Introducing Young Congolese Girls to the Internet!

Rudi International, through its ICT Programs, recently launched a series of training targeting young women aged 18-25 years to introduce them to everything Internet. We have been working in this field since 2012, trying to engage more and more women into this space, helping them understand why and how they need to embrace an ICT career and more broadly, to engage in STEM.

In partnership with Sacred Portion Children’s Outreach, a sister organization, we started a series of training that started in June and scheduled to resume in September 2017 in Goma, eastern Congo where we are based. A group of 20 young women will be trained, one weekend every month (Saturday and Sunday) in different topics, divided into different phases.

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For June, they have been taken through the basics of the Internet such as understanding the origin of the Internet, introduction to Internet governance, how to create and use an email address as well as basics of social media usage. They were taught about the main organizations working in the ICT space, globally as well regionally and how they can be part of the policy process. As a result, they now have started communicating using Gmail and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The session in June was the starting point as we look forward to the remaining 3 phases, with the same group of young women.

The next phases

The second phase, in July, they will go through a module on “Using the Internet for peace, development and advocacy” where they will learn how to use social media sites to promote causes they believe in, to share positive messages and be part of the Congolese online community.

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Ladies enjoying the training during phase 1 in June 2017

The third phase will focus on “Citizen Journalism” where the ladies will learn basics of blogging as well as writing for the web. Our team of trainers will use their time to take these young women through blog creation, production of content and how they can promote their blog posts on social media. We want to see these women be able to take over the web through production of quality content and be citizen journalists that will be followed for their posts.

 

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Ladies enjoying the training during phase 1 in June 2017

The last phase in September will deal with “Online security and data protection”. This is essential in this world and in the DRC with the current state of Internet freedom; we want Congolese young women to be able to surf the web while taking care of their personal security and the one of the people they communicate with. This subject is scheduled for the end of the training because by this time, participants will have acquired the knowledge they need to use the Internet in an effective way.

In between each phase, our trainers will be checking on them and use WhatsApp groups to further communicate, share tips and receive homework as a way to help them discover new things, features that they cannot learn during the training due to insufficient funding. With this project, we want to emancipate these women and help bridge the digital divide that exists between men and women in the use of technology.

Want to participate?

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If you want to partner with us to advance the use of technology in Congo and participate in the reduction of modern slavery, do not hesitate to use the Contact section on this website to share with us your thoughts.

ICT policy training for Congolese activists held in Goma

In partnership with the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), we brought together human rights activists, journalists, bloggers, lawyers, etc to discuss ICT policy issues in Africa and in the world. A special focus was on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) because we examined the current policies and the way the policy development process is being handled in the DRC.

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For two days, it was a good opportunity for journalists and human rights advocates in Goma to be exposed to Internet freedom topics and know how they can be part of the policy discussion. One of the major activities was that participants were able to read the current ICT laws and to compare it with the new proposed ICT laws currently under discussion at the Parliament.

Recommendations were drafted on how the ICT proposal can be improved and have it include issues such as privacy, freedom of expression, etc. As a result, a statement was issued: DR Congo Parliament Urged to Pass Laws That Support Citizens’ Rights Online (available on CIPESA’s website), its French version can be downloaded here [Declaration de la Societe Civile – Francais].

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This training was the first of its kind to be held in this part of the country. Rudi International has been working in the area of Internet freedom for a few years now, being represented at major events discussing Internet shutdowns and other violations of citizen’s digital rights.

We are committed to work with a lot of partners in shaping the Internet freedom agenda in the DRC. If you want to partner or want to learn more, do not hesitate to reach out to us.

 

Rudi International Year in Review – 2015

“Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” Proverb 31:9
With God’s grace, you have helped us do just that this past year. Let’s walk back to 2015 and count our blessings together!

-Alain Rafiki, Co-Founder & President at Rudi International, non-profit

2015 was a very exciting year for Rudi International.  We are so thankful for your continued support as we strive to make a difference in Goma, DR Congo.  Please read on to catch a few of the highlights from 2015!  We certainly can not contain all of God’s goodness and blessing in one update. So, after reading these highlights, please feel free to check out our website, additional hyperlinks, and our Facebook page for a more in-depth look into our programs.

  • Encourage Mothers
  • Rudi Education
  • Rudi for Women and Girls Online

Please read the entire newsletter here and remember to subscribe to our mailing list so you are first in the know: Rudi International Year in Review – 2015

 

Working for a safer online environment for young people #SID2016

As part of our ICT Programs, Rudi International, non-profit celebrates the Safer Internet Day with the rest of the world as over 100 countries celebrate this day to encourage the safe and responsible use of online technology.

Rudi International agrees with the theme for this year calls you to “Play your part for a better Internet,” where children and the rest of humanity is safe, dignified, respected, and the Lord God honored.

Below is a link from the ITU Blog that shares a SMART way of stay safe on the Internet:

S – Set your limits: beware of sharing your personal information.

M – Meeting online friends offline: take someone else with you that you know and trust to stay safe.

A – Accepting invitations/friendships: there is nothing wrong in declining invitations that you are not sure about.

R – React: if you see something that bothers you, talk to your parents or someone you trust.

T – Tell someone about your concerns: report inappropriate content and behavior to the host of the website or police.

Finally, the ITU also provides a wonderful PDF document that parents can use with their children for educating them and improving their safety both online and offline. Please find the PDF document directly on the ITU website.

