WCE’s 11 Field Associates are committed to bringing technology and educational tools to their countries by offering WCE’s five 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.”
As Mulugeta learned about the effective global work of WCE Strategic Ally iEARN, he has 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 79 developing countries.
As Mulugeta got to know more about the WCE Inspire Girls project, 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 Liberia, Mali, Rwanda, and Zambia.
Mulugeta is also working with the University of Alabama at Birmingham supporting computer installation, troubleshooting and training in 5 medical colleges 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 sustenance 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 ten African countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.