Learning Lions- Free ICT Education for Rural Africa
Learning Lions is a non‐profit program that selects, educates and trains young adults living outside urban areas with few job opportunities in high‐value skills like software development, graphic design and media production. It is focused on hands‐on skills taught by volunteers from around the world that can immediately be used to generate income online. Our follow up program Startup Lions (www.startuplions.org) then helps our trained “Lions” to use the skills they acquired in the training to create their own business in our lakeside IT‐Hub, while we source clients for them from around the world.
Rural areas across Africa (such as Turkana, North Kenya) often have poor infrastructure, limited access to markets, very few formal job opportunities, and consequently suffer from high levels of unemployment and little opportunity for moving out of poverty. Turkana in particular has infertile soil that does not support sustainable agriculture, with the majority of food supplies having to be transported from cities several hours away. Local businesses including basket weaving, mechanical repairs and small kiosks exist, however none of these scale to provide widespread employment opportunities or meaningful wages. And yet, with around 900.000 inhabitants, Turkana holds an untapped potential of human talent with the chance of having internet access even in some of the most remote areas.
The Basic training
Learning Lions offers the selected students a structured learning plan with a specific timeframe and clear learning objectives. In the first 3 months learning period they undergo a curriculum, developed by our partner organization Tunapanda aimed to take people with little or no computer skills to a comparable level of young adults in the developed world who had much earlier access to computers. The program includes self‐paced video tutorials, instructor‐led learning and practical training. They learn the basics of programming, graphic design, video and music production.
Another very important aspect of this training are the soft skills. Communication, Teamwork, time management and presentation skills are boosted.
The advanced training Those students who performed well in the basic training are then invited to stay on campus as trainees. They will use code academy and similar courses to advance on their skills. Additional to that, we group them in teams of 3 to 10 members, for instructor-led task-based learning. For this we are looking for motivated volunteers with practical experience to share their knowledge.
Trainees will learn how to deliver against a client's objective within a specific timeframe and collect feedback on the quality of their work and project management ability. Trainees also build up a portfolio of references showcasing their quality. This will set the foundation for their path to entrepreneurship and will help them to set up their own little business in a subsequent step. The young Lions have an amazing energy and huge potential. They only need help to transform this energy into a structured form which will help them to build a successful future.
Through its regional establishment, the project maximizes the social impact on the communities. The employment-to-ownership remuneration provides sustained livelihoods and high local value-creation. Simple services providers such as security, transport, kitchen and cleaning personal will also have the opportunity to create their own services companies. So far the approach of Startup Lions has proven its viability and efficiency. Until now 95 “Lions” have acquired specific ICT skills (last graduation of 30 students on 12th February 2017) and 50 of them are either part of a startup or specializing in a specific skill.
In 2020 our social impact milestones are:
1330 Local talents who received free training
400 Jobs created
40-200 Impact workers‘ income increase
1,7 M EUR Cumulative money injected in local economy
2000 people Lifted out of poverty
Learning Lions enables the students to care for their family and bring their community on the path of modernisation while staying where they come from. This way, the problems of excessive rural exodus and urbanization are tackled at their very roots. In the future, Learning Lions hopes to be able to offer the program to more remote communities.
Would you like to join our cause? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org