ICT for Development Kenya

ICT for Development Kenya: Give Youth Another Chance -GYAC

Kilifi, Makueni, Machakos, KenyaKILIFI, Kenya
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We influence social change to underserved communities through use of technology(s).We achieve this by training, mentoring and networking them for self sufficiency and sustainability. This is packed in a 2 month curriculum that gives opportunities to youth in ICT, personal and entrepreneurial skills.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if rural Youth in Africa could contribute to national building by being economically stable?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

For a long time, communities have not been able to make informed choices due to the lack of access to accurate facts about different facets of life, especially in the context of youth employment. This is especially hurting the population of rural youth in Kenya. ICT for Development Kenya equips their youth with employable skills mainly in technology through short term and flexible training schedule.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The ICT for Development Kenya project works within the premise that rural populations have challenges in accessing training sites, affording the cost of training, and creating time for a new skill. To achieve their mission, they have setup mobile ICT centres where they provide a 2 month training to rural populations on a 2 hour per day model (8-10,10-12,12-2,2-4,4-6 &4-6pm). The cost of training is cut down by ensuring that the project is located within the village and thus students hardly spent extra money on transport and other related costs. To make it affordable for everyone there is a small charge, a sustainability fee of kshs. 1,500 out of which 500 is used for certification and 1,000 for renumeration and utility bills.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Opening the training to not only the youth, but to those who have already completed the initial states of their education attracted people like Jane from Makueni county who had finished primary school. Jane was not sure whether she would understand computers since the classes were taught and operations were carried out in English. As an organization, the ICT for Development Kenya developed a curriculum that puts the emphasis on facilitation and the skill itself rather than the technical jargon associated with computuers. After going through the 2 month training, Jane applied for a job as a town sweeper. However when she went back to the panel and handed over her ICT certificate, she was offered the position of an office messenger.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

To date ICT for Development Kenya has trained 17000 + individuals, both youth, children, men and women. Currently there is documented evidence of 402 youth who have recieved formal employment out of the training program. Young people have also chosen Information Technology as their career in colleges based on the inspiration they got during the program. On the other hand, ICT for Development Kenya has provided direct employment to 23 youth who had previously completed the program. The story of Jane, who had completed primary school education and joined the training program and later got a job as an office messenger describes part of the program’s impact. Esther who took the course from the village now manages a cyber cafe at the heart of Nairobi city. A close followup through the employer shows how passionate she was about technology though she had the basics but with lots of passion.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The model has been tested in different regions in Kenya. ICT development forsees creating a franchise model for youth to implement and create more impact within East Africa. Notable is the interest they are already getting from partner organisations in Tanzania and Rwanda which projects within the strategic growth plan. On full scale ICT for Development Kenya would guarantee direct employment to over 100 youth and the establishment of community resource centres that will serve as avenues for access and ease of use by the already trained communities.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

As an organisation we are hybrid and thus have three main revenue streams mainly through entrepreneurship where we provide the training to underserved communities at very subsidised costs of approx. USD 20. Though the figure looks small we have been getting students in an average of 150 per training site translating to USD 3,000 every 2 months. Our plan is to have about 20 training sites on scale which means an average of USD 60000 every 2 months

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Our model of remaining in a community for only 2 months then shifting to other communities makes our model unique as we reach out to the communities at zero financial input from them to access the facility. The cost we charge for the professional training is also very low making this program unique.

Founding Story

In 2005 Jonathon got a job at Plan International, Kenya as the ICT Co-ordinator as position that tied him into ICT infrastructure support in the office. However being a development organization, he felt that there was an opportunity for ICT in villages. During his first day in the village, equipped with a basic digital camera and a laptop he yielded his passion for technology to underserved communities. Jonathon remembers very well youth gathering around him just to see their images that he had taken and uploaded onto his laptop. Initially, Jonathon had believed that everyone would have had access to such equipment. He realized he was mistaken and three years later, left Plan International with a strong passion "to work with communities through technology".


Currently the team structure is made up of Jonathon as the CEO/Chief Strategist coupled with a full time project manager and a part-time Chief financial officer. They also have a current total of 13 members of staff who work as facilitators in the different project sites. ICT for Development Kenya is in the process of constituting an advisory board and has already identified the chairman. Once fully in scale they would recruit a COO as well as a Chief Technical Officer-CTO.
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Project
Organization Name
How long has your organization been operating?

Please select

The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..

Organization Country


Country where this project is creating social impact

, CO, Kilifi, Makueni, Machakos

Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Friends and family, Individuals, Foundations, NGOs, Regional government.

Awards: What awards or honors has the project received?

In 2013 we won the Enablis Business Plan competition in Kenya that was co-funded by ILO, Safaricom Foundation, Chase Bank and Inoorero university for being the best in IT Category of best entrepreneurs

In 2014 i joined Acumen Fellows program for East Africa as a fellow out of the project being innovative

In 2014 i joined the Ashoka Fellowship based on the project

Where have you learnt about the competition?

From the Ashoka networks as part of induction to Ashoka opportunities for new fellows

Tell us about your partnerships:

Currently we have a number of partnerships both in government, NGOs and business enterprises. The government of Kenya through the counties have been working together with us especially the county governments where in most cases they have paid for services we render to the communities. NGOs have also worked closely with us the latest being ILO -International Labour Organisation where they funded us to train children rescued from child labour.

Challenges: What challenges might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Security of equipment is mainly the risky part of our work but it has not featured for the last three years of our project mainly due to community ownership of our projects. Community members have always came up to provide security and sensitising their communities on the importance of the project in their area and why security is a communal affair.

On the other hand the challenge of similar projects is a potential challenge as sometimes the focus is slightly different as for us we target developing employable skills and our charges are very reasonable as compared to their general approach.


Mark Horton's picture

Great project, best of luck to you all!