Nairobi, Tuesday, July 24th 2012: The Pasha Centre gospel is spreading and fast. This time the fire was in Kitengela Pasha Centre, as 44 community members graduated with ICT (Information Communication Technology) certificates after completing a Digital Literacy program, through Intel Easy Steps module.
The graduation ceremony that took place at Maasai Discovery Guest house, Kitengela, scored big with local residents, as testimonies were given on how the ICT knowledge had transformed their lives.
“Now I don’t have to bother cyber attendants with assistance. I can do it on my own,” said one middle aged pastor.
“I recently got a job after going through the training,” stressed, Emilly Sianti, while promising to sponsor one person for the training.
Among those who came to witness the ceremony, were the local DO, the area chief, Redcross representative, Family bank, Intel Company and Kenya ICT Board Digital Inclusion team. Speaker after speaker emphasized the need for the community to be equipped with ICT know-how if the country is to achieve Vision2030.
“The world is changing and we must all change with it,” Kitengela DO, Kennedy Krop Kasait, called out.
Many know only this too well and see those trained through the Pasha centres as ambassadors in their communities. “To avoid displacement in the modern transformed landscape, one must be IT literate. It’s a matter of survival now,” affirmed, Geoffrey Gitau, the emcee of the day, and the chairman of Pasha centres.
The Intel training, which is hailed by many as being unlike computer packages due to its applicability to entrepreneurs, is offered by Intel, through a subsidized rate. Those interested pay shs 1000 for a month worth of training on basic IT skills and how to apply ICT in their various occupations. It’s no wonder those who acquire this knowledge are drawn from the grassroot level and from those who wouldn’t otherwise afford training in a commercial college. Small scale traders make up the bulk of those hungry for the training.
According to Intel, Suraj Shah, Intel trained 28 out of the 37 existing Pasha entrepreneurs in March, 2012 and provided an incentive program for the entrepreneurs to train fellow community members from May to June. Intel paid Ksh 340 per male adult trained and Ksh 510 for each female adult trained. The result, he says has been encouraging.
Though not all Pasha centres took up the opening, those that did have trained a record 580 adults within 2 months. “This shows the potential and opportunity growth for adult digital literacy around the centres and actually validates their creation,” noted the Intel representative.
Kitengela Pasha Centre is run by Immaculate Mutuku and her husband Mwathe Josky, who reported that they were looking at starting similar ventures in Isinya and Kajiado.
The entrepreneurs are part of the 63 centres that have been extended government loans to run digital villages around the country, through the Kenya ICT Board.
In 2011, the government rolled out an initiative that will diffuse ICT know-how to the rural and marginalized areas to address regional disparities. Entrepreneurs, who run Digital Villages, are awarded loans in a competitive process, which they repay over a period of time. The ICT hubs provide a host of services to the public via computers connected to the internet, or by using and marketing other ICT-enabled applications.