The Ajira Digital Program, an initiative by the government of Kenya in line with the SDGs to effectively reduce the rate of unemployment amongst the youth and the entire population by introducing them to online work and reinstating the fact that online work is real work.
The financial partner for the project is the Rockefeller Foundation Africa, and for the program generously gave a grant of 100 million shillings which was extended through Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) as the implementing partner.
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) engaged a few organizations that were already in the business of online work to assist in effectively carrying out the program. Daproim Africa was privileged to be one of the organizations selected. We narrate the experience through our eyes.
Ajira Digital had been meticulously planned and to ease the pressure of everyday commuting, accommodation was provided for all trainees within their training centers. The training centers were slated to commence their training sessions on the 5th of June 2017 to excited members of the Republic of Kenya who were eager to learn and some just understand what all the noise about online work was about.
Daproim Africa was honored to host four training centers around the country, that being Nairobi at Kenya Education Management Institute (KEMI), Meru at the Meru Co-operative Institute , Kisumu at Tom Mboya Labour College and Mombasa at Kenyatta University Mombasa Campus.
The morning of 5th June, the air was ripe with excitement; beginners to online work were full of expectations. Was this the long sought solution that would finally see them liberated from financial distress? The stakes were high, and the trainers from Daproim Africa were well aware of the expectations placed on them .This feeling was replicated in all the centers. Opening remarks were made and with that, Ajira Digital was well on its way to leaving a mark as a first of its kind.
Daproim had provided the resident trainers for the Ajira Digital training. Resident trainers were charged with a host of responsibilities which laid the basis for the online training program. They were to ensure that; proper introduction to online work was made, soft skills required for one to have a successful interaction with a client, an overview of the jobs available online was done and a follow-up with a subsequent in depth explanation of the same, introduction to various platforms, practical lessons on the opening of online accounts especially on the three selected platforms, Upwork, Guru and Fiverr, creation of profiles for the accounts opened, and finally the bidding process.
With all those areas covered, the prerequisite skills needed for one to be a successful online worker had been impacted to the participants. However, Ajira Digital had gone over and above and invited guest speakers who impacted additional skills to the participants. Barclays offered Financial Management Skills for the duration of the program while Google did a great job training participants on digital marketing.
Within no time, it was already 7th of July and Ajira Digital training sessions for phase one had been successfully completed and the trainees had successfully been transitioned into mentorship that would ensure that they are converted into real online workers.