The rise of open source, and the skyrocketing popularity of Drupal as a CMS, has made for many very happy developers working in the open source world. But for some people, it isn’t just a hobby or a way to bring home a paycheck: it’s a ticket out of crushing poverty. For some youth living in informal settlements in Kampala, Uganda, the Kampabits organization has made an incredible difference in their lives. The program takes impoverished young individuals who are unable to access funding or build the necessary skills to find gainful employment, and helps them become web designers and web developers. Drupal is one of the open source platforms they use. With the number of alumni of the program employed or entrepreneurs in their own rights, the program is clearly making a difference in its students’ lives. "In spite of the challenges, Kampabits has registered a 75% success rate of program alumni finding jobs or starting their own business,” said Kampabits Coordinator and Manager Alex Okwaput.
Doing Good, Being Great
To make sure instructors have access to the resources they need, the Butterfly Works team has created a digital learning environment called Bits Academy, where instructors can access teaching materials, showcase student work, upload tutorials, and modify the existing curriculum to fit local needs. The team takes a practical approach to the curriculum: wherever possible, students are taught cost-troduced as one of the CMSs), basic entrepreneurship (conducted by Digital Opportunity Trust -DOT (http://uganda.dotrust.org) and life skills in general. After the one year training the students are linked to IT initiatives for internships,” wrote Okwaput. After completing the internship, students are able to seek out employment, go freelance, or even become entrepreneurs in thealumna of the Kampabits program, Best Aiyorwoth, won a prize of $25,000 for starting up her own business— creating much needed, valuable jobs in her community. “[The entrepreneurship aspect] is really important in the current economy because everywhere in the world there’s lots of youth unemployed-- so they have to make their own jobs,” Holm said. To get involved, or to make a donation, please visit the Kampabits website, the Bits Academy, or contact Butterfly Works for more information on the programs. From: Assoc.drupal.org. Click to see the full content.