Tunapanda Institute is investing in Kenya’s youth

Maureen Moraa, 26, and Brian Mwevi, 22, are the two young people at the centre of a community-based organisation, Tunapanda Institute, that is changing the lives of many young people through various skill development programmes in Kibera and Turkana County.

Tunapanda Institute is a non-profit social enterprise that runs intensive three-month technology, design, and business training courses in low-income environments in East Africa. These three-month programs are followed by eight-month apprenticeship programs for a small subset of the graduates. The apprenticeship program enables young people to become teachers and digital professionals.

“The last leg is the journeymanship, which takes about three years. During this time, apart from training the new entrants, you get fully immersed in the administrative work of the institute (if you are retained) or go on to set up your own business or become gainfully employed but remain under guidance by the institute,” explains Maureen, the lead trainer.

The institute uses peer mentoring to equip young people with skills in photography, design, life and business skills and videography. Maureen and Brian are two of the key trainers and mentors.

Maureen joined the institute in 2014 right after she graduated from Kenya Medical Training College.


“I studied medical records with IT and was jobless for some time. In between, I learnt about the organisation through some of my mum’s friends. I joined for a three months’ training and then followed by a six months’ apprenticeship. I then did my journeymanship for three years. I completed this phase last year and got absorbed as one of the lead trainers,” she says. and adds,
“One of my first assignments was to replicate the programme in a facility that the institute was setting up in Turkana County – it was a success.”

Her job as a lead trainer involves training newer cohorts, coordinating with other trainers who have also gone through the programme and taken part in peer mentoring at the institute. She also participates in content and curriculum development for the institute as well as recruitment of new cohorts.

A typical day for Maureen begins at 7.30am. Her duties range from coordinating the trainings—meeting the trainees to schedule classes according to their priority causes, writing grants, updating graduate metrics, writing proposals and also looking for jobs for some of the graduates.

A typical day for Brian starts at 8am.

“I prepare myself for the class by going through the content that I plan to teach and make sure I have all the learning resources and materials that are needed by the trainees. The class starts at 10am after the “warm-up” session (short games to prepare our minds for learning) which might take up three hours. In the afternoons, I usually work on the projects involving our partners (local and international) the aim to enable local communities to collaboratively create sustainable solutions for improved livelihoods through ICT. I end my day at 6pm but sometimes I extend it when work is fun,” Brian says.

The organisation’s founders are keen on having young people who have trained at the institute to take over its operations as the vision bearers. They, therefore, essentially own and steer the organisation towards the attainment of its objectives, which include helping young people develop skills that increase their chance of being gainfully employed.

“We usually have three cohorts every year, but this is subject to availability of resources. There are no specific pre-qualifications to qualify for the programme, although we target those unable to further their education past secondary level and who show interest and are able to commit time,” says Maureen.

Since the programme’s inception six years ago, Tunapanda Institute has trained at least 300 young people and equipped them with various skills.


Not having trained as a teacher meant that for Maureen, the whole training journey has been a process of personal and professional growth.

“I was extremely shy when I started out. I did not train to teach, so I had lots to learn, but once I started and realised how many other young people did not have opportunities to learn and the potential impact of my teaching, this encouraged me to keep learning and have the courage to teach. I remember during my apprenticeship, my classes had an average of 20 people.

This experience brought me closer to the challenges that people were facing in Kibera and Turkana County, such as lack of access to internet, computers and information, as well as lack of enough teachers.

I realised that, for example, if people in Kibera and Turkana have access to what we have in Nairobi, the differences between them and us will be very small. That planted in me the desire to want to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged young people,” Maureen says.

Brian grew up in Kibera, so he understands first-hand the challenges of growing up in the sprawling informal settlement.

“Peer pressure is one of the greatest challenges that young people here experience. Many also lack opportunities to further their education beyond secondary school, which leads to vices. I am an example.

Due to financial challenges, I was not able to go beyond secondary school. I enrolled to Daystar University for a business course but dropped out. Luckily, I had already discovered Tunapanda Institute. I did my journeymanship and here I am, happy to actively give back to my community,” says Brian, who, apart from helping to train the new cohorts, also organises digital boot camps in schools within Kibera to spark the interest of the children in technology and expose them to the changing landscape in the world.

Source Daily Nation

Huawei mentorship, training program benefits Kenyan students

Huawei mentorship, training program benefits Kenyan students.png
Huawei Mate 8 smart phone

By xinhuanet.com

Twelve Kenyan high school graduates have benefited from a Huawei mentorship and training program to advance their personal and career development, the Chinese telecom firm said on Monday.

Huawei, in partnership with E-mentoring Africa, a non-governmental organization that aims to transform and empower youths in Kenya through counseling, supported the students to pursue primary and secondary education to enable them join institutions for higher learning to pursue their dream careers.

“This noble initiative is the result of a CSR project supported by Huawei as part of the Connected Conference, organized by the ICT Authority in October 2018,” Huawei said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

CSR stands for coporate social responsibility.

