Uganda Networks Update

Uganda Networks Update  

Charles Woodd

THE WEBSITE GOES LIVE!UN logo-colour-cmyk

Can you think of one place where you can:

  • Find out the current Uganda shilling-sterling exchange rate
  • Read up to the minute articles from the Ugandan newspapers
  • Look for recommended places to stay in Uganda, if you are planning a visit
  • Find a report detailing opportunities for tourism development around Lake Victoria, or a UN infographic showing statistics about violence against women worldwide
  • Look for jobs or volunteering opportunities relating to development or ministry in Uganda (and advertise them free if your organisation is a member)
  • Search for UK or Ugandan charities or churches working in Kabale…or Gulu…or anywhere in Uganda
  • Search for organisations working on microfinance…or secondary education…or many other topics, throughout the country
  • Enrol in a free online course in any of a huge range of subjects through Future Learn
  • Ask other users practical questions – like the user who was looking for a charity involved with Playgrounds in Uganda, and found one through contacting the site?

I am sure you’ve guessed – the answer is the Uganda Networks website www.ugandanetworks.org. If you didn’t guess, or didn’t realise how much the site offers, go and have a look for yourself – you may well be surprised.

Following the forward-looking initiative of UCA’s members in 2013 to agree to invest in the development of the site, and two years of careful preparatory work by a small but dedicated group, the site went live in July 2015. Through publicity through UCA and the other networks, and with the help of free advertising on Google, the site recorded 2733 ‘hits’ (ie visits) in December. 280 individuals are now on an email mailing list, and more than 150 organisations and projects are listed in the searchable directory.

In addition to UCA’s initial investment, Uganda Development Services, Church Mission Society, and the A S Charitable Trust have contributed £9,165, ensuring the site can operate at least till the middle of 2016. Further grant applications are pending – around £9,000 is still needed to underpin the running costs of the site for the next 2 years or so, until the income earned from membership fees and listing charges to business services is sufficient to meet the full costs.

Ultimately the site will be a success if organisations join, services apply for listing, individuals sign up on the email list, and people generally find what the site offers useful. You can help a lot, by using the site yourself (assuming you have access to the internet of course!), encouraging any relevant organisations you are in touch with to join, recommending any relevant services you know of (for instance from your own travels to Uganda), or any useful resources that we can add, and joining the mailing list as an individual.

UCA members have already helped hugely to get the site to this point. Don’t stop now! Help to make sure the site becomes the one-stop shop for sustainable development and ministry in Uganda that it has the potential to be. If you have any queries, suggestions, recommendations, comments, please contact our part-time Website Administrator Sally Robertson at office@ugandanetworks.org or on 0238 097 2175.

Charles Woodd is UCA Treasurer and UCA’s representative on the Uganda Networks Committee.