Lynette Ndabi

Meet Lynette Ndabi, an Enthusiastic DOT Youth Enhancing Digital Skills Among Youth in Kiambu County

As a digital literacy trainer working closely with Kenyan youth, I have witnessed both the progress made and the challenges faced in enhancing digital skills among this demographic. In recent years, there has been a significant push to bridge the digital divide and empower the youth with the necessary skills to thrive in an increasingly advancing digital world. However, there are still obstacles to overcome and ample opportunities to seize in order to fully maximise the potential of Kenya’s youth in the digital realm.

Commencing my journey at DOT

During my job hunting experience, I was unsure of the kind of organisation I wanted to be absorbed into. So when I stumbled upon Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) Kenya, the words ‘digital and opportunity’ caught my attention. I knew this was it, applied and got selected. I knew I wanted to impact the lives of young people by helping them create their own opportunities in the digital space. I had the privilege of getting exposure to the digital space at a young age, an experience lacked by many. Joining DOT was a chance for me to fill the existing gap.

Over 350 youth trained in Kiambu

During my time at DOT Kenya, I have trained over 350 youth within my community – Kiambu County. This achievement has immensely been steered by different incredible partners, including Ngoliba Learning and Resource Centre, Living The Faith Mission Church – Gatuanyaga, YMCA Thika, AYEC Githunguri and The Master Empowerment Centre – Githurai. 92% of my participants have been young women, who gained computer literacy skills, digital skills and created an online presence —collectively enabling

A challenging start

I first started by facilitating the Business Plus ICT program, where mobilising the youth was a great challenge. The thought of them closing their businesses for two hours to join the training, discouraged them a lot. It took persuasion, showing them how their future would look if they incorporated digital skills and tools in their businesses. Eventually the program picked and it was a great success. 

Overcoming fears

I later shifted to the Digital Jobs Level 1 program and when it came to interacting with the high school graduates, the mention of computer training sparked interest in many, so much that they would fill the room. Unfortunately, since it is a very rural area where most youth are hardly exposed to computers, some found it hard to comprehend the program and eventually dropped out. I made follow ups and convinced them to come back, highlighting the benefits of the program. Once they overcame the fear and got the hang of things it was a smooth sail.

Training helps Samuel boost his business

Seeing the impact of the training on the lives of the beneficiaries has been a rewarding moment. One of the students —Samuel, a chicken farmer, regularly attended sessions at Ngoliba Learning and Resource Centre. He hatched chicks and sold eggs, and meat locally. He was determined to grow and after training on digital literacy and having an online presence, he was able to expand his chicken business and increase his profits exponentially. Samuel credits the success of his business to DOT and is never shy to recommend others to join DOT programs.

Training inspires Gladys to start a business

I was thrilled when Gladys, a participant at Living the Faith Mission Church opened a business after the training. She had dreamed of owning a cyber café and had saved for a couple of years until she gave up. She was very curious during our training sessions and would ask many questions. After learning about saving habits, Gladys resumed saving and had enough to start her business. Through the training she received, she acquired basic computer skills which saved her the cost of hiring an extra hand.

A networking opportunity

Working at DOT is an exciting journey with new experiences each day. I have had the opportunity to network and interact with individuals in both the formal and informal sector as well as the education sector. I have grown in many areas and gone out of my comfort zone while in the process of looking for partnerships and receiving on-the-job training. DOT aims to empower youth and as a youth trainer I have also been empowered while empowering others.

Aiming for an inclusive digital economy

Enhancing digital skills among youth is vital for their future success and the overall development of their communities. While progress has been made, there are still significant challenges to overcome, including infrastructure limitations, affordability issues, and the digital gender gap. However, by leveraging opportunities such as partnerships, educational reform, and support for entrepreneurship, we can pave the way for a generation of digitally empowered youth who can drive innovation, economic growth, and societal transformation. As a digital literacy trainer with DOT, I am committed to playing my part in equipping young people with the skills they need to thrive in the digital age.

Written by Lynette Ndabi
Community Leader, DOT Kenya

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