By Naomi Yakawich
The Global Peace Foundation in conjunction with Andela Kenya recently launched the Teencode program in seven schools across three counties in Kenya. This launch opened new opportunities for Leap Hubs students to expand their entrepreneurial, problem-solving and analytical skills. The Teencode program, which provides innovative technology-training combining the study of software and professional development, has been running from March and will impact seven Leap Hub schools in Nairobi, Kiambu and Machakos.
A LEAP HUB is a dedicated space within schools where students are nurtured to be creative and innovative and be able to launch sustainable business ventures and social enterprises. Introduced in Africa for the first time, the goal of LEAP HUBS is to address the unemployment crisis especially in East Africa where more than 6 million youth enter the job market each year struggling to find jobs. The program initiated by GPF is being undertaken in 24 schools in Kenya and will spread to other parts of the country over time. Participating students are taken through leadership and entrepreneurship trainings that focus on business plan development, financial literacy and critical 21st century skills that will empower them to be self-reliant job creators as opposed to job seekers.
Leap Hub teacher, Ms. Hannah from Mary Leaky Girls acknowledged the transformative effect of the program on students' confidence and hope for the future. “The students are motivated to come up with innovative ideas because they know the benefits of being creative and innovative. This will not only improves their skills in the Leap Hubs but will also positively impact their academic work.”
Students also expressed their excitement to be a part of the Teencode training, recommending that they be held more often. One Leap Hubs student hoped to use her newly acquired skills to prepare for the next Innovators Boot Camp set to take place again this August. The second phase of the Teencode program is set to take place in May when students resume for second term.