Let’s Welcome the New School Year at Rudi Education

Overview of the 2021-2022 School Year

Last year is practically over at Rudi Education as the majority of the schools that our children attend have closed for the year. Only a few items remain to be wrapped up for the 2021-2022 school year. Before we list those, let’s give praise to God for helping us! We did it by His grace! With your help, through prayer and financial support, we were able to complete another school year in a region of the world where this is not guaranteed when the year starts.

The past three years have been very challenging. We lost just under 50% of the children we support to many causes: the geopolitical instability in Eastern DRC, the teachers’ strikes, the unkept promises from the political authorities, the Pandemic, the volcanic eruption, some underage marriage situations that took place, family troubles, displacements, and the list goes on. Through it all, you prayed for and financially supported us and the communities we serve. We made it through with the Lord’s help.

Against all odds, we eventually started the 2021-2022 school year and were able to see the end of it with only three students not making it to the end. However, the Rudi Education program has been in touch with two of the three students. Their situation has changed such that they can come back and continue their education this new school year! Praise God! It is with great joy that we told them to please come back to school! So, please pray that the circumstances of the one student who hasn’t returned would improve such that they can.

Two final items remain to be concluded for last year:

  1. We still need exactly $2,000 to pay off all the fees and tuition at the three schools and two colleges where we currently have students. Please donate now to help us close out the last year.
  2. Seven, yes, seven (this is huge!) of our students sat for the Congolese national exam to complete their high school education. Please pray that they succeed and obtain their diplomas. This would be a monumental blessing for them, our community, and all the sponsors who have teamed up over the years to get these students to 12th grade and, potentially soon, to college.

By God’s grace, thanks to sponsors like you, these students have made it this far in their education. We pray that you will be able to continue supporting them if they choose to pursue higher education. This will enable them to better serve their families and their communities. This, in addition to the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ that we have been able to share with them over the years, is what we have aimed for all these years. Please find more about our students along with some pictures on our Facebook page: facebook.com/rudiinternational/.

In-Between the School Years and Throughout 2022-2023

Starting this August 2022, all of our sponsored children have the opportunity to participate in computer literacy classes at Rudi’s Elimu Technology Center. The technology center is one of Rudi International projects that involve at least two of our programs: the Education program as well as the ICT program. Please find out more about the Elimu Technology Center on its dedicated Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ElimuTechDRC/

Picture of Students from the Rudi Education Program who are benefiting from computer literacy classes offered by Rudi International's Elimu Technology Center in Goma, DRC. These students will continue to take these classes as after-school activity even after the school year starts.
Students from the Rudi Education Program are benefiting from computer literacy classes offered by Rudi International’s Elimu Technology Center in Goma, DRC. These students will continue to take these classes as after-school activity even after the school year starts.

As for the new school year 2022-2023, we are thankful to announce that the year is scheduled to start this September 5th, 2022 in Goma, DRC. We count on your continued support for all the students who are able to continue with us. We are expecting between 55 and 60 students again this year. Some will be in secondary school (7th through 12th grade) and some will be in College.

The number of those in college will be known as soon as the national exam results are published, but we hope that all seven of the students (five of them are in the featured image above in this post) will be able to get their diplomas and join the two that we already have in college in Goma. This will bring the number to nine college students. Now, that would be awesome! Please pray with us that we would have enough financial support to assist them through this part of their journey or support those who decide to launch their own business ventures right out of high school. In fact, we do have some who want to go into construction, teaching, and other professions.

Here is how you can help:

  1. Please give using our PayPal donation button above or via the rudiinternational.org/donations page.
  2. Share this post with the people in your life and ask them to donate as well.
  3. Pleas pray for a successful year ahead.
  4. Reach out to us via the contact-us page or via email with suggestions, questions, or just to say Hello!

Finally, please remember to sign for our newsletter to stay informed about our activities throughout the year.

You can listen to an automated reading of this post on Spotify
You can listen to an automated reading of this post on Spotify

Youth views were almost not taken seriously during ITU’s WTDC 22

By Arsene Tungali *

Context

On the sidelines of the 2022 World Telecommunications and Development Conference (WTDC-22) held from June 5-16, 2022, at the Kigali Convention Centre in Kigali (Rwanda), there was the 2022 Generation Connect Global Youth Summit (GCS) held at the Internet Conference Arena, from June 2-4, 2022.

