In May, Tunapanda Institute officially launched a new training facility in Turkana – a remote region of northern Kenya with very limited economic and educational opportunities. This initiative is in partnership with Learning Lions, a non-profit organisation that trains young people to work for global clients in software development, graphic design, and media production. Two of our trainers, Allan and Maureen, took their first flight on an airplane to spearhead the program. Their experiences have so far been eye-opening and encouraging.
In Turkana, Allan and Maureen have cloned and adapted Tunapanda Institute Kibera’s model of training in which design, business, and technology skills are acquired within a three-month intensive experience. Trainees are guided through basic computer programming during the first month. Here, the trainees design and program computer games while developing valuable soft skills in self-presentation and teamwork. During the second month, they go through web design and development where they create websites and generate educational content on topics of their choice. In the third month the trainees are taught how to develop business ideas and how they can leverage their skills on outsourcing platforms. After completing the projects, they are given a chance to present these ideas to judges and receive feedback on how to improve them.
‘’In the morning, we do classes that focuses on technical skills like programming, 3D designs and in the afternoon we focus on classes that teaches soft skills and interactive session like designing in Inkscape and Gimp and also discussions to discusses things related to community building.’’ Allan Niongira, one of our trainers in Turkana says.
According to Allan and Maureen, in every class taught the trainers ensure that end deliverables are achieved through practical activities and group projects.
Turkana is the first place we are expanding our program and our dream is to expand in different parts of Kenya in the coming years.
As well as organizing and running the training program, our team in Turkana is running Tech Dada sessions meant to expose secondary school girls to new opportunities in technology. Through this program, Maureen leads some of the trainees in delivering short lectures as well as projects meant to teach the girls how to build confidence while developing their technology-related talents. Tech Dada helps the trainees give back to their community, and is enjoyed by all.
Becoming Stronger Leaders
‘’Being part of Learning Lions has been another learning opportunity for us all. We have learnt how to make critical decisions and how to plan for upcoming projects and classes. Most of all, we have learnt how to run a vocational training school.’’ Allan says. ‘’I have been able to learn how schools in the rural areas run, the challenges schools and educationists in the rural areas face. I have also learnt how cultural diversity can hinder understanding but most importantly how if everyone learnt to appreciate our differences we create value and enhance economic growth in our localities.’’