Peter’s interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
Could you tell me a little bit about yourself, your background, where you’re from?
“My name is Peter, and I am an ICT trainer at RefuSHE. For my work experience, I have three years of experience with a government program to help youths to be able to get into the online space. I’ve also worked with Generation Kenya, which is more or less an NGO like RefuSHE. They focus mostly on digital freelancing, and they offer training to students and to local Kenyans.
For where I’m from – I am from Kiambu County, that is where I was born and raised. I was able to attend primary school at a school called Valley Crest, and later on I joined a high school where I studied for four years. I later joined KCA University, and studied for a degree in Business and Information Technology. After graduating, I started applying for jobs based on my skills, which were IT and ICT. I was able to understand upcoming technologies such as machine learning and AI, which I could use to help myself become a more efficient worker.
On top of that, I’m a very experienced freelancer. I’ve worked with Wordpress, and I’m also able to code some websites. I’ve also had the opportunity to work as a bridge to market for an e-commerce website. I’ve trained several youths who have been able to go into the online space, they’ve been able to start living for themselves, and some are actually doing way way way better than myself in the freelancing space.”
So you are our newest trainer. How are you finding the experience so far?
“So far, it’s been great. Adora [Konexio’s Lead Trainer] here, she’s always been very helpful to me, she’s made it easy. Some of those days you don’t feel like you can come in, then you remember, ‘Oh, I’m meeting Adora.’ It’s always fantastic to have her around. So far we have covered more than ten hours, I would say, and it’s been great, it’s been awesome. I love the fact that she comes up with ideas, I love the fact that she’s understanding, and when you need something she is always there. I look forward to the remaining few hours that we still have with her so that I will be able to talk with her about her knowledge, how I can best help our students, and on top of that how to be a better person through the training. [And I’ll need] to make sure we have all the curriculum covered, and make sure that everything has been done and perfected. That’s how it’s been so far – it’s just super super fantastic.”
It’s good to hear some good reviews of our trainer Adora as well. What motivated you to become an ICT trainer?
“I wanted to find a program that was there for youth. That was really what motivated me to be a trainer. I joined the digital freelancing program at Generation, and that was how I found RefuSHE. The reason I joined this role was because I want to be able to transfer knowledge to the youth, and make an impact on lives and society. In Kenya we have a challenge with jobs; it’s a bit challenging for us to just create jobs here, so we rely on the freelancing space. There are more opportunities out there, and I want to help people reach them and make at least a basic-level living. We look at it from the perspective of ‘how best can you utilize the skills you have?’ If you want to be truly truly rich, then that’s up to you, but the goal is to be like a candle, to light up the way for others, so they can also have someone they can look up to.”
How do you like working with the students?
I love working with the students. Already I feel that there are some who are really good, and I’m using them as a bit of a light for the others. I really love how energetic they are – they always ask ‘what’s that, what’s this, how do we use this?’ I really love that they know that I’m a person they can reach out to whenever they have any challenges. I know I am still new to them, so probably they are feeling a bit scared, so I have been finding ways to make their training much easier and much more fun. In a few months, we will be able to assess how everyone is doing, and how best we can help them, and maybe for those who are not doing as well we can figure out how best to support them. There are always ups and downs, but the good thing is that they are really awesome, they are really interested and educated.”
What does the DIP bring to students in Nairobi, in your opinion?
"We have a very high rate of unemployment. A lot of youths have really good traits – they want to go out and learn and work, but once they’re out here they have no opportunity. If we look at the skills they have, if they are given the opportunity, I believe it will make a huge difference for their families. It will also make a huge difference for the country at large.
With regards to jobs, once they’re in the digital space, we are able to see that at least a good number of them are able to get a job or even able to make forty, fifty dollars – which is a lot of money here. We also have to keep in mind the rising cost of living, but I believe the Digital Inclusion Program has really helped with a lot of these things so far.”