This Youth Summit addressed the digital divide and related topics, including digital skills, gender, climate change, online safety, the future of work, entrepreneurship, digital dependencies, and more. Held in a hybrid format, it is reported that this gathering was attended by nearly 1500 delegates from over 115 countries, and over 5,000 joined online, culminating in months of online work that resulted in the adoption of the Youth Action Plan.

Reference to this Youth Action Plan or the GCS itself was to be made in the proceedings of the WTDC. Still, for some reasons, that I will try to capture in this blog, the Youth Action Plan faced firm opposition from a good number of member states. This reference was meant to be included in Resolution 76 (Res 76) on “Promoting ICTs among young women & men for social & economic empowerment.”.

The following paragraph in the “noting” section, as suggested by a group of delegates, was to be discussed for inclusion in the final document: “that the first Generation Connect Global Youth Summit, held in Kigali, Rwanda, from 2 to 4 June 2022, physically attended by more than 500 young women, 500 remotely, from 70 hubs and 115 countries; that the Generation Connect Youth Call to Action – “my digital future” – prepared by youth was adopted at the Generation Connect Global Youth Summit.”

Delegates attending the WTDC 22 had to either adopt the inclusion of that section, edit it to meet their wish, or at the very least, if consensus is not met, go for a “No Change”, which means they reconduct the text of Res 76 that was adopted during the WTDC 2017 that was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. All discussions and conversations were made in the ad hoc group responsible for working on the resolution, then in the plenary, and back to the ad hoc group if no consensus had been met.

“Pro” arguments

It is worth noting that some member states’ delegations did not openly present their positions but were inclined to support what the regional group they belong to would say or were sharing their views internally and let the groups speak for a more significant impact. That’s the practice at ITU meetings, as far as I was told.

Some of the arguments presented by member states in favor of the mention of the GCS in the WTDC-22 outcomes (Res 76) included that the GCS was an event accepted by the ITU Council as an international event to be linked to the WTDC. Since it happened in that format, there is no way it should not be mentioned in the proceedings of the development conference.

Others, apparently raising this to the attention of the Chair of the Plenary, who is no one else than the Rwandan ICT minister, that, it would be an insult to the host country, the government of Rwanda, if no mention is made of the youth summit in Res 76. The truth was that both events happened and were hosted by the government of Rwanda, side by side, and many delegates from the GCS later attended the WTDC. These delegates also mentioned that during the WTDC opening ceremony, a youth representative addressed the audience, in front of Rwanda’s President, on the success of the GCS and called for their support in implementing their action plan.

Along the same lines, another delegate pointed out that in the draft under discussion, the mention made of the GCS is under “noting” and not under “resolves” sections which means it is just a way of updating the 2017 document with this new event that happened alongside WTDC 2022. He added that it does not imply that people have to agree or not on the content or the proceedings of this youth summit. He concluded by saying he did not understand why delegates were arguing against that. In contrast, a reference to the Costa Rica Youth Summit in 2013 is made in the draft under discussion and in the same section. The GCS is simply another youth summit that has happened alongside the WTDC in 2022; it, therefore, should be added.

Another delegate said, during a Plenary, that the WTDC 22 is sending a very negative message to the youth of this planet if their leaders cannot acknowledge and recognize their work and, most importantly, their vision put forward in the Youth Action Plan.

“Against” arguments

Other member states were against including GCS’s proceedings in the WTDC outcome documents, not even mentioning that the event happened.

Member states from two regions argued that the idea behind not referring to the GCS was that they (the youth) came up with an outcome document with resolutions that were not shared among all youth, especially those from the regions they represent. A Delegate from that region even said on the mic that their youth were denied participation in the GCS. It was also noted that the Youth Action Plan encompasses some points sensitive to the many Member States in the regions above.

Another group of states said they do not want to include a mention of the youth event because it happened before this WTDC, therefore not officially part of it to be worthily mentioned. They made it clear, however, that they recognize the importance of including the youth’s voice in discussions about the future of technology.

Many delegates argued that if a youth event has to be mentioned in Res 76, the GCS should not be the only one. Other youth summits linked to the ITU or focused on the development of technology should be mentioned if they happened between WTDC 2017 and WTDC 2022.

Later in the discussions, it became clear to everyone that for many delegates, the actual reason behind the refusal to mention the GCS was the fear that if the youth summit is mentioned, then it will mean that its outcomes, including their resolutions as presented in the Youth Action Plan, is also endorsed by WTDC delegates. Not all delegates wanted to be associated with these outcomes.

