I freedom Uganda Network (IFU) will in early July be launching their digital resource center where members from the LGBTI and sex work communities will be accessing internet in a secure and free way. The initiative will be the first of its kind in Uganda.
With support from American Jewish World Service and other funding partners, IFU has been able to get over 20 computers and the required equipment to set up this facility. The program will be hosted at the I Freedom offices and according to the organization leader Kelly Mukwano, members from Uganda’s LGBTI and sex work communities will be able to access secure internet at no cost.
For the past years, some community members who don’t have access to computers or smart phones have been using public internet cafes to access their emails and get related work done. Now, with this project this struggle will be no more. Kelly told Kuchu Times that some community members have been experiencing security problems while using public internet cafes since some forget to logout thus exposing their sensitive information to the next user. He explains that such incidences have exposed the gender and sexual minorities’ community to blackmail and extortion.
IFU has since its inception done a lot of sensitization on digital security for LGBTI/ sex work organizations and their members as well as tried to eradicate computer illiteracy in these marginalized communities. IFU will be using the most secure connection while implementing this project to ensure community members’ information is not tampered with.
Kelly is now calling upon community members to utilize these free services with care such that future generations can be able to benefit from them too. He also calls upon allies to keep supporting the work of community organizations in order to help them secure their data.
IFU anticipates that if all goes well and all the necessary equipment is fully installed, by the first week of July 2016 this great project will be officially unveiled to the community.