Through the project, Huawei said, 60 tablets were donated to Bosco Boys Kuwinda, Karen, and students of Bosco Boys got soft skills training and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) training, facilitated by E-mentoring Africa and TotoSci Academy respectively.

During a graduation ceremony on Friday, the beneficiaries made presentations on their personal discovery and academic journey, and shared their future plans and strategies.

Selina Nasimiyu, one of the graduates, said the training enabled her to have a clear understanding on career choices, including pursuing a degree in economics, based on her self-evaluation test.

Gichure Andrew, one of the youth mentors from E-mentoring Africa, advised the youth to make decisions based on sound mind, as every decision has consequences, adding that they should fully utilize their mentors in developing sustainable life plans and solving life challenges.

Adam Lane, senior director in public relations at Huawei Kenya, advised the youth to emulate the company’s core values of perseverance, dedication, self-reflection, and to always maintain a positive attitude in everything they do.

He also promised to donate smartphones to the graduates to up-skill themselves digitally.

Esther Muchiri, executive director of E-mentoring Africa, congratulated the youth on successfully completing their soft skills training and urged them to implement what they learned in their daily lives and serve as good examples to their juniors.

Huawei said it has invested 2 million shillings (20,000 U.S. dollars) in the project and will continue to provide more opportunities for youth to discover their full potential through information and communications technology (ICT). Enditem

Source News Ghana

South Africa: Absa partners with digital academy to empower youth


Absa and The Digital Academy hosted a technology showcase to unveil solutions and applications built by The Digital Academy interns as part of a six-month programme.

The programme is aimed at helping to bridge a skills shortage in the technology and banking sectors.

The Digital Academy has created a real-world and industry-leading platform which allows for young software developers to grow technically and to solve real problems with innovative solutions. The programme is designed to identify top talent and to fast-track opportunities and success for participants.

Participants in the internship work in simulated software development environments, which encourage digital product innovation in Africa and allow skills to be aligned to industry demand.

Absa has made a substantial investment in developing young talent in partnership with The Digital Academy. Both organisations contribute to improving the employability of South Africa’s out-of-work youth and promote economic inclusion, while passing on critical skills needed to succeed in the workplace of the future.

“Disruptive technologies and trends such as the Internet of Things, robotics, virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the way we live and work. We need to train and develop a skilled workforce that has the ability to take part in the digital revolution, which is one of the reasons that our partnership with The Digital Academy is so important,” said Lee-Anne Wyman, Programme Manager for Young Talent and Citizenship in Absa’s technology division.

Each year, The Digital Academy hosts two intakes of 30 students that are trained for six months. The only prerequisite for joining the programme is for students to have completed Matric, to have a foundation in coding and a passion for technology.

The initiative supports these young interns in their development by building commercially focused prototypes that address local challenges for the local and African market. To date, 178 interns have been placed at Absa as part of the work-based experience component of the internship, of which 12 are current interns, 85 have been placed permanently and 41 have been placed on fixed-term contracts

“Our latest showcase will build on the success Absa and The Digital Academy have already enjoyed in ensuring that we continue to pass on the support and skills that South Africa’s youth need in order to become leaders of the workplaces of tomorrow, as well as to play an active role in their communities,” concludes Wyman.

Source iol

The US Embassy in Ethiopia is Set to Train 600 Youths on Creating Solutions in Their Communities

Ethiopia Hacks! just launched the first in a series of 12 hackathons as part of its annual Global Entrepreneurship Week celebration. It is a programme organised by the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, in partnership with the Google Developers Group (GDG- Addis) and the Centre for Accelerated Women’s Economic Empowerment (CAWEE)

The event which held at the American Centre in Addis Ababa focused on entrepreneurship. It would ensure participants will explore how technology can be used to support innovation and Job creation.

Each of these hackathons will challenge young tech developers to identify prototype solutions to challenges in Ethiopia as the program will invest in the capacity of 600 tech-savvy youth, who will be opportune to participate and generate solutions for their communities.

Thanks to the effort of current Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia, ranked as the fifth poorest country in the world Ethiopia, is high atop a mountain of several challenges needing all human and capital resources to create a more comfortable environment in Ethiopia.

Landlocked Ethiopia’s foremost challenge is drought coupled with the fact that a more significant percentage of the country’s population are farmers. This ensures citizens live in poverty with 23.5 % of the population estimated to live in poverty.

After its peace treaty with Eritrea, Ethiopia has embarked on a lifetime Journey towards rebuilding its state. U.S embassy would be supporting Ethiopia by developing an eco-system that promotes entrepreneurship, innovation and technology by investing in Ethiopians to shape the future of their country.

“…as Ethiopia embarks on the hard work of building its brighter future, there will be challenges. However, as this competition shows, challenges exist to be solved, and the challenges Ethiopia faces will be solved first and foremost by Ethiopians,” U.S. Ambassador Michael Raynor noted.

The annual Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), which held between November 12-18, 2018, is designed to celebrate self-starting innovators and connect entrepreneurs to potential collaborators, mentors, and investors.

Global Entrepreneurship Week has fostered the spirit of entrepreneurship globally with millions of participants at thousands of events in nearly 170 countries.

Source – Ventures African