As we went ahead with discussions and delegates were deliberating on this issue, it almost became clear that “No Change” (NOC) would prevail because it was even the conclusion from the Chair of COMM 3, that was in charge of Res 76 after late hours ad hoc meetings in between plenaries. The primary rationale behind sticking to NOC, as put forward by some delegates, was that the 2017 text wasn’t yet implemented in full and therefore not exhausted to give room for new items to be added in Resolution 76 on Promoting ICTs among young women & men for social & economic empowerment. They said that the ITU should first implement what has been agreed upon in the past conference and, when exhausted, look for new topics.

In all instances, there was back and forth between delegates arguing for or against opinions expressed by the other parties. For a newcomer like me, I enjoyed the conversations and the excellent moderation of chairs, whether in the ad hoc group or the plenary.

Towards a compromise

Because something had to be presented in the plenary as an outcome of the ad hoc discussions on Res 76, a delegate came up with a new approach for discussion. They suggested mentioning the GCS but adding a footnote saying something like “mentioning the GCS is not an endorsement of its outcomes or any other document related to the summit.” This was a way to address the issue raised about endorsing the outcomes of the youth summit, whose content was not approved by some delegates.

This idea was saluted by many other member states, who found it to be an excellent way to move the discussion forward. The majority of members of this ad hoc group now started discussing the rephrasing of the suggested footnote; options included: The reference to the first Generation Connect Global Youth Summit does not imply any endorsement or acceptance of “other related documents connected to the youth summit” or “any recommendations embedded in the Call to action output document of the Summit.”

It was past 8 pm on June 15, and no consensus was made in the ad hoc group on Res 76, yet the plenary was to be held in the next few minutes. Ballot boxes started being brought into the whole room; people, including myself, thought they were brought to be used if member states decided to vote on the way forward because they could not reach a consensus. The plenary was closed past 10 pm; no vote, no consensus, no vote was done that night.

As a last chance, the ad hoc group on Res 76 was to meet the following day in the morning; its Chair was entrusted with the mission to rally its members to reach a consensus before the last plenary that was scheduled to start around 9:30 on the morning.

On June 16 at 12h30 in the afternoon, representatives from different regions agreed on a text approved by the last plenary of the day. The text read: ITU-D advances national, regional, and international events that promote information and communication technologies that young women and men can use for social and economic empowerment, such as the Global Youth Summit.

*I am Arsene Tungali, Executive Director of Rudi International. The views presented in this blog are my personal views and do not represent any other organization or entity I am affiliated with. I am currently an Article 19’s Internet of Rights Fellow and attended my first WTDC as part of the Association for Progressive Communication (APC)’s delegation.

Rudi International hosts an advocacy workshop in partnership with Paradigm Initiative in Goma (DRC)

The fight for internet freedom-friendly legislation and policies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been at the center of the advocacy work Rudi International, as an organization, has been conducting in the country. We also believe that when citizens’ digital rights are upheld by the State, then only we can build a just and strong country.

As an organization, we have had the opportunity to partner with various entities and organizations in order to do what we do, in support of the citizens of the DRC who long to live in a country where their rights are taken seriously by the State and various entities in the digital sector.

That’s why on May 25-26, 2022 we hosted in Goma, a digital rights advocacy workshop benefiting nearly 30 civil society actors who came from cities including Kinshasa, Kisangani, and Bukavu in the DRC. This was in partnership with Paradigm Initiative, a pan-African organization based in Nigeria.

The main objective of this workshop is to give you the opportunity, as civil society leaders, to understand what are your digital rights and what you need to do whenever these are being violated”, said Arsene Tungali, Executive Director of Rudi International, during his opening remarks.

Paradigm Initiative selected Goma for this workshop in order to share their expertise and experience of working in various countries in Africa, with the Congolese civil society leaders. Their innovative approach to conducting successful advocacy activities was very much welcomed by the participants.

The workshop was facilitated by various experts from Paradigm Initiative (PIN) and Rudi International, and touched on specific content, including Mr. Gbenga Sessan (PIN’s Executive Director) who presented on “Advocacy communications: how to tell a compelling story of your work?”, Mrs. Nnenna Paul Oguchukwu (PIN’s Operations Officer) on “Building trust in relationships”, Mr. Adeboye Adegoka (PIN’s Program manager), on “Digital rights 101” and Mr. Rigobert Kenmogne (PIN’s Head of Francophone Africa) on “Digital rights and internet freedoms in the DRC and in Africa”, in addition to Rudi International experts who spoke about the ICT policy landscape in the DRC.

