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    A laptop to build new skills

    Day 242

    Oh. My. GOSH!

    Kyangwali refugee settlement is home to thousands of young people. By Ugandan law, all students – refugee and Ugandan citizen alike – are assured a primary school education. But when students reach secondary school, there are compulsory school fees and other family demands that can make it challenging to stay in school. For many refugee youth, that marks the end of their education.

    But young people want to keep learning, and they need to develop their skills further to make a life for themselves. Our team in Kyangwali met a group of girls last year whose educations had been cut short. They wanted to know if ARC could do something to help them keep moving forward. We gave the group a name – GOSH (Girls Out of School) – and helped the girls open a restaurant on the main street of the settlement. The girls run the business of the restaurant, cooking, cleaning, budgeting, etc. And it functions as a center for teaching cooking and hospitality to anyone who wants to learn. ARC gives the girls guidance and provides oversight.

    The project is making a real difference, but the girls had a couple of ideas to make it even better – beginning with a new laptop. “Imagine learning new cooking skills from the internet,” said Rose Achile, one of the GOSH girls. Rose and the others wanted to research new cooking and baking techniques online, so they could keep developing their skills. And they had an idea that they could design their own menus on the computer and print them out to use in the restaurant.

    We loved the idea, so on Day 242 we did the doable and turned up with a new laptop. In addition to building their cooking skills, it would give the girls the chance to work on their business and computer skills, too. They could keep their book of accounts using spreadsheets and submit their weekly reports to ARC electronically, detailing customer flows, weekly budgets and the status of GOSH students.

    “I say never give up,” Rose smiled. “Dropping out of school, things were grave for me. But to learn to use a computer and take up cooking this soon – imagine!

    Another change made possible by Atomic Data.

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    Changemakers 365

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    Changemakers 365 members give either $30 per month or a one-time gift of $365 (it’s free for anyone who has ever lived in a refugee camp). Join us!

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