Source: Working for a safer online environment for young people #SID2016

For Girls In ICT day, Rudi sponsored the Goma Web Activism Summit

The workshops

For this year’s celebrations, Rudi International co-hosted the Goma Web Activism Summit (GWAS) in April 2015 as a way to celebrate and mark the Girls in ICT day. The event was mainly a series of trainings on basic ICT skills, social media presence and blogging skills.

The event targeted young people, online activists from the DRC, Burundi, Rwanda and Kenya as they took part into a 3 days event in Goma, eastern Congo. The event was held in Yole!Africa’s facilities, being part of the sponsors. We are happy to have partnered with Yole, a cultural center based in Goma to support the event.

About 20 participants in total, including about 8 young women took part and had a lot to learn, committing to share back with their communities. Each one of them had the opportunity to create their own blogs and start expressing themselves on subjects they want. They had the opportunity to learn how they can benefit from the numerous opportunities offered to them by the Internet, such as introduction to social media sites.

“The DRC is a big country where connectivity is still a problem, so many people started going online mainly through mobile phones as access to cyber cafes requires money. There are more young men than women that’s why for over 3 years now, Rudi International is targeting women, helping them understand they can build career in ICT”, said Arsene Tungali, Co-founder and Executive Director of Rudi International who was one of the trainers.

We have been organizing Girls In ICT day celebrations for the past 3 years now, Rudi being the only one organization bringing ICT debates to young people in eastern Congo.

The topics we covered in previous events were such as: online security tips, managing online presence on social media sites, blogging skills, and online activism as a way to create more internet and ICT literate new generations. We have participated in several Internet Governance meetings on a national, regional and international level and we are committed to supporting access to affordable Internet. You can partner with us!!

Site visit

11188190_797418300348078_3014914101695077504_nOn the last day of the workshop, part of the delegation paid a visit to our beneficiaries in Lac Vert as they wanted to see first-hand the work we are doing with the communities.

It was a Sunday, the kids wanted to meet those young people coming from other countries to hear their stories.

At the school, our friends from Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya had the opportunity to answer questions from the kids such as:

  • What languages do you speak?
  • What do you eat in your country?
  • How is the weather there?
  • Do you have motorbikes?
  • How are your schools look like?

These questions led to a good debate. These kinds of activities are part of what we call “afterschool activities” which is a way for us at Rudi to help our beneficiaries learn what’s going on outside of their sphere and country. We are happy that most of our supporters believe this is a good way to create a new generation of global citizens. Thank you for your continuous support. Know that your kind donations are not only covering school fees but serve beyond that.

You too can donate to support our afterschool activities as we tend to develop more and more exciting activities for our sponsored kids. You have the choice of donating on a monthly basis the amount of your choice; you also have the possibility to share with us for what purpose you want your donation to be used for.

Christmas Project 2014

It is finally here!

That time of the year when we get to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. At Rudi International, we want to do this with those who have little to no means of celebrating because they cannot afford a decent meal for Christmas or New Year or even clothing.

Thinking about a gift for Christmas? Please give a meal and the opportunity to learn a new marketable skill for a mother in war-torn Goma, a smile, or a full tummy to a kid in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. You can GIVE any or some of that at this link.

The Full Story

Christmas with Rudi International reaches beyond the ministry of the children in the education program.  Through this event each year the whole Lac Vert community is invited to gather, rejoice and to have fun, enjoying the holiday together.  The Christmas project was launched in 2012 as an outreach to the entire community.  That first year around 208 children were fed and over 300 attended the planned activities.

In 2013, with your support, the event reached even more and more people. Rudi International was able to involve the whole community, the celebrations taking two days! We gathered three different groups on Dec 24th and the big celebration with everyone happened on Dec 25th. Those events included a special art camp with the children enrolled in the education program and a training event for volunteers in the community who would help with the event on Christmas.  The 3rd group was focused on women, 27 mothers attended. The workshop was directed by Mama Jeannet, our volunteer, a great women who is directing the “Encourage Mothers” program.  They celebrated Christmas on their own, talking about their role as women to support their families. They spent time singing and dancing and were encouraged to forget a little bit about their problems and focus on Christ, the reason for the celebration. At the end, the youths and women received a small package (rice, soap, beans, kitchen oil, etc), to make sure they celebrate Christmas on the next day while we will be feasting with the kids on the following day.

It was a special and unique opportunity in the area where parents are not able to offer anything on this special day for their kids.

We are really humbled each year to see God using Rudi’s team of volunteers to bring joy to the community which is comprised of people affected by war.

In 2014, with the growth of our education program increasing from 32 children to 70, (Praise God!) we have a big task ahead to raise funds for our 2014 Christmas Project.  Will you help us by making a donation of any amount to help feed the children of the community? Aprox. Cost: $1500

$5 – will help feed a child in the community and provide fun activities to attend on Christmas day.

Rudi International is also hoping to provide activities for the children and women involved in Rudi’s education and Encourage Mother’s program.  We have 70 students who will be attending the art camps.  We have about 40 women in the other program who will attend a workshop to learn how to make plastic bags which is a skill they can use as a trade.  During the workshops the Rudi team will also be feeding them a lunch of bread and drinks  Approx. Cost: $950

A $10 donation – A child gets to attend art camp and have lunch
A $10 donation – A women gets to learn a trade and have lunch