Turning a passion into a job is never easy. It is even harder for the people living in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, where job opportunities are lacking and achieving economic stability is a big challenge especially for young refugees. Through the Digital Inclusion Programme (DIP), JRS in partnership with Konexio provides opportunities for refugees in the camp to develop new skills and be able to take jobs online.
Taban, 22, is from South Sudan and has been living in Kakuma refugee camp for 19 years. He defines himself as a techie: he loves to engage with technology in all dimensions. Motivated by a passion for digital and determined to pass it on, he decided to participate in the “Training Of Trainers” (TOT) programme to become an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) instructor for our new DIP in Kakuma. In this eight-week course, he will acquire the necessary techniques to teach computer operating systems, excel formulas, professional client communication, and much more to new and interested young students.
The skills acquired will help both his students and him to better navigate the world of freelance online jobs. “This training is greatly increasing my knowledge of one of the fastest-growing work fields in the twenty-first century: freelancing. I can now apply for online jobs with more confidence. I believe I’m discovering a newer version of myself, perhaps a digital one,” commented Taban.
Taban’s interest in being a bridge between technology and education facilitation stemmed from his experiences as an assistant teacher and an ICT coach at Greenlight refugee secondary school and Ngundeng elementary school. “I am excited to share my TOT training course experiences with my first students so that they may make a difference in their lives and experience more financial sustainability after the course. Furthermore, it has always been my ambition to advance my freelancing profession. Encouragement and mentorship services for students would be my main focus too.”
A colleague of Taban in the training programme and a resident in Kakuma refugee camp, Juma also knows the impact that such programme has on the lives of refugees. Passionate about technology for several years, he is also a former ICT coach and mentor. His experience enabled him to acquire the essential skills to deal with students. “I taught in high school in 2017 before I joined the University. My character helped me establish productive and healthy relationships with all my students, as I like to listen to others’ opinions, contributions, and insights. This is useful for me to find the suitable teaching approaches for each of them, because by listening to them, I can explore their needs, interests, concerns, and professional aspirations.”
At the end of the course, Juma and Taban will join the JRS-Konexio’s team of trainers, where they will work to facilitate contact between the students and the digital world, exponentially enhancing their digital skills and improving their opportunities for a better social and professional livelihood.
“As a person who is passionate about teaching and learning new skills, this programme is offering me opportunities to acquire new skills online, such as programming. I look forward to using abilities, knowledge and experiences gained in the TOT training to transform the life of new students, and to join the freelancing to earn a better wage,” concluded Juma.
*Article based on interviews originally published by Konexio.