Over 300 girls benefit from digital literacy skills program 

More than 300 women and young girls from three counties in Western Kenya have benefited from a fully funded scholarship to train on digital literacy and technical skills for meaningful employment opportunities.

The FemiDevs Program being run by Lakehub Academy is funded by the Russian government through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The project which enrolled its 5th cohort in June targets young women from low-income backgrounds who are out of school or college in Kisumu, Busia and Migori Counties, to be trained in Web Development skills for Six months. They are provided with laptops and internet access in order to attend the in-person coaching.

The Russia Deputy Permanent Representative to Kenya, Vladimir Lenev, during an engagement meeting with the FemiDevs trainees to assess the program’s progress in Kisumu said the initiative is a game changer in bridging the digital gender disparity and called on girls to embrace digital literacy, as it is the frontier for COVID-19 economic recovery.

According to Purity Akoth, the program lead in Kisumu County, the beneficiaries are equipped with key skills in front and back-end web development, entrepreneurship and graphic design which prepares them to pursue STEM disciplines in future and build the necessary digital skills needed in the job market.

“They use these skills to innovative solutions that address community challenges. This program has so far sponsored over 500 girls between the ages of 18-35 years since its inception in 2020. We enrol girls who are green in ICT matters to get trained on web development and they are really catching up and liking it,” stated Akoth.

The three participating counties produced 100 students each who are trained for 6 months and linked to relevant paid internships and job placement in the public and private sectors.

“Out of the 63 students, who joined the FemiDevs program in the previous cohort, 41 completed 80 percent of their projects and we are delighted to announce that 24 have been successfully placed on paid internships across various public, private and non-governmental organizations,” disclosed the lead.

The project has broadened the employability options for over 500 female beneficiaries who have acquired skills in programming, software development, and web and mobile App development fields breaking the digital gender stereotype.

Caroline Kiarie Kimondo from UNDP-Kenya, says the partnership is in alignment with UNDP’s digital strategy which addresses equality, digital transformation, innovation, and social protection.

“FemiDevs is intentionally and strategically curated to nurture, mentor, and offer the trainees with both technical and social skills that are tailored to foster entrepreneurship, innovation and employment opportunities,” divulged Kimondo.

The assessment done by UNDP-Kenya on the impact of COVID-19 on micro, small and medium enterprises, shows that women’s leadership and digital technology play a pivotal role in the recovery and resilience of businesses in the country.

“Digital inclusion is paramount in advancing socioeconomic progress in society,” stated Kimondo who is the Head of Exploration, Accelerator Lab UNDP-Kenya.



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