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Stan bolsters current DIP students



Stan was our star student from the first-ever Konexio Digital Inclusion Program (DIP), launched in the Dzaleka Refugee Camp in 2019. A refugee from the DRC, Stan relocated to Malawi in 2016. Although he moved beyond the immediate threat of unrest, he struggled to overcome feelings of isolation and to find sustainable employment locally. After joining the DIP, Stan worked hard to master freelancing, and never lost hope when applying to jobs. Today, Stan has achieved financial freedom, gotten married, and launched his very own digital agency to employ others in the camp.

  

Konexio recently consulted Stan to provide current DIP students at other sites with advice and encouragement on their freelancing journeys. Daisy, a Nairobi DIP student, spoke with us about Stan’s visit, sharing what she and her peers took away from the meeting. Daisy’s interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.



What did Stan talk about in the meeting?


He talked about how to find work through our Upwork accounts. I have little experience on Upwork and the session helped me understand how to find clients, work with different customers, and organize my profile.



What parts of the DIP do you find most challenging?


I was having a hard time understanding how to convert PDFs to Word docs and vice versa. Stan encouraged us to work with the trainers to get help. I went to Peter, our trainer, with the issue, and now I can say I know enough to confidently apply to any PDF conversion tasks on Upwork.



Was there anything about Stan’s story that you found inspiring?


Yes, he talked about how he struggled getting a job online, but he never lost hope and now is living a better life and employing other freelancers through an agency on Upwork.



What piece of advice did Stan give that you found helpful?


He said that we should be very careful online, especially because there are a lot of scammers. He has seen freelancers in Malawi get scammed out of a lot of money and told us to watch out.



Is there anything that you will do differently after this meeting?


​Yes. I will have to work smart, especially when dealing with online platforms. First, there are scammers, and second, there are good practices I can use to increase my job opportunities on Upwork. The trainers promised to help too.

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