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Échos de la vie

#EchoesFromLIFE: HOW ENECHUKWU CHIBUIKE BECAME A WEB DEVELOPER.

Par | AbaLIFE, Échos de la vie, LA VIE

"Graduating from secondary school, I was gripped with fear because I did not know what else to do with my life. Learning Computer Science (theoretically) in secondary, I developed an interest in tech, but each time I think of my family background, I get discouraged."

During our visit to National High School, Aba, we met Enechukwu Chibuike. Unfortunately, he was not selected to participate in the newly introduced Digital Inclusion (LIFE@School) Club in his school, a Digital Inclusion initiative powered by Paradigm Initiative (PIN).

Enechukwu Chibuike, undergoing training, LIFE 2019 at PIN’s Digital Inclusion Centre in Aba, South-East Nigeria

Immediately Chibuike finished his final exams he rushed to PIN’s Digital Inclusion Centre in Aba, South-East Nigeria. He enquires how much it will cost to undergo the training. He was full of doubt when told the training is free of charge. He reluctantly applied for the second batch of 2019. He was interviewed and was selected. But in doubt, Chibuike ensured that his mother attends the parent/guardian orientation. He spent ten weeks in the center, ensuring he comes early to sit in the front seat. He learned Life skills, ICT, Financial Literacy, and Entrepreneurship.  

In his own words, “The training is an eye-opener to me in ICT, life, industry and otherwise. It helped me to discover the opportunities surrounding me and how to make effective use of them. It made me realize that being an entrepreneur is not just owning a business but the ability to find problems and provide solutions to them." 

Enechukwu Chibuike, undergoing training, LIFE 2019 at PIN’s Digital Inclusion Centre in Aba, South-East Nigeria

Among the modules taught, Chibuike developed a strong interest in web development. “During the training, I developed an interest in web development, learned HTML, CSS, and JAVASCRIPT fundamentals of MySQL and PHP.

Immediately after he graduated from the training program, he got an internship program with LearnFactory Nigeria, also a tech hub in Aba. “The coronavirus pandemic disrupted my internship program. Notwithstanding the pandemic and the global lockdown, I have ‘switched’ to the ‘new normal’ – e-learning/virtual learning.   

I have added a few new programming languages to my skills as I look forward to becoming a full-stack web developer in no time. These new programming languages are React.js, Apollo, and GraphQL. 

 

How Training Programs and Training Organizations Make a difference.

Par | AbaLIFE, AjegunleLIFE, Échos de la vie, TIC, LA VIE

Numbers are important but a positive impact and track records make the difference. At Paradigm Initiative, our training programs are more focused on impact over numbers. The organization has been in existence for 13 years now and has not deviated from its primary goal – connecting underserved young Africans to opportunities in the digital economy in order for them to improve their livelihoods. The organization has worked with governments, civil society, private institutions, and international organizations, including the United Nations, to set standards in ICT education, telecenter support, ICT applications in rural areas, and other ICT interventions in Nigeria and across Africa.

LIFE Training Centre, Aba.

Over the years, Paradigm Initiative (PIN) has worked so hard to ensure that its focus is not only on numbers but on impact. For instance, one of PIN’s training programs is the LIFE project, an acronym for Life Skills, ICTs, Financial literacy, and Entrepreneurship – these are the components that make up the training program, and its primary focus has always been on youth within the ages of 12-28 years. The LIFE training program started in Ajegunle (Lagos State), a community in the South-West region in Nigeria but has replicated to other regions (South-East, Northwest) and currently working with organizations in the South-South and North-East in order to expand its operations and impact.  

LIFE Training Centre, Aba

As an organization, we have noticed that one of the challenges most training organizations face is the fact that they don’t keep track of participants that have gone through their training programs. They might have the numbers but they can’t measure the impact on the participants. Having records of participants that have gone through a training program has a huge impact on the organization. To start with, it helps with fundraising – grant-making organizations (funders) want to see what you have done and the impact on society. They want to hear and see your beneficiaries share their stories on how the training program has positively impacted them and moved them from point A to point B. Most times, all funders want is “we have done it, not we can do it”. 

