Sometimes we do not need everything to make the difference we want to see around us, we at times just need the motivation or a little push. Getting out of our comfort zones and exploring, it can be unsettling, but fulfilling at the same time.
The story of #Hyracbox in South Sudan has a very simple genesis, with one of our partners #Askotec ensuring that our box was part of the kit, what unfolds later is a beautiful story, one that tells tales of #ThePowerOfOne, one that speaks for a community in need of resources. A story about the benefits that the box can provide, but more so, a story about #People, #Access.
#Emmanuel Lobijo #OneBox #Impact.
Meet Emmanuel, a peace activist, social entrepreneur and the Founder and Director of Junub Open Space-a tech and Innovation Hub. Junub Open Space is a community based educational space geared towards building youth capacity through training, knowledge, exposure, providing access to skills and peer networks. The space is focused on providing a platform for collaboration, skills upgrade, makership knowledge for a resilient and self-reliant youth in South Sudan. The space provides co-working spaces and has 80 registered youths
When the box first got to South Sudan, Lobijo got access to the box and as he tells us, things have not been the same for him and his community of changemakers.
What was your initial impression of the box?
I felt that this box was the future! Accessing resources without incurring extra costs is something that my community would highly benefit from. The costs of bandwidth in my country is so high, with the box, access is now easier. I made sure I went through the content immediately I got the box and I was really impressed at what the #Hyracbox was providing.
I decided to pilot the box in my hub and in just a week, the youth would come by and download material from the box for their own consumption, this was inclusive of materials such as computer literacy and life skills. I later decided to take the box to the University of Juba
What informed your decision to do this?
Students are in need of resources and in most occasions find it hard to access materials especially online. This is because the cost of bandwidth in my country is so high and thus this is unaffordable. I introduced the box to a number of students who could not believe that they could access materials in an offline setting. We have been doing this for two months twice a week. Students have found the box to be very resourceful and are actually requesting additional content. We have also been conducting activism activities in schools.
Tell us more about your Activism activities in the schools
The box has been resourceful and especially with all the materials from #defyhatenow. We did activism activities on mitigating #hatespeech in 15 schools. We formed peace clubs in the schools, the students are in charge of the clubs. The box has been instrumental in sharing of the content while creating awareness. Things could not get any better!
What else did you find impressive about the box
Some of the girls having fun after a session on reproductive health.
The box was packaged with materials from UNESCO that touched on Sexual Reproductive Health. This was very key in our on-ground campaign and in the hub, where we used the available materials to create awareness about sexual reproductive health issues as well as issues concerning contraceptives. We have been having weekly programs targeting girls, another one was targeted at football players and Boda Boda riders. About 400 people have been directly affected by this program which is a massive impact for us.
How can we forget digital literacy?
We started a forum known as South Sudan Youth Devolvement forum whose aim was to have space for youths to discuss issues that affect them on a day to day basis. Through this forum, we have conducted several workshops discussing different issues, Understanding the Job market, career planning, and civic writing. The second phase was on Interview tips and Work ethics. We will be having another on Entrepreneurship. These workshops are based on some of the content found in the box as well as content curated by participants.
What recommendations do you have for HyracBox?
The box needs to be marketed to the masses and everybody needs to access the value that it provides and especially in areas where there is limited access to resources.
We need more content that helps in capacity building, DIY material, more educational resources/the dictionary.
With village hubs in South Sudan, we could also document their traditions and have the same on the box where people can access the content for free.
From the Hyrac Team, we are grateful to you for the contribution you are making in ensuring that there is greater access of resources in your initiatives and also with the box. We cannot do it without change makers like you!