development workshop.

Lisa Stern and other Uganda Connect volunteer staff were active in making interventions during the World Bank sponsored workshop for improving the World Links for Development schools programme.  Lisa proposed to facilitate the better integration of similar aid agency and NGO projects to minimise the duplication of efforts and to enhance synergies.

5.       Sensitisation and training of government officials in Internet technologies.
Uganda Connect trainers continued to provide training to government officials, including Members of Parliament and Ministers as a means of sensitising them to the importance of Internet technologies in development.

6.       
Participation at UNESCO/IDRC/ITU conference for setting up Multipurpose Community Telecentre (MCT) in Nakaseke.

Together with other partners and stakeholders, Uganda Connect volunteers joined in dialogue to prepare for the opening of one of the five pilot telecentres in Africa.

7.       
Futher demonstration of GSM data technology at the annual AITEC computer show leads to schools being sponsored by CelTel for Internet connectivity by GSM.

In collaboration with partners, CelTel, the Uganda Connect communications truck was again at the main entrance to the Sheraton Kampala for the annual computer show, demonstrating the use of GSM data for connecting to the Internet, and coinciding with CelTel’s launch of their GSM data service.  After discussions with their directors, it was agreed that CelTel would sponsor some of the World Links schools with so many hours of donated call time each month so that students could send and receive e-mail and also browse the web at 9.6 kbps.

8.       Presentations of HF radio data network at Telecom Africa 98 in Johannesburg.   Project Director invited to as Honourary Forum Committee Member for ITU's Telecom Africa 98.
In collaboration with ANCARA, the Uganda Connect team, including Caroline Wieland, Daniel Stern, Geoffrey Okao and Jed Stern, demonstrated the HF radio data network which they had set up in Arua, northwest Uganda.  The World Food Programme loaned their network administrator, Geoffrey Okao, who had helped to develop the technology.  Daniel spoke about the innovative use of such technologies for connecting to the Internet at the Infrastructures Summit.  Daniel’s interview with South Africa Broadcasting was shown on television throughout Africa.

Our Project Director, Daniel Stern was invited to join the team who would organise the Forum at Telecom Africa 98, and so be able to influence the choice of issues spoken about during the conference and exhibition.

9.       Uganda Connect team help in launch of Nakaseke MCT.
The Uganda Connect team came in their communications truck, together with a World Food Programme team in their 4x4, joined in the opening of the Nakaseke MCT, demonstrating Internet technologies to the local community, and visiting dignitaries.  Uganda Connect trainers acted as interpretors for IDRC organizers.

 10.     UNESCO chooses Uganda Connect Train the Trainer programme for the training of its Nakaseke MCT trainer trainees.
Following visits by UNESCO and IDRC staff to Uganda Connect workshops, the team was invited to train the trainers at Nakaseke.  Collaborating by e-mail, a curriculum was developed which could be used as a model by other MCTs.

11.    Project Director and Project Manager co-ordinate the Network Training Workshops for ISOC's INET'98.
Daniel and Caroline were invited to help organize the Network Training Workshops for the Internet Society’s annual INET’98 conference and exhibition.  This enabled 162 trainees from developing countries around the world to be sponsored to attend the week-long training course, as well as the conference.  

12.   
Equipment and funds gathered for installing wireless networks in Uganda.

While in Europe for INET’98, the team was able to recruit sponsorship for the proposed wireless network in Uganda, including routers from Cisco, hubs from Newbridge and the spread spectrum microwave radios needed to broadcast the Internet.  The Reuter Foundation (UK) approved a grant to fund the project, and also donated a good number of recycled Pentiums for the expansion of the telecentres.

 13.     Wireless network tested and demonstrated prior to shipping to Uganda.
By December of 1998 the team, with the help of Uganda Connect system administrator, Jed Stern, had put together a demonstration network in Geneva, both to test the configuration of equipment and to show international aid agency colleagues and sponsors how we would use the technology in Uganda. 

 

Ms Lisa Stern, Director


Ms Caroline Wieland, Project Manager

Mr. Daniel Stern, Director and Secretary

 

                                Mochamps, Belgium 6970    12 November 1999