Before the Aspire Woman training, I had never used a computer before. Even thou the internet had gained popularity amongst in the youth, to me it felt like an advanced logarithm class – I did not understand anything about it! Because of my ignorance, I avoided friends who seemed to brag about their knowledge of the internet and computers. Even thou I despised them, I secretly admired their skills and yearned to gain the same. Unfortunately due to financial strains, my parents could not afford to enroll me for computer classes.

One Sunday, while in church, our pastor announced to the congregation about the Aspire Woman Programme. He told us the programme offers training on IT Essentials, computer fundamentals, online work, life skills and entrepreneurship. The most interesting part was that the training was free! It felt like a dream come true because never in my life had I thought such an opportunity will present itself.

Crazed with the urge to associate myself with computer gurus, I seized the opportunity. The first time I walked into the computer lab, I kept wondering if I will complete the training. I felt inadequate since I had never used a computer before and feared my situation would alienate me from the rest. However I met other girls who shared similar problems, and watching them work hard and enjoy the training encouraged me to do the same. Our trainers were also tolerant and provided good mentorship. One of the training components that has completely transformed my life was on website and mobile app development.

The training was thorough and difficult, but we became our sister’s keepers and through team work we soldered on. Our trainers also told us of previous beneficiaries who were completely ignorant of ICT and from poor backgrounds but through the web design and mobile app development training, they were able to earn income from their skills. These stories encouraged me and I worked harder so that I can be just like them. As the training went on I became conversant with the html language and soon it was a walk in the park.

WebsitePictureJanetAoka2During the training I developed a website on agriculture. I believe that food insecurity is becoming a global challenge however, those of us who live in developing countries are more vulnerable to it. Our farmers still relayed on traditional farming methods and tools which yields less produce. I believe with adequate knowledge of modern farming techniques they would be able to improve on the quality and quantity of their produce. The website provides farmers with information on the best modern farming tools that will make their work efficient, information on the best fertilizers in the market for different types of crops and also educates them on the different types of irrigation methods suitable for different farmers amongst others. I really enjoyed the website development process.

Just then, a light bulb in my head lit! I realized I had found my niche! Now I use the skills to develop websites that provide my community members with crucial information, because, I do not want them to miss out on any opportunity because of ignorance like I did.

Due to the training I am now giving back to the society. My church, through which I got information about the training, has approached me to develop a website for them. The future now looks bright, and now I plan to further my studies on computer science. I no longer worry about where the school fees will come from, because my skills are already bearing fruit! I want to encourage other young women to explore digital opportunities and they will achieve their life goals.