Media Matters For Women Brings Digitruck Salone To Waterloo Community

0
14

By Feima Sesay

Media Matters For Women, in partnership with Africell Impact Foundation and Close the Gap, has on Wednesday 8th May 2024 officially launched their ‘DIGITRUCK SALONE.’

The launching ceremony was held at the Amie Academy School with the theme: “Bringing Digital Literacy To Rural Communities.”

Madam Lorlor Yeama Thompson-Oguamah Chairperson and Board Member of media matters for women in her opening remarks said the launch of the ‘Digitruck Salone’ marked a significant milestone in the journey towards bridging the information gap between women and girls in hard-to-reach communities.

She added that the project represented innovation and progress through state of the art technology and solar powered mobility, adding that Media Matters for Women aimed at transforming the lives of 300 students and 30 women entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone including the Waterloo Community.

Madam Oguamah said the initiative was not just about providing access to technology was about inspiring brains broaden horizons and unlocking opportunities for success.

“For the young girls who will enter the Digitruck is a vision of hope and a gate way to a brighter feature through interactive learning session and practical expirences and will enhance their business”, she narrated.

These project brought to you by Media matters for women, she said would help to overcome challenges and make a quality lasting impact, adding that they acknowledge the challenges ahead but said they are confident in their ability to overcome them.

The Global Executive Director Media Matters For Women, Mrs. Melissa Sebree, in her statement during the launch, thanked all her partners including Africell for their support and ideas, adding that she was honoured to receive an award on behalf of Media Matters For Women Sierra Leone in London which she presented to her team.

Francisca Mueama, speaking on behalf of Close The Gap, being one of the partners, expressed her thanks and appreciation to Media Matters For Women noting that it was her first visit in Sierra Leone thereby discribing the people of Sierra Leone as very humble, committed and focused.

She said the Digitruck project started 10 months ago and they were looking at how they could start it in Sierra Leone, adding that Close the Gap is an international social enterprise that exists to break the gap in digital devise and was founded about 20 years ago in Belgium, adding that the Digitruck Salone was their third project in Africa and the first ever women led Digitruck.

According to establishing the first women led Digitruck in Sierra Leone and partnering with Africell and others was a great honour for them.
Many women, she said, have been left behind in the digital space, stating that the 300 beneficiary after completion would be very useful in the society and would be able to work with people in the digital economy and different communities in the world starting with Africa.

The partnership, she said, would reduce employability and increase income generation as well as more empowered women including knowledge management and girls that would be able to stand up for their community.

Madam Mueama discribed Media matters as the right partners that was working would empower girls that believe in themselves to become working women that would transform their communities.

Joe Abass Bangura, in his statement on behalf of Africell, commended media matters for women for the great initiative to launch Digitruck Salone stating that Africell valued the partnership.

“Never underestimate what is in a child as it takes one event to grow a giant as I was born to an illiterate parents but it takes an opportunity like this to make me who I am today,” he noted.

He said it was part of their commitment as an institution to grow young people, adding that digital literacy and connectivity is a key driver for economic growth and unlimited opportunity that is created to boost kids.

Africell, he said, has been providing summer coding training for children both secondary and Tertiary institutions across the country, adding that three years ago they had a mobile computer lab all over the country.

He pledged the company continued support to Media matters for women to ensure that they expand internet access everywhere in Sierra Leone, noting that the more access to internet the easier the work.

In conclusion, he congratulated the children and women that would be going through the training and urged them to use the opportunity and place for it’s a potential in life saving opportunity.

According to Alinah Oliet Kallon, Project Manager Digitruck Salone, said their aim is to empower over 300 Junior Secondary School girls and 30 women entrepreneur with digital skills in the three districts such as the Western Rural, Bombali and Kenema district.

She said digital learning in the country is scarce and therefore it is a need in this our generation so that once they are faced with digital crisis they would be able to fix it to the best of their ability.

“Media Matters For Women Sierra Leone has decided to partner with Close The Gap with funding from Internet Society Foundation to bring Digitruck Salone to JSS two girls and women entrepreneur,” she said.

The Digitruck, she said, is fully equipped with laptops, tablets and mobile phones which the beneficiary would have access to during their training to enable them have full access to the device, adding that whatever training they receive would be projected on the screen to expose them to the internet.

“We want all the girls to learn how to use computer and understand what digital devices are to expose them to the internet, because we want them to be aware of both the good and bad that is out there as there are people who use the internet for evil purposes and so we don’t want our girls to fall victim so we will prepare them now so that they have the knowledge to know that in as much as the internet provides various opportunities but it also has danger locking around it that they should be aware of,” she stated.

The Digitruck, she said, would give them the Literacy in terms of how to use the computer, understand digital devices and utilize them to the best of their ability.

According to her, the project would last for three months in western rural and moved to Bombali and Kenema districts that would include 300 plus girls and 30 women entrepreneur and 10 from each districts.

The Digitruck Salone was officially launched by Foday Mohamed Sesay, the Assistant Director of Gender Western Rural District. In his keynote address said the event was a milestone in achieving digital technology and accelerating progress in terms of ensuring the sustainable development goal four and five that ensure children have access to information and technology as well as promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.

As a Ministry, he said, they were proud to say that digital technology is a powerful tool in ensuring that women are included in the space, adding that the project is an open opportunity for girls in ensuring that issues of online abuse and abuses are addressed as technology, he said, has a lot of issues that boarder around human trafficking and expose children to trafficking.

The Digitruck Salone, he said, is a golden opportunity that protects and promotes the potential of women and girls with a view to address gender equality and women’s empowerment which would enable women to access loan.

In conclusion said as a Ministry, they are committed to ensuring that Digitruck has a golden opportunity and has all the opportunities that the Ministry would provide to ensure that all the support both technology and internet have the information for both women and girls.
He added that the Minister is committed to ensuring that access to online information for girls is addressed, ensuring also that information and quality education that boarder around closing the barriers and addressing those gaps that undermine children’s access to information is addressed.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here