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Letter from Nairobi: Meet Digital Freelancing Trainers Susan and Cliford

Updated: May 11


Konexio launches training of trainers in Nairobi to bring digital livelihoods to refugee women


It’s official: with the launch of our Nairobi train-the-trainers intensive course, Konexio has broken ground in our third country, Kenya. 


Konexio is partnering with Nairobi-based NGO RefuSHE to train 240 vulnerable refugee women in digital skills for online freelancing, opening the door to life changing opportunities for safe and dignified employment. We’ll be training RefuSHE’s trainers, developing a localized curriculum, and providing expertise on the digital field so that refugee women in Kenya can gain access to income generating opportunities available online, regardless of their contextual challenges they face.


It all starts with training of trainers (“ToT”), who are the key link between students and the digital world. RefuSHE trainers Susan and Cliford will participate in Konexio’s intensive ToT course from the end of March through the end of May. We are truly excited to kick off our first Kenyan ToT with Susan and Cliford! Read on to learn about what they hope to see in Kenya as a result of the digital freelancing program, their advice for women starting digital jobs, and why they think Konexio’s training is the right solution for today’s challenges.  


1. Q: What is your background?

Susan: I am an experienced IT professional with a bias in IT Training, freelancing, and digital work. My greatest passion in life is using my technical know-how to impact and transform livelihoods.


Cliford: I’m a professional trainer and a mentor, experienced in software development and with 6 years working online in web and system development, digital marketing, transcription, video captioning and data management. I have worked in several online work platforms including: Upwork, Remotask, QA World, Guru, Fiver and Appen. Impacting the lives of Kenyans and refugees positively is my mission and purpose in life.



2. Q: What drew you to digital freelancing training? Why is it important?

Susan: With refugees being particularly vulnerable, having fled conflict and most local labor laws not favoring them, many end up getting exploited in search of dignified livelihoods. Through freelancing training, refugee girls will be empowered, and have the ability to earn a decent wage in the digital gig.


Cliford: My main drawing factor into the digital freelancing training is the desire to see the disadvantaged in the society tap into the digital and digitally enabled opportunities and be able to earn a decent wage in the gig and freelancing economy and lead better lives.



3. Q: What do you hope to gain from the training-of-trainers?

Susan: I am looking to gain practical skills, platform techniques and exposure that will enhance my training delivery to students.


Cliford: I am looking forward to acquiring more skills and knowledge in the gig and freelancing economy that would enable me to impact more lives.



4. Q: What advice do you have for women thinking of entering the digital field?

Susan: Don’t be held back by stereotypes. If you’re passionate about something and you believe you can do it, go for it! Many times, I’ve asked myself, ‘Is this something I can do? I don’t know, just try!’ And every time I try, I realize that anything can be done. It’s only a matter of time, effort, and attitude.


Cliford: The world is moving to the digital space, the time is now, the future is online. Online work is work.



5. Q: How can we bring more women into the tech world?

Susan: We could encourage women to take up opportunities as they arise and encourage girls from a young age to take up STEM courses.


Cliford: We can achieve this through mobilization, sensitization and encouragement of women though offering more opportunities and training in the tech fields.


6. Q: What are you most excited for in this training?

Susan: My greatest joy would be to see the young refugee women and girls make a decent wage in the digital economy. How we are going to achieve this is what I look forward to the most.


Cliford: To acquire practical skills and impact more lives, moreover seeing female refugees earning a decent wage.


***


Answers have been edited lightly for clarity and grammar. 


The Konexio-RefuSHE collaboration is made possible through our successful application to the Google.org impact challenge for Women and Girls.

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