Kenya: In disadvantaged Turkana, the digital economy is a beacon of hope



From our special correspondent in Liporio,

It stands as if it had come out of the ground, on the shores of Lake Turkana. Created in 2015, the Learning Lions campus was designed by Burkinabe architect Francis Kéré. And is inspired by the local landscape. ” There was a termite mound before in this place, remembers Brizan Were, one of the founders of the project. And look, today, the architecture of this building looks a bit like termite nests. Ants are very hardworking, it is a motivating symbol for young people. »

Students begin with a free three-month course. Then they can continue for nine more months. And specialize in website development, graphic design or animation. All are fed and housed on campus. ” The original idea was to provide computer education to young people in the region, the majority of whom did not have access to university education, explains Brizan Were. But for that, we needed a suitable course that does not require people to travel, that is not expensive, that is easy to finish and above all, that allows them to earn money. »

Once the course is finished, students can work on freelance projects or have the option of joining Digital Lions, the association’s digital creation agency. This is what Wyclife Omondi chose. He is now the project manager. ” You can create the whole image of a brand. There, for example, is a website that we developed for the World Fair Trade Organization. There, for this project, we created labels for water bottles. »

Outlets all over the continent

The agency regularly works with clients outside of Kenya. Because the job can be done entirely remotely. ” Everything is easy with digital. Technology has made the continent almost a village now. »

Jonas, he started as a freelance graphic designer. Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, he was in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya before joining the program. He has just finished the course. ” For now, I have mainly local clients. Sometimes my friends in Kakuma tell me : “I need a poster, a business card or a logo“. I earn a little money like that. And in parallel, I build my portfolio. »

Jonas still lives there. For the living conditions of course, but also because the working atmosphere motivates him. The campus is also in full expansion to be able to accommodate both new students and those who remain.

Read also :

Kenya: in Turkana, the impact of drought on livestock [1/5]

Kenya: In Turkana, drought leads to food insecurity [2/5]

Kenya: In Turkana, women organize themselves to meet their needs [3/5]

Kenya: climate change impacts the lives of residents on the shores of Lake Turkana [4/5]

Kenya: Rising waters of Lake Turkana made fishing difficult [5/5]

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