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Tech Me with the Bus

A virtual Exchange Platform that uses video modelling to teach refugees in entrepreneurship skills to start a business with $1 or less.

Photo of Gastone Mwiine

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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

According to UNHCR reports Uganda has over 1,293,582. The government and humanitarian NGOs do a great work but cannot meet all their basic needs since the numbers are overwhelming. Refugees need a source of income to cater for their family needs, have leisure, socialize, communicate, connect again with relatives and family members in a different part of the world or displaced. Unfortunately, this remains an illusion due to lack of income sources. "Tech Me with the bus" proposes "Donate a skill Campaign" where refugees, business owners, social entrepreneurs, anyone can donate, share a business skill that requires $1 to start or that can start using locally available materials. When a potential skill donor expresses interest after watching the campaign on social media, tech me home website, flyers or Tech Me Home Bus, he or she will be guided to record a 3 minute video of him/herself performing the skill which will be sent to the campaign managers to edit and make it ready for use. Mode of delivery: Computers, smart phones, social media, Internet Cafes, Resource centres and "Tech Me Home Bus". The bus stocked with a Local Area Network (LAN) connected to high speed internet will act as a mobile classroom/workshop hall where those without access to smart phones and computers can access the content. Content may include making super market gift bags out of paper, how to make counter books, how to make liquid soap among other industry products. Video lectures will also teach them marketing their products online e.g, starting a blog, writing a business plan, CV, social media page or email to market their hand made products and skills. Internet will enable them to access a pool of online resources like E-learning and other online educational content, communicate with relatives and friends , visiting "Tech Me home" website for more resources.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

This project will be implemented in Uganda's refugee settlements including refugees living in slums and those in Internally Displaced Persons Camps plus the host communities.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

When refugees are economically empowered, they will earn income and reduce dependency on donors and the host communities which creates harmony. The approach is inclusive and will benefit both refugees and host communities. They will develop good relationships through collaborating and skills exchange sessions. Refugees bring new knowledge which can be learnt by community members and the jobs created will create a long lasting relationship between refugees and the host community hence harmony.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

Refugees and asylum seekers continue to face barriers like - lack of adequate livelihoods support, poor sanitation, lack of access to basic necessities, large dependent families headed by single mothers, lack of self-employment skills, lack of start- up capital to engage in income generating activities to name a few. Apart from experiencing livelihood challenges, refugees also face social barriers like stigma, language barrier, social disconnect and this sometimes causes them to live in perpetual fear and loneliness. This project will not only give them a voice through economic empowerment but also enable them to freely interact with the community members in skills exchange sessions, using social media to connect with people outside the communities they live in, attend events since they will be informed, make new friends and live happy lives just like citizens.

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

-Refugees/ host community Self- reliance and livelihoods improved by 2021 -Improved welfare of refugees and host community by 2021 -equipped with digital literacy -Refugees will gain more confidence about using social media to have their voice heard. -Some refugees will be able to publish their dreams online through blogs, websites, and social media. -Refugees will be able to have self or paid employment after gaining Entrepreneurship skills -Increased awareness about being safe online. -The project will also provide positive outcomes for staff and volunteers involved who will use a range of new ICT equipment throughout the project.

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

By the of age of 7 I was already facing the reality of living in foster families like a goat after my dad lost all he had including his life through a series of cinematic episodes that I cannot explain. The last horror I will never forget was being brought from school to bury my dad who died of acid attack. Moving from home to home like a normadic pastoralist, stigmatised, discriminated... With such a life, no one would be desiring to give a second look at me. But here I am, helping fellow victims, fundraising for Non-profits, designing websites, providing online Assistance to many. Thanks to "Digital Literacy". I learnt to believe in myself and decided to explore the web and teach myself all skills I needed. Today, am still homeless but I have hope that some day, I can build a home of my own because am skilled. Imagine what unskilled refugees go through! I started this so that people can donate small business ideas and skills that can help my friends get back on their feet like me

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

The project targets mainly, refugees residing in the slums of Kampala and those living in Camps. The project will also benefit other vulnerable groups of people especially those living in poverty like homeless people, people with no permanent place of residence due to various circumstances, orphans and street children. Majority refugees in the urban set up reside in low income congested slum areas with poor sanitation, shanty accommodation, areas whose economic activities include bars, hawking, survival sex, trading in drugs, activities that characteristic of high crime rate and exposure to heightened protection risks.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

Displaced people have potential and possess diverse forms of knowledge. If given proper support and guidance and information, they can solve their problems by themselves. In them lies successful small and medium business owners, IT experts, Consultants... the list is endless. This project will focus on possibilities rather than problems, on strengths rather than weaknesses, on what is working well rather than what has yet to be accomplished, on hope rather than despair. Success will be documented and cerebrated.

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

Tech me home will work with innovators, content creators, small scale entrepreneurs, local businesses, Makasi Rescue Foundation(MRF) where I currently volunteer, and other refugee agencies. I would also welcome other actors interested in developing digital strategies like mine to provide sustainable solutions to the world's most vulnerable people - Refugees.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Arriving and settling at a destination community

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Technology-enabled: Existing approach is more effective or scalable with the addition of technology

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Blueprint: We are exploring the idea and gathering the inspiration and information we need to test it with real users.

Group or Organization Name

-Tech Me Home (to be registered once we get funds) -Makasi Rescue Foundation (as a collaborating partner)

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

Gastone Mwiine is the brain behind Tech Me Home, an online platform that started 4 years ago with a vision of helping vulnerable people to dream again. The platform has ever since assisted over 300 poor youth to get scholarships, fully funded E-learning courses, see beneficiaries reviews https://techmehomeug.wordpress.com/university-education/ -Educating youth via social media through videos, tutorials, blog posts. https://techmehomeug.blogspot.com/2018/11/no-job-no-money-what-next.html https://www.facebook.com/Techmehome/videos/1902426216739452/ -Conducting Interviews with youth role models https://www.facebook.com/Techmehome/videos/251777618853499/ https://www.facebook.com/gastone.prince/videos/10217347277619533/ https://www.facebook.com/Techmehome/videos/603203433466007/ https://www.facebook.com/Techmehome/videos/986794515044373/ Now, he has teamed up with 2 computer skilled youth, local entrepreneurs to push for this noble cause.

Website URL:

Planning to build a website (www.techmehome.org) and register Tech Me Home as a digital platform once we raise the finances. Currently, I use a social media page on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Techmehome) and planning to add this project on my blog (www.techmehomeug.wordpress.com

Type of submitter

  • We are not yet a registered organization but plan to register in future

Organization Headquarters: Country

Uganda

Organization Headquarters: City / State

Kampala
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Team (2)

Mahadi's profile
Mahadi Rwebangira

Role added on team:

"His idea (https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/2019-bridgebuilder-challenge/review/young-entrepreneur-startup-gear-on-yes-go) and mine share a lot in common and if we collaborate, something great could come out"

Gastone's profile

Attachments (1)

23 comments

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Photo of Uchenna Okafor
Team

Hi Gastone Mwiine! Quite interesting to design for welfare of refugees and internally displaced persons. Moreover, my greatest admiration is the crowd funding model. Nonetheless, is there any provision in this solution to accommodate the disabled persons who are unfortunately the most vulnerable group of all times? You may agree with me that the blind, deaf, dumb, lame, etc are worst hit in all crisis situations.

Photo of Gastone Mwiine
Team

Thanks Uchenna Okafor 
People with disabilities are considered in designing the content. With a team of Experts in content creation, we shall make the learning content inclusive.

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