Meet Athraa and Sarmad, two creative DIP students who are using freelancing sites to pursue their passion for design and photography!
Athraa and Sarmad share similar backgrounds and interests – they are both refugees from Iraq who enjoy thinking creatively in their work, and both have a curiosity to learn more digital skills to pursue their passions through freelancing! Even in the creative industries, selling services online requires digital literacy. Athraa and Sarmad’s stories remind us of how digital skills can open up opportunities for creatives all over the world!
Student responses have been lightly edited for clarity and accuracy.
Meet Manal, an endlessly curious learner, Sudanese refugee, and Amman DIP student
Manal is one of Konexio’s 23 digital literacy and freelance students in Amman, Jordan. Jordan has over 760,000 registered refugees, with a large concentration settled in Amman, the capital city. We asked Manal to share her motivations to join the DIP and her experience thus far. Manal’s responses have been lightly edited for clarity and accuracy.
Qn: Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Manal: I am Manal, a Sudanese woman who lived in Al Fashir, Sudan, until 2007. I graduated from University of Al Fasher in Darfur and became a staff member in the education faculty, teaching physics. I got my Master’s degree in 2004 in Sudan, and then became a lecturer. I left my home country during the Darfur conflict with my husband and two kids, one of whom is now my Konexio classmate. I then graduated from University of Jordan 2013 with PhD in Physics.
In Amman, our first DIP cohort has reached the second half of our digital skills course. This means they are now actively freelancing in class! After three months of putting in hard work to establish a strong foundation of digital skills, they are finally putting their knowledge to the test.
Meet Terry Wangesi, aspiring freelance writer, mother of a two-year-old, and one of our RefuSHE students in Nairobi
Terry is one of the 67 students starting their freelancing journey in Nairobi, Kenya. She joined Konexio’s Digital Inclusion Program (DIP) in January 2023, which trains young women in digital literacy and online freelancing. We asked Terry to share her perspective on the DIP and what it means for her future. Terry’s responses have been lightly edited for clarity and accuracy.
Qn: Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Terry: My name is Terry Wangesi. I am 24 years old, living in Ngong, Kenya. I am a Kenyan mother to a 2 year old boy. My aspiration is to be computer literate and be able to earn from the digital freelance space.
✨ 🌞 News from Nairobi! Konexio has launched the second cohort of the Digital Inclusion Program (DIP) in partnership with RefuSHE!
In December 2022, our first cohort of 52 female refugees earned their DIP graduation certificates. Now, we’re kicking off the new year with fresh faces! Our second cohort began their DIP training in January 2023, which is specifically designed to empower female refugees with digital literacy and practical experience to reach financial autonomy through online freelancing!
Excitement was in the air last week at RefuSHE’s leafy campus on Gitanga Road in Nairobi, Kenya. As 52 young women prepared to graduate from Konexio’s freelancing training course, they could all agree on one thing: they did many excel exercices to prepare for the test. After six months of hard work, they were officially done with the Digital Inclusion Program, and over 75% had already earned a paycheck through online freelancing.
New year, new project: in January, Konexio will launch a new pilot in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. The pilot will train 60 refugee women in digital literacy and online freelancing, and is part of Konexio’s global Digital Inclusion Program (DIP). The pilot is an expansion of Konexio’s partnership with the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS); with joint projects already running in Jordan and Malawi, Kakuma is the third location where the DIP will be implemented by the two organizations. The project will begin with site setup and an 8-week training of trainers, followed in the spring by the six-month DIP course.
Noor is one of two JRS trainers working at JRS and Konexio’s Digital Inclusion Program (DIP) in Amman, Jordan. The DIP was launched in Jordan this fall. The first cohort is made up of 30 students from diverse backgrounds, including refugees and young Jordanians. We asked Noor to tell us about her experience as a DIP trainer.
Qn: Tell us a little about yourself and your role.
My name is Noor Qubbaj. I am a passionate learner as well as a passionate teacher: I completed my Master's degree to be a professor. I am very excited to be an IT trainer at JRS and Konexio. I feel proud when teaching my students about new technology and simplifying complex concepts.
A day in the life of… Serge!
Serge is one of the Digital Inclusion Program (DIP) trainers working with our partner Jesuit Refugee Service in Malawi. We asked him to walk us through his typical day as a DIP trainer.
Qn: Tell us your favorite part of your morning routine
A: Revising my lesson plan, watching the morning news, and eating breakfast if time allows.
Qn: One tip for getting out of bed on a bad day
A: Watching motivational comedy and listening to slow music.
Could you introduce yourself?
My name is Fardosa and I am from Somalia. In 2009, our family fled to Kenya from the conflict in our country. There’s eight of us: our parents, five girls and one boy.
How did you join the digital freelancing program?
After I completed my secondary education, I heard about the opportunity to learn digital skills and I decided to apply. I became a beneficiary [of RefuSHE] in June 2021. [Fardosa continued to the digital freelancing course in spring of 2022].