Who is the author?

Biyeun Buczyk '10

My name is Biyeun Buczyk, a member of the class of 2010 and a Course VIII (physics) major from MIT.

I was first introduced to the Computers for Uganda (CFU) Project by my high school’s computer science teacher, Rod Thompson, in 2004. I did a few minor things to help out with the project my sophomore year, but I became fully involved as a junior—going to Uganda for the first time as a student technical leader of the 2005 CFU team.

After the first visit I was hooked. The lush, green beautiful countryside made me feel right at home, as I’m from Washington State, and the Ugandan people, especially the students I met at the schools, were so inspirational—many faced incredible hardships at such a young age, yet still held onto the hope that they could change their world. Since then I’ve been determined to share with them the technology that has helped me so much in my own life—the computer, but more specifially the Internet. Although CFU could only set up the computer labs without an Internet connection, as the years have gone by, many of the labs are starting to gain access. My hope is that in the near future, not only will every school lab have an Internet connection, but anyone in Uganda will have access, and at a much lower cost than it’s currently available for at the moment.

But in order for that to happen, there also has to be a market for IT in Uganda, which is something I believe InterConnection Uganda can establish. From my experience in Uganda, I know that people will listen if there is a way to make a living through it. And although there are technical universities out there like Datamine Technical College, they are far and few. The primary and secondary students who are now being exposed to this technology—many of them for the very first time—need a reason to pursue it and be encouraged by those directly supporting their education—their parents.

The summer of 2007 marked my third time back to Uganda. I was there for two months, from June 1st until August 1st, working on the initial set up of the InterConnection Uganda computer refurbishing warehouse. Hopefully my story will inspire you and teach you a few wonderful things about a country that many people have not had the privilege to visit.

I must thank first and foremost the MIT Public Service Center for awarding me a PSC fellowship which paid for my travel expenses to Uganda during the summer of 2007—without this I probably would not have been able to go. I also have to thank Honorable John Nsambu, Uganda’s first Minister of Information and Communications Technology, who will be took time out of his busy schedule to make accomidations for me while I was in Uganda in 2007.

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