In addition to equipping civil society leaders on digital rights and advocacy, they were also trained on how to form coalitions and the importance of working in a coalition for maximum impact. It was clear to the participants the saying that goes “if you don’t know your rights, there is no way you can claim it”.

This workshop also wanted to get the participants to create a vision of how they want their country to be run, and what they want the digital environment to look like. And from the group work, they came up with a positive vision for the DRC, a vision they are committed to building.

Watch video on our Youtube channel

« Rendre HakiConf un cadre permanent d’échanges d’expériences entre les acteurs », révèlent les résultats de l’évaluation

Vous pouvez télécharger le rapport complet en Français et en Anglais !

Pendant la période de septembre à novembre 2021, il a été commandité une évaluation des 3 éditions de HakiConf, la Conférence sur les droits de l’homme à l’ère du numérique en RDC, un évènement annuel portée par Rudi International, avec l’appui de ses partenaires.

L’évaluation cherchait à vérifier ce que les participants aux différentes éditions pensent quant à la « pertinence » d’un tel évènement en République Démocratique du Congo (RDC), l’« efficacité » dans son organisation ainsi que sa « durabilité », dont l’impact de l’évènement vu dans le temps.

Confiée au CEREM avec l’appui financier de APC, nous sommes heureux de vous présenter le rapport de cette évaluation qui s’est faite au travers de deux questionnaires qui ont permis de collecter des données qualitatives et quantitatives par rapport à ce grand évènement qui est tenue à Goma en 2018, en 2019 et en 2021, l’édition 2020 ayant été annulée suite à la pandémie de la Covid 19.

Les résultats

« De la pertinence »

Les résultats nous ont montré que l’organisation des différentes éditions de HakiConf constituait un besoin réel pour ses participants, car d’un côté, 60% des répondants ont confirmé avoir été motivés par des thèmes attrayants développés et de l’autre côté, 15% d’entre eux ont mentionné le développement personnel comme étant leur motivation de participation.

Près de 14% d’entre eux ont dit avoir été motivés par le besoin d’améliorer leur travail au quotidien et d’autres encore ont ajouté l’opportunité de se retrouver devant les décideurs politiques (7%) ou encore une opportunité d’échange d’expériences (4%).

D’un autre point de vue, 80% des répondants ont estimé que les questions du numérique ainsi que celles liées aux droits humains restent d’actualité et se donnent une place prépondérante dans la vie quotidienne d’où la nécessité d’organiser des séances de remise à niveau de façon continue pour les participants.

Il est aussi important de souligner que les répondants ont reconnu des sessions présentées lors des différentes éditions, une certaine cohérence, car en plus d’être un besoin réel au regard de l’évolution du numérique et l’ignorance aux droits y afférent par plusieurs, les thématiques développées sont conformes aux besoins et aux normes en vogue dans ce domaine précis au sein des sociétés.

Revivez en vidéo, l’essentiel de la première édition (HakiConf2018)

« De l’efficacité »

Les répondants à l’enquête ont confirmé l’efficacité des sessions avec 85% qui ont dit qu’à l’issue de chaque édition il y avait des engagements pris par les participants et les recommandations qui étaient adressées aux décideurs politiques et aux organisations pour des actions de plaidoyer en faveurs des droits et liberté dans le domaine du numérique.

Revivez en vidéo, l’essentiel de la deuxieme édition (HakiConf2019)

Cela apporte certainement un changement pour les participants en plus du communiqué final sur les différents thèmes développés et engagements pris qui était lu à la grande satisfaction de tous à la fin de chaque édition. Il sied de noter aussi que les résultats de l’enquête ont confirmé que les connaissances acquises par les participants permettaient à ces derniers d’élaguer l’ignorance sur les questions relatives à la liberté et aux droits humains dans le domaine du numérique.

« De la durabilité »

Les répondants à l’enquête ont insisté sur le besoin de rendre HakiConf un cadre permanent d’échanges d’expériences entre les acteurs des monde associatif, Étatique et paraétatique, d’où la nécessité d’une remise à niveau continue (souhait exprimé par 80% des répondants) tout en gardant une culture d’évaluation des résultats et de son impact au regard de l’intérêt sur les divers aspects.

