How Technology Is Opening Up New Worlds Of Possibility In Africa
What inspired you to want to solve poverty in Kenya? appeared originally Quora: the place to get and share knowledge, empower people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Answer by Nelly Cheboi, founder and CEO of TechLit Africa, the Quora:
I grew up in a small tin-roofed house in rural Kenya. The ground, which was once a cement floor, was full of potholes. There was this part near the door that had a proportional patch large enough to accommodate my torso. I used to lie down in that place and look at the roof. The roof was full of holes, which meant the house was flooded during the rainy season, but on sunny days, the rays of sunlight shone spectacularly. I loved looking at the different forms of light that bounced around as I worked out strategies on the different ways I could lift my community out of poverty. Maybe I was eleven and scared to death before I could change the narrative of people growing up in communities like mine.
Less than a decade later, I moved my family from that house, built an elementary school, started a hairdressing school, and founded a non-profit organization that offered more opportunities for rural Africans to earn a living. life online.
I was born into poverty. I grew up watching my beloved mother work tirelessly to educate my sisters and me. She did all kinds of informal business, from selling goats to selling vegetables. From what I can remember, he worked hard day after day, but our lives never changed. People in rural Kenya work very hard just to support their families, but the lack of upward mobility is the most depressing part. We are not sitting there waiting for the sheets. The systems are not in our favor. Loans have interest rates of at least 13%, unreliable roads make it very difficult to distribute goods, and our education system is so expensive that families continue to fall into poverty just to educate their children. These unfavorable entrepreneurial climates prevent small businesses from becoming medium-sized businesses that can employ many people. So everyone owns a small business that works tirelessly to barely survive.
I knew that education gave me the opportunity to have a better life. So I worked really hard at school and got a scholarship to come to America in 2012. Immediately when I came to America I got a job through a work study program and in a year I left poverty, I built a school and later I started. TechLit Africa
I can’t pinpoint exactly what inspired me, I just knew this was something I had to do. What keeps me going now is that I see the little investment it takes to empower people. Hairdressing school was very cheap to start with. We already had the space and we only needed a teacher and an inventory, Darling, a Kenyan company, provided it.
Our TechLit Africa program teaches digital skills using used computers given that they could end up in landfills. Our biggest expense is bringing them home. And that part is not so expensive, it’s about $ 50 per laptop. Once in the country, we have programs that prepare children for the digital economy. With these skills they could be working remotely for technology companies around the world directly from the village.
For me, the lack of solid institutions and infrastructure makes rural Africans poor, but digital infrastructure is the easiest to build. And a future where rural Africans can make money online is what keeps me going.
This question appeared originally Quora – the place to get and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.