Tracking records will highlight the fact that the organization thought leaders in the ecosystem. This will allow other organizations to want to learn and work with you. This also allows funders to look for you when they want to implement a specific project that has your name and expertise on it. For instance, PIN worked with Intel Corporation on the She Will Connect Project from 2016 to 2018 after Intel literally walked into PIN’s office and offered to work with PIN.     

LIFE Training Centre, Ajegunle.

Focusing on impact and tracking records also gives the organization good publicity and visibility. When training programs are more concerned about impact and track records, publicity and visibility are much easier because beneficiaries will talk/speak about the program (project) and the organization wherever they have the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise.

There are countless benefits when training programs are focused on impact and have records of trainees that have benefited from the program. It’s undeniable that people are eager to associate with training organizations that can track and measure their impact. When this process is in place, it’s easy to get experts and professionals that appreciate the work you do and want to contribute (volunteer) or play a part in the success of the program.

Paradigm Initiative’s LIFE program has a record of its trainees from inception, way back from 2007. We keep a database of all trainees that have passed through the program and this is reviewed (updated) periodically. The project is structured in a way that everyone we train is mandated to send a six-month regular report immediately after the training. This has helped us to know what each trainee is doing per time; the process does not just end with trainees sending reports but program staff also taking the responsibility to check on these trainees. Our program staff also ensures a lasting relationship is created before the trainee graduate (leave) from the program. We use different mediums to track (follow-up) our beneficiaries; we call and SMS them, we create both WhatsApp and Facebook groups for them in order to ease communications, and for those that don’t have emails before joining the program, we make sure they create one for themselves and ensure they get familiar with it.    

Okoye Chisom Gloria, L.I.F.E Trainee.

Every year, PIN produces an annual publication referred to as “Echoes from LIFE.” It is a publication that has new impact stories of beneficiaries from the LIFE program. This is possible because we get updates (stories) from our trainees through our follow-up mechanisms (process). Okoye Chisom Gloria joined the LIFE program after a publicity outreach that happened in her Secondary School in 2012, but she told herself that it was all too good to be true, and she didn’t give it any further thought. In 2013, she enrolled and was selected after a second trial – “The program helped me with people-relations (skills) and exposed me to ICT, and took away the shy nature in me. Chisom volunteered for several years on the program before she went further to study Computer Engineering at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State.

Okoye Chisom Gloria, L.I.F.E Trainee.

She was a group leader during practical sessions, taught tutorials to her course-mates, and also helped them with issues such as formatting of PCs, repairs, and maintenance. She makes herself available to share new knowledge with our current trainees when she is on break. Now, she has graduated from the University (2014 – 2018), completed her Youth Service (2019 – 2020), and has fully resumed with KPMG (2020) in Nigeria, one of the leading audit firms in the world as a Front end Engineer with interest in creating interactive and rich user experience products. She has experience building a user interface as a sole developer and as part of a team. We constantly follow-up with hundreds of our beneficiaries following the same process as that of Chisom. With this, the program has never run out of impact stories. Finally, focusing on impact and tracking records informs the organization of the number of direct and indirect beneficiaries recorded.     

We are in the process of replicating the LIFE program in Senegal with two-year grant support from the Internet Society Foundation (ISOC). This was possible because the Foundation saw that we have a database of young people that have benefited from our LIFE program and how they have moved on to improve their livelihoods over the years. That gave us leverage over other Senegalese organizations that applied for the grant.

 

By Tosin Abolaji – Program Manager, Digital Inclusion.

L'initiative Paradigm publie son rapport annuel 2018 et démontre son impact

Par | Droits numériques, Échos de la vie, Communiqué de presse

L’entreprise sociale Paradigm Initiative a publié son Rapport annuel 2018. Le rapport fournit des informations sur le travail de l'organisation, en particulier sur la manière dont elle s'acquitte de sa mission consistant à améliorer les «moyens de subsistance des jeunes sous-desservis».

