Ajira AWS reStart Alumni meetup in Nairobi since the program was incepted in 2021

Ajira Digital AWS reStart organized an alumni meetup organize by eMobilis at Jacaranda Hotel which brought together over 70 alumni to promote networking, collaboration and to demonstrate the impact the program has had besides learning the role of technology in current workplace.

Since inception, the program has welcomed more than 600 unemployed youth in Kenya in less than two years, preparing them for a life-changing career in cloud computing and has successfully trained over 400 learners to date.  

The program also focuses on diversifying the learner audience such as young women, marginalized communities, refugee and people with disabilities.

AWS re/Start is a 12-week free online training program that covers fundamental Amazon Web Services Cloud skills and practical career skills, such as Python programming, DevOps, SysOps, Cyber Security, and Artificial Intelligence Process Automation, helping individuals prepare for entry-level cloud roles and connect them to potential employers and other digital work opportunities.

The program’s objective is to provide classroom-based skills development and AWS cloud hands-on training which prepares learners for careers in the cloud technology as well as offering them professional Certification as AWS Cloud Practitioners.

The Amazon Web Services (AWS), Ajira Digital and its partners; eMobilis & KEPSA with the support of the Mastercard Foundation launched the Ajira AWS re/Start program in May 2021 geared towards development of advanced cloud computing skills.

Adeline Makokha, a graduate of telecommunication and information technology and one of the Ajira AWS re/Start program alumni is Software Engineer Test at Safaricom.

While in fourth year, Makokha came across a post in a WhatsApp group about the program and enrolled in the program. 

“I was glad to be part of the cohort one. Ajira program was my very fast program to do an online learning. I really learnt a lot and the interview process was seamless. I can say that it was very competitive. The onboarding process was so aggressive. The teachers were engaging and motivating as well. They would help us in case we encountered blockers.

“I really learnt a lot from the Career talks and mentorship which were very helpful and after that I actually got to learn about the internship at Safaricom and the rest is history. Besides the technical skills, we are also empowered with the soft skills which companies look for. The Ajira AWS reStart program helps one to be open-minded in this case you can apply jobs in Amazon Web Services and it can also land you in a different role. We have so many success stories of people moving from finance, commerce and start doing Cloud computing some of them are self-taught while others are through the Ajira AWS reStart program.”

Marine Houmeau, Regional Program Lead, AWS re/Start Africa at Amazon Web Services congratulated the learners and wished them their best as they embark on their journey in technology world. She also said Kenya has made strides in technology and become the hub of East Africa.

“I would like to wish AWS re/Start Alumni, best of luck in your future endeavors! I wanted to offer my congratulations and well wishes for the future! Your hard work and perseverance should be applauded, and you should be very proud of yourself for reaching this monumental accomplishment. Kenya has grown to become the Tech Hub for East Africa and is now known as the Silicon Savannah, meaning that Kenya is a fantastic environment to get your career started. We look forward to seeing your future steps in Tech and Cloud computing. Once again, congratulations to you all!”

Ken Mwenda Gikunda, the Cofounder and MD eMobilis Technology Training Institute emphasized the need for community building especially among remote workers as it has great benefits for the participants.

“In the quest to address the current rate of youth unemployment in Kenya which stands at 40%, Ajira continues to expand sustainable employment horizons for young Kenyan women and men by not only offering skilling, upskilling and reskilling and job linkages through digital and digitally enable work opportunities but also supporting the online workers to build communities where they can access the benefits of working and growing together.

According to Fiverr Workspace’s recent ‘Slash Worker’ study, 61% of respondents stated that a sense of community was missing from their freelance life.

Moreover, another 60% said they feel that freelancers as a whole are stigmatized in the context of the traditional workforce. As such as, initiating the growth of this community through #AjiraAWSCommunity, the alumni will access a safe and growth space to network, engage to access peer-to-peer mentorship and opportunities as well as collaborate to build scalable solutions for local and global clients.

Through this community, you will be able to increase levels of productivity, allow for networking and collaboration, enhance worker reputation and more work opportunities and encourage commiseration.  

Working as a community will enable you to collaborate to form agile teams for fit for delivering high quality work with international standards, lobby for large-scale projects as well as advocate for better pay and working conditions. Thus, fostering the spirit of collaboration as opposed to Competition.”

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