The eldest of five siblings, Bravin Mugangasia had to leave rural Kenya for Nairobi in search of a better life. His big break came when he was introduced to COL’s Skills Online programme – a collaboration between COL, its partners in four countries, including Kenya, and Udemy Inc., an online learning and teaching marketplace. This pilot initiative, which was launched in November 2019, strives to turn unemployed youth into skilled employees and entrepreneurs for gainful employment, by combining the power of online learning with offline mentorship. Through Skills Online, participants can access over 4,000 curated, high-quality online courses at no cost.
“I successfully finished [the course] on Advanced Excel that enabled me to become more effective when understanding data. This caught the eye of my boss who gave me more responsibilities,” says Bravin. “The promotion came with a fair salary package and this also impacted my family, as my brother was able to join his dream secondary school and I was able to pay part of the school fees.”
Bravin is one of 1,000 Kenyan participants in Skills Online who have been assisted by COL’s local partner, the Capacity for Programme Development in Africa, a non-governmental organisation working to improve the livelihood conditions of Kenyan youth and their counterparts in the rest of Africa.
Dr Basheerhamad Shadrach, COL Adviser: Skills, noted: “Along with Kenya, the pilot has been launched in Bangladesh, Ghana and Rwanda. At a time when these countries face enormous unemployment challenges, especially among their youth, women and persons with disabilities, Skills Online comes as a viable solution. It can equip young people with the 21st century employability skills to find new prospects and options for livelihood enhancement.”