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Summer 2009 - College Interns

Summer 2009 - Buyobo InternsTobin Jones and Danica Straith, juniors at McGill University, spent most of May and early June 2009 interning with WMI in Buyobo, Uganda. Their stay there was enormously helpful to building the WMI program. After numerous trips to Mbale and innumerable hours tinkering with Olive Wolimbwa, the Local Program Director's lap top computer, they were able to install a modem and get her hooked up with wireless Internet access. This was huge step forward for the WMI program. Olive can now send e-mails and communicate via the Internet without having to travel the 2 hours to Mbale by bus and without having to wait in line at the local Internet Café.

Tobin and Dani worked on automating the WMI records and provided Olive with Excel spreadsheet training. Olive has been attending computer training school and with Dani and Tobin with her for a month, she made rapid progress.

The interns launched the WMI tutoring program with 40 children for an hour each day. They reported that the children were angels and eager for the help with their schoolwork. WMI provided notebooks, pencils and some simple workbooks. The woman paid 1,000 shillings per week for each child - which is about 50 cents. We believe that the improvement programs that WMI launches must be working toward sustainability. The small fee helped support the program and it helped the women put a value and spending priority on education for their children. The tutoring program will continue in the fall.

They photographed a number of women in the loan program and helped them develop biographies detailing how the loan program has changed their lives. Check out their work on the WMI web site.

For more information on the work done during May and June, 2009, check out WMIís Bimonthly newsletter

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