Il a été suggéré à l’organisateur de cette conférence de ne pas oublier d’ajouter les questions ci-après dans l’agenda des prochaines éditions : la  sécurité numérique et gestion des réseaux sociaux, la taxe RAM, accès et utilisation des outils du numérique, entrepreneuriat et marketing en ligne, droit à la santé sexuelle et de la reproduction à l’ère numérique, impact du numérique sur les droits humains et le développement d’un pays, intégration du numérique dans les secteurs administratifs publics, dans les entreprises privées et monde associatif, numérisation des taxes et impôts, etc.

La 3e édition a résulté au lancement du Réseau des Avocats Congolais sur les droits numériques

En définitif, il convient de retenir que les résultats de cette évaluation ont réellement démontré que ces conférences ont été pertinentes et suscitent toujours un besoin continue en formation. Elles ont été organisées avec efficacité et efficience et s’inscrivent toujours dans une logique de durabilité vu les besoins actuels dans le domaine du numérique devenus incontournables.

Vous pouvez télécharger le rapport complet en Français et en Anglais !

Audit en sécurité des systèmes d’information pour les organisations et entreprises en RDC : appel à manifestation d’intérêt

Rudi International (l’organisation) désire travailler avec des organisations et entreprises (bénéficiaires) en République Démocratique du Congo (RDC) afin de leur offrir un audit en sécurité numérique et ce de manière bénévole.

L’organisation conduit actuellement une formation des formateurs et auditeurs en sécurité numérique (sécurité des systèmes d’information) et voudrai ainsi lancer les lauréats sur le terrain afin d’assister les bénéficiaires pour vérifier l’état de leurs systèmes d’information et ainsi leur offrir une assistance gratuite dans la sécurisation de ceux-ci. Une formation basique en sécurité numérique est prévue également au bénéfice de quelques membres clés au sein de ces entités sélectionnées.

Outre les avantages en matière de sécurité, un audit permet également de prendre des décisions commerciales judicieuses. Des contrôles réguliers vous permettent de trouver de meilleures options logicielles et d’identifier les possibilités de réduction des coûts.

Les avantages d’un audit de sécurité du réseau sont les suivants :

  • Identifier les menaces potentielles dans votre système,
  • Assurer la protection de données précieuses,
  • Localiser les problèmes liés au patrimoine matériel,
  • Améliorer les politiques et pratiques défaillantes de l’entreprise,
  • Trouver les inefficacités du réseau.

De manière brève, les entités sélectionnées bénéficieront, entre autres:

  • d’une analyse des vulnérabilités de leur réseau et tous les actifs qui y sont liés (routeurs, serveurs, switch, ordinateurs, imprimantes, etc),
  • d’une analyse des vulnérabilités de leurs adresses IP publiques (allouées à leurs site web, applications mobiles, etc),
  • d’un rapport de l’analyse faite avec des propositions concrètes pour l’amélioration de leur sécurité,
  • d’une formation basique en sécurité numérique pour un nombre réduit de leur personnel important.

Les entités sélectionnées dans le cadre de cet appel bénéficieront de ces services de manière gratuite. Les entités concernées par cet appel sont, entre autres, les ONG locales, les organismes de media, les cabinets de recherche, cabinets d’avocats, les entreprises privées et publiques, les universités, les hôpitaux, etc.

L’entité concernée devra remplir une ou plusieurs de ces conditions afin de rendre cette tache bénéfique :

  • Avoir une connexion Internet sur laquelle les employés se connectent,
  • Posséder un ou plusieurs ordinateurs dans ses bureaux,
  • Avoir déployé une application mobile en cours d’usage,
  • Posséder une présence sur Internet au travers d’un site web ou des réseaux sociaux,
  • Avoir ses bureaux dans les villes suivantes : Goma, Kinshasa, Beni et Butembo où seront déployés les auditeurs. Pour les autres villes, l’assistance se passera en ligne,
  • Accepter d’accueillir un ou deux auditeurs en sécurité des systèmes d’information pendant quelques jours dans ses locaux et leur permettre d’échanger avec son équipe dans le cadre de cette tâche.

Les organisations intéressées sont priées de manifester leur intérêt en complétant le formulaire suivant ce LIEN (cliquez) au plus tard le 10 décembre 2021.

Une fois la sélection faite, les bénéficiaires seront contactés et à eux seront partagés plus de détails quant à la conduite de cette activité.

Rudi International travaille depuis plusieurs années dans la formation sur les métiers du numérique et se focalise sur les questions de sécurité dans notre utilisation quotidienne de l’internet et des technologies de l’information et de la communication.

Manifestez votre intérêt en complétant ce formulaire au plus tard le 10 décembre a 12h00 GMT.