Cheruto is one of our new DIP students in the Kakuma Refugee Camp. Cherto is curious to learn skills like digital marketing, spreadsheets, and even digital finance.
This new cohort includes 35 female refugees from diverse backgrounds, who started their freelancing journey April 25th. We asked our new students to share a little about themselves. This is the second interview in a series of four.
Cheruto's interview has been lightly edited for clarity and accuracy.
Qn: Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Ans: My name is Cheruto. I am a Kenyan. I am 40 years old. I am married with three kids and I am trying to survive outside as a woman.
Qn: What drew you to digital upskilling programs? Why are digital skills training important?
Ans: Considering the growth that the world is undergoing, everything is moving to be digital. You find that you are doing a lot of work that requires online skills. Even money – during COVID times we even have our money online. People might wonder, what is that? That is digital money. So it happens if you don’t know how to operate the digital things you will be left behind. The world will be moving forward, and you will be moving back.
Qn: What profession would you like to focus on?
Ans: Later on in the future, I would like to be a lecturer, teaching learners how to operate digital devices. Some lessons in classes are normally delivered by teachers standing and teaching, but some time in the future when the world has grown enough, maybe it will be good to deliver lessons at home. Like during covid times - covid times have taught us a lot - like how to teach a lesson digitally. You can reach so many learners using a digital device as a teacher, either online or by a recorded device.
Qn: What skills do you look forward to learning, and how will you use these skills?
Ans: A skill that I wish to learn from the program is first maybe operating the devices themselves. That way in case they are faulty I will know what to do. Sometimes you can fix some issues on your own instead of involving a technician.
Another skill I would like to learn is Google spreadsheets, Google docs - things they say are found in the cloud. I want to know that! [laughs].
So those are the skills that I want to know more. And even using the internet mostly. Remember that people are on the internet and people talk on the internet. I think emails are the best platform to communicate because they are not so interfered with, with so many things like cyberbullying and the rest. So I wish to learn these skills.
And also maybe financial online money. I don’t know what that is. I am guessing because I also need to know. I have learned that people want to learn about it, and I also want to know about it.
Qn: What impact do you think the digital freelance program will have on your life?
Ans: Freelancing will definitely have an impact. I will be able to move from depending on other people to depending on myself, and then I can also support others. Freelancing will help me work on many things. I will be able to write reports, help transcribe recorded meetings into written forms, do online marketing, and I will also be able to earn money. And even if I do online marketing for others. Maybe I have a skill - like making necklaces or bracelets or belts. By doing that I can also market those products online. This will allow me to complement a skill I already have with a skill that I will learn.
Qn: How do you see the Digital Inclusion Program benefiting communities in the Kakuma Refugee Camp?
Ans: It is going to uplift many, especially now that the program is targeting women, like me. Remember that in African society, they look down on women. They do not look at women as those who can rise up in society. So I believe the impact that it will have - remember Kakuma wil have a lot of people from different nationalities and also the locals like me. Because the environment itself is harsh, so when you get harsh things, you can’t get anything. But when you get good things like the course we are doing, it will help us in such a way that even when we are at home, you can do work online and we will be able to earn money.
Qn: What do you hope to achieve from this program?
Ans: I want to be independent at the end of this program. I remember a while ago that I saw people saying that they want people to do freelance. I thought to myself - what is that? What is it? I also want to learn. But luckily enough, I got this advert from social media, and I was very quick to respond because I just read the word freelancing and thought I really want that. I quickly applied and I was selected. Thank God I was selected!