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Kenyan woman sources old computers to teach IT

Umamah Bakharia ub@radioislam.co.za

3 min read
3 November 2022 | 10:30 am CAT

A new speciality of IT has been unlocked for the children of a remote area in East Kenya after a woman refurbished old computers to teach the young generation.

 

Photo credit: the Armia house

 

Nelly Cheboi founded ‘Techlit Africa’ where students at Zawadi Yetu Academy in Mogotio Baringo County in East Kenya learn digital skills to unlock global opportunities.

Speaking to Radio Islam International, Cheboi says growing up in poverty was not easy, but she knew getting an education was the way out. However, when she was granted a scholarship to further her studies in the US, she fell behind as she was not computer literate to complete her work.

That is when she realised that many more like her in her hometown in Kenya could not use a computer. She then started collecting computers from landfills in the US and sent them back to Mogotio Baringo County, where she taught people in the village how to refurbish the computers.

“I set up the refurbishment in the village, training people in the village – so we train local IT experts to refurbish, we train locals to help us teach our classes, and we are teaching these not just how to use a computer but really how to leverage the digital economy to earn money,” says Cheboi.

The Academy, according to Cheboi, uses IN machines that are easier for children to learn from.

However, she says when she was collecting computers from institutions and corporations, the logistics became a problem because they were coming from all over the world.

“We approved the whole project, so [now] we have a company in America that airlifts them into Kenya,” says Cheboi. She adds: “When your computers are ready to be shipped, we send you packaging material and then we have our partners come and pick up these computers and bring them into Kenyan within two weeks.”

With rural areas in Africa struggling to make ends meet, Cheboi says this project enables people to develop digital skills that can unlock bigger opportunities.

“If you know how to code or you’re a videographer or whatever skill you have, you can go online and just make money from that – you don’t have to be in Ameria to do that, you don’t have to be in that tech world to do that, as long as you have the skills and you know how to navigate you can get the job,” she says.

The programme is currently running in 13 schools across Kenya, assisting 5,000 students aged 4-12 years to develop digital skills.

 

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