Joy Ukpong, une ancienne élève du programme d'inclusion numérique gratuit du groupe, figure dans le rapport annuel. Au moment de rejoindre le programme, Joy Ukpong, 27 ans, gagnait 10 000 N par mois en tant que coiffeuse en difficulté à Ajegunle, dans l'État de Lagos. Elle était désespérée pour une pause et le programme d'inclusion numérique de Paradigm Initiative lui a donné la pause qu'elle a judicieusement saisie, en apprenant des compétences utiles dans les domaines du numérique et de la vie.

Quelques semaines après la fin de la formation de 10 semaines, Ukpong a obtenu un poste d'assistant administratif dans un cabinet d'avocats. Son revenu a immédiatement grimpé à 25 000 naira. Grâce à ses nouvelles compétences, Ukpong dispose d’un revenu et d’une structure de travail plus stables qui lui permettent de se développer.

Son histoire, selon Sodiq Alabi, chargée de la communication de Paradigm Initiative, «est une autre preuve que notre investissement dans les programmes d'inclusion numérique dans les communautés mal desservies améliore effectivement les moyens de subsistance des bénéficiaires."

Gbenga Sesan, directeur exécutif, a également déclaré: «Grâce à l'investissement de l'année en faveur de la jeunesse mal desservie, nous avons pu former 869 étudiants dans le cadre du programme LIFE de 10 semaines, du LIFE @ School Club et des ateliers trimestriels. 150 étudiants ont obtenu un stage, ont trouvé un emploi, ont gagné suffisamment pour retourner aux études, ont rejoint des programmes d'apprentissage et / ou ont créé des micro-entreprises. Au cours de l’année, le revenu moyen de nos étudiants est passé de 4 805,15 à 23 083,25 N! »

Sesan a souligné: «En 2018, notre travail sur les droits numériques couvrait le Bénin, le Burundi, le Cameroun, le Tchad, la République démocratique du Congo, la Gambie, le Kenya, le Mali, le Nigeria, la Tanzanie, le Togo, l'Ouganda et la Zambie. Nous avons organisé 13 programmes de formation, examiné 36 documents de politique, produit 12 rapports fondés sur des recherches, traité 20 violations des droits numériques et dirigé 4 processus de contentieux. ”

Le Directeur des programmes, Tope Ogundipe, a déclaré que l'adoption du projet de loi sur les droits et la liberté numériques au Nigéria marquait une étape importante pour le groupe en 2018. Le projet de loi, qui a été transmis au président Muhammadu Buhari le 5 février 2019, est un projet majeur de le groupe depuis 2014, date à laquelle il a commencé à plaider en faveur de l'adoption d'une loi consacrée à la protection des droits et libertés en ligne.

Fondée au Nigéria en 2007, Paradigm Initiative est présente dans cinq pays africains, où elle exécute des programmes sur tout le continent. Le groupe a déclaré que son nouveau plan de gestion stratégique (2019-2023) le ferait même davantage au cours des prochaines années.

Echoes from Ajegunle Histoires de vies changées

Par | Échos de la vie, WPBookList Livre Post

Ajegunle.org cherche à créer de meilleurs moyens de subsistance - par le biais d'opportunités en matière de TIC, de formation à l'entrepreneuriat, de stages à court terme, d'un programme de prêts aux études supérieures - pour les jeunes des régions défavorisées du Nigéria. Nous vous invitons à visionner la vidéo du projet à l'adresse www.ireport.com/docs/DOC‐14359. Ego, comme beaucoup d'autres jeunes gens du bidonville le plus populaire du Nigéria, n'était pas sûr de ce que l'avenir lui réserverait. Maintenant, elle travaille à la section des visas du haut-commissariat britannique à Lagos, grâce à sa participation au projet Ajegunle.org. Funke, une autre participante au projet, a développé son entreprise de 2 000 nairas d’environ 2 800% après la formation. Nous travaillons à la reproduction de l’idée au-delà d’Ajegunle et souhaitons également mettre en place le premier centre d’innovation.  

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