Ajira Digital Project: The Future Works Online
Since its inception in April 2017, the Ajira Digital project has achieved increased awareness for online jobs and enhanced digital skills among the youth in Kenya. Over 7000 youths have been trained on online work and linked with mentors for a one month handholding mentorship from experienced online workers in their preferred areas of online work.
As a result of the training and mentorship, KEPSA has been conducting follow ups of over 4000 mentees who have completed mentorship to establish gains made from the program. It is evident from the follow ups that the project is impacting positively on the lives of the youth in Kenya by creating employment as evidenced by case stories below;
Esther Pluto is a 3rd year Statistics and Programming student at Kenyatta University. Aside from the school work, she is a swimmer and a blogger. While enjoying her long holiday, she got to learn about the Ajira Digital Program through different Whatsapp groups. Her background in ICT aroused her interest to apply for the program, besides; she could not miss the opportunity to mingle with experts from different fields under online work. She made her application which was successful.
“The training was empowering and a huge eye opener; it was also a perfect opportunity for networking because the wisdom that was oozing throughout the week was favorable especially for young people like me,” says Esther.
Esther had no knowledge on online work, and learning how to set up an account as well as make bids for jobs was very fulfilling.
“After my profile was approved I made several bids and the thirteenth was successful, it felt like I had won an Oscar!” says Esther. “The client needed me to develop content for her carpet cleaning company and I delivered with a good rating,” she adds.
She owes her success to her mentor who she describes as a dedicated and supportive person. According to Esther, her mentor constantly gave her assignments and sent her samples of his work to learn from. In addition, he always encouraged her to keep bidding even when initial bids were rejected. This kept her from giving up and subsequently earned her the initial dollars. Esther believes that she is a living testimony that ‘online work, works’.
“Young people should start looking into unconventional jobs like online work. They are flexible because you can work from the comfort of your home,” she concludes.