Since the launch of TechMates in 2021, we have had over 15 students benefit from the program. As of January 2023, six TechMates had completed their learning internships and transitioned to project-based contracts and two additional graduates were on internship. The project-based TechMates successfully completed their six months internship and gained the necessary skills needed to secure contract work for Ngong Road Children’s Foundation (NRCF), Friends of Ngong Road (FoNR), Karibu Loo, Limited (KLL) and other external clients. One of the external clients, Lido Nation, has so far recruited three digital marketers from the program to assist with website translation and management, and act as community outreach officers to create awareness of the Cardano eco system locally in Kenya. Lido Nation also employs five developer-track TechMates part time, on a contract basis.
In February 2023, an intern joined the developer path, and recruitment for four alumni is underway. So far, we have eight TechMates on the project-based contract working for NRCF/FoNR and KLL. In total we have 12 trained TechMates while two have dropped out. Two TechMates won full scholarships to MEST/Meltwater entreprenuerial training in Accra, Ghana. Of the active TechMates, half have part-time jobs with Lido Nation. They polish the Lido Nation website as well as creating new features.
Two of the TechMates on the digital marketing path have been able to secure other external clients. One of them, Tabitha, is currently working for Vobyl Tea as an administrative and marketing person. She is responsible for communicating with customers, packaging product, as well as carrying out deliveries among other roles. The other digital marketing TechMate, Sallyanne, has started working for DirectEd as a consultant/project freelancer. She leads Twitter marketing campaigns and develops NFT-based fundraising strategies for DirectEd among other roles. These two TechMates are also leading blockchain operations at the Ngong Road Blockchain Lab.
All current TechMates have goals that they have set for themselves for this year. Some of the goals include becoming more skilled in software development, securing more clients, taking additional online courses, applying for masters scholarships, taking software engineering scholarship courses at ALX Africa and many more aspirations. We received computer donations from the Safaricom Foundation which will be very useful as we plan on supporting over 15 new beneficiaries this year. TechMates are making use of them and we are grateful for Safaricom’s donation, which will help students transform their lives. The program is progressing and will be restructured to meet market and client needs. The company is now considering adding more employment programs to help students and alumni succeed and transform their lives.