My name is Dammy Nafula, I come from Kibera slums. When I was a little girl, I remember accompanying my parents to Nairobi town. As we visited offices, I saw women using computers to accomplish different tasks. I wondered how they did it and also admired their efficiency in using computers. As I grew older, I went to banks to pay my school fees and it was very intriguing seeing bankers producing receipts by using computers. How do they do this? I wondered. I regarded them as genius people in the society, and as such inspired me to be just like them. My experience may seem weird to other persons, but when you come from the slums like I do, having access to technology is difficult. We have other priorities like accessing sanitation, employment, and housing amongst others. Besides life in the slums for a woman does not provide plenty opportunities, many of us drop out of school and the rate of early marriages is high. We miss out on a lot on the opportunities digital technology presents, for example, for me without the knowledge on Information Technology, I never had an email account, social media accounts or knowledge on how to develop a word document.
So when I heard about the Aspire Woman Programme. I knew my time had finally come; I had to make the best of the opportunity presented to realize my dreams. No more will I look at bankers and accountants with envious eyes, but I will be subject of admiration!
When I joined the programme, I was presented for the first time with an opportunity to interact with computers. The trainer was so patient and provided good mentorship throughout the training. I am a fast learner thou, so I grasped everything I was trained on. Besides from the basic computer literacy, I was trained on how to develop fliers, brochures, business cards, how to develop presentations amongst other publisher tools, and web and app development. All the tricks I saw the bankers and accountants perform in their offices are now under my sleeves. In addition to the above, we were also trained on coding and online work which presents us with employment opportunities with various clients across the globe.
The training has been an eye opener; which these skills I now apply the digital knowledge learnt in class to solve everyday life challenges. Never before in my life have I felt knowledgeable as I am. In the past I did not have an email account, but now I have an active one, which I use to send job applications to different employers. Through the training, I have been exposed to other opportunities the internet presents. Even though my parents did not have funds to support my tertiary education, through the internet I have enrolled for online courses, where I study accounting.
Furthermore connecting to online communities has just been amazing. I love football and I am a self-proclaimed Chelsea fan. In my free time I play for my local community girl’s football team. Through social media, I am able to connect with other footballers by sharing photos and blogposts to share my experiences with them.
My digital journey has just begun. Through the training, I have gotten employment as an assistant accountant and office assistant administrator. I have every reason to smile today because of what the training has equipped me with. I want to encourage every girl in the slums, that when they hear about such opportunities, do not let them pass by, inquire, get started and learn to transform your lives.