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IT & Media Skills Mentor Learning Lions

Learning Lions

IT & Media Skills Mentor
Lodwar, Kenya Learning Lions NGO | Learning Lions
Help to fight unemployment in rural areas of Kenya by teaching and mentoring highly motivated students in programming, webdesign, graphic design, animation, music or film

Project Details

Learning Lions is an academy that teaches young adults to use technology to earn a decent living. That way fairtrade outsourcing to Africa finally becomes a viable option

THE CHALLENGE

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.           

OUR CONCEPT

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. 

TEACHING APPROACH

1. 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.

2. 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.

LOCATION AND SETUP

We are starting to build an ICT-Center in Loropio (Kalimapus area) at the shores of Lake Turkana (Kenya) between Kalokol and Kataboi. At this center our “Lions” can live, learn, train and eventually become entrepreneurs in a campus-like environment that provides them with the best preconditions to make a successful career.  We estimate completion in 2018. Until then we are successfully operating from our campus in Lodwar (Turkana County, Kenya). 

The main focus of the project is on
NPO Status
Yes, registered non-profit organisation
Foundation Year
2015
Contact Person
Ludwig Bayern
Spoken Languages
English

Social Impact

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 MM 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.

Pursued Sustainable Development Goals