WCE’s ten Field Associates are committed to bringing technology and educational tools to their countries by offering WCE’s six services to government, donors, schools, universities, orphanages, youth centers and other groups. They are also gradually developing a WCE refurbishing and training Chapter in their country.
Mulugeta Assefa is WCE’s Field Associate in Ethiopia. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Asmara University and has continued studies in social work while earning a diploma from the Africa Virtual University. He has taken Microsoft certification courses in network essentials, servers, active directory services, and infrastructure. He taught high school physics for ten years and has twelve years of experience in the technology field.
In addition to his work for WCE, Mulugeta is the Field Associate in Ethiopia for WiderNet, helping with the marketing, installation and updating of the excellent eGranary Digital Library.
“Cliff Missen, the head of WiderNet and developer of the eGranary, called me one day,” said WCE president Timothy Anderson. “He suggested that we begin to share our Field Associates since we both need people with technology and marketing skills to represent our organizations. That’s how I met the interesting, dedicated and caring Mulugeta.”
Mulugeta is recruiting schools to participate in the World Class Scholars program of Envision South Carolina. This is an online education exchange between students in South Carolina and their peers around the world.
As Mulugeta learned about the effective global work of WCE Strategic Ally iEARN, he applied to become their Country Coordinator for Ethiopia.
Via monthly conference calls, WCE’s Field Associates discuss how to best serve our network of 4,250 groups in 78 developing countries. In these meetings, Mulugeta has urged WCE to offer the Lighthouse remote satellite receiver, a product that has been developed by our newest Strategic Ally, OuterNet. Mulugeta pointed out that Lighthouse would allow our Partner organizations to update our preloaded Content pack via satellite rather than over the Internet. WCE is now offering the Lighthouse on our Costs sheet.
As Mulugeta got to know more about the WCE Computers for Girls initiative, he applied for and was recently awarded a contract by the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia to provide STEM training to 40 girls. He will share what he develops so they can be included in the Resources that are being co-developed and field-tested in Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Rwanda, and Zambia.
Mulugeta is also working with the University of Alabama at Birmingham supporting installation, troubleshooting and training in 5 medical college in Ethiopia.
Mulugeta says about his work, “Modern education is impossible without digital devices. Hence we need to make technology easily accessible.” He hopes that WCE’s offerings eventually include tablets and portable devices “so that learning can be a truly encompassing experience”.
Mulugeta was born in a small village in Ethiopia. “My whole life was full of challenge,” he says. “There was a time when I had to work for my subsistence and a time when I had to live separate from my family to seek a better education. All these challenges helped me be who I am today, a person who never gives up, a person who wants to help others in need, a person who wants to learn from every challenge. My motto is ‘A man without challenge is blind to the beauty of life.’”
WCE’s eWaste Initiative Director, Stephen Sena, said, “I had just finished developing a funding proposal for WCE’s new Chapter in Puerto Rico and I asked all the Field Associates who was ready to work with me on a proposal for WCE’s first refurbishing and training Chapter in Africa. Mulugeta said he and his staff were ready and eager, and he has been a great co-developer of our proposal.”
WCE now has Field Associates in the following nine African countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.