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  • Writer's pictureKyle Kvamme

Training continues to change LGBTIQ refugee lives at ORAM’s Digital Learning Center one year later

ORAM’s Digital Learning Center (DLC) for LGBTIQ refugees in Nairobi, which celebrated its first anniversary last October, provides life-changing skills to the community in various ways.  

The Center, made possible thanks to the generous support of ORAM donor Steven Walker, continues to be a beacon of knowledge for queer refugees eager to learn new digital skills to access online employment from the safety of their homes. For many, computer skills are making their daily lives easier and provide needed relief from the immense challenges faced by LGBTIQ refugees.  

“I’ve learned how to navigate the web and access social services,” John*, a bisexual refugee from Burundi, shared about the tech skills he’s learned through training at the DLC. “Also, I’ve learned how to manage money online,” he added about another critical skill obtained at the Center.  

The training and mentorship provided to queer refugees at the DLC, managed in partnership with Team No Sleep, an LGBTIQ refugee-led organization, actively addresses one of the greatest needs of the community in Kenya: access to dignified work opportunities.  

After over one year of digital skills training and mentorship, 72 percent of the LGBTIQ refugee trainees had successfully secured online jobs. On average, each trainee earned $88 during the training period, and remarkably, the highest earner made $243.

“There are a lot of [online job] platforms,” Riley*, a gender non-conforming refugee from Rwanda, said. “There are some other platforms I found out by myself [that] we didn’t learn about... if there is a new platform, I go to it and check how it works,” they shared. The knowledge Riley gained at the Digital Learning Center is increasing their self-reliance to support themself independently.  

Later this year, ORAM will turn over the day-to-day operations to Team No Sleep so the Center can be entirely managed and operated by members of the local LGBTIQ refugee community. To achieve this sustainably, ORAM has trained members of Team No Sleep to strengthen their capacity and embarked on an exciting new program. 

ORAM has selected the top 20 percent of graduates of the digital skills training to participate in a training of trainers (ToT) program. The ToT program teaches LGBTIQ refugees leadership skills and will build their capacity to become trainers of various programs. The individuals chosen for this program will learn how to successfully facilitate digital skills and online freelance training and mentor new trainees by sharing their experiences.

Riley was selected to participate in ORAM’s ToT program after they completed digital skills training at the DLC. “I should also have the courage to share what I have learned. Sometimes, I feel myself shaking a bit when standing in front of people. But I want to have the courage to share the knowledge that I have so that I can help others in the community,” they shared about what they are looking forward to learning through the ToT program.  

“If you can’t approach people on your same level, you will not have the courage to approach people above you,” Riley profoundly expressed the importance of learning confidence and leadership skills through this new program. 

Watch for updates from ORAM’s Digital Learning Center for LGBTIQ refugees, including the new ToT program, throughout 2024! 

You can support the DLC and continue to help us reach more LGBTIQ refugees across Kenya by donating here.  

*Names have been changed to protect our clients' safety.  

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1 Kommentar

05. Feb.

Nice institution, am one of the persons who would like to join and get of online working with you there.

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