Students conclude internships in Rwanda
Kigali, Rwanda – Sept. 28, 2012 – NetHope held a graduation ceremony in Kigali today for 39 IT students graduating from its inaugural Rwanda NetHope Academy class. NetHope Academy – a six-month program that provides computer science students with both classroom and on-the-job IT skills training – translates vocational training into full time professional employment for young Rwandan adults. In fact, NetHope expects that more than 80 percent of students graduating from the program today will be in full-time IT positions within the next three months.
In March 2012, NetHope expanded its successful Haiti NetHope Academy program to Africa, making it available for the first time on the continent to students in Rwanda and Kenya. Rwandan students began their NetHope Academy journey in Kigali with two weeks of intensive classroom and online training where they developed the most current and relevant IT skills. The students then began their internships, where they gained nearly six months of on-the-job experience that allowed them to refine the skills they learned in the classroom. Given the success, NetHope hosted its next Rwanda Academy classes in July.
“We’re thrilled that NetHope Academy has been so successful in Rwanda,” said Frank Schott, Senior Global Program Director of NetHope Academy. “The students are what make it work; we have the best and the brightest youth competing for the program, and they give it their all. I’m so proud of their accomplishments and the value they bring to the Rwandan IT industry.”
IT professionals are in high demand across the African continent. Employment opportunities, however, are often limited to those who have work experience. NetHope Academy provides training and certification in the most relevant technical skills, supplemented with practical on-the-job work experience and daily mentoring and guidance. As a result, graduates of the program are fully competent in the current IT sector and highly employable. NetHope Academy works closely with technology partners including Accenture and the Accenture Foundations, Microsoft, Cisco, ESRI, Global VSAT Forum and others to bring the best offerings to the intern program.
The students interned with a variety of host organizations including CARE, Plan, World Vision, BSC, and the Government of Rwanda, among others. NetHope Academy also provided the students with job placement assistance and connected them with mentors who provide regular guidance and evaluation.
“So far my proudest achievement in technology was joining the NetHope Internship program where I was able to complete a two week Microsoft boot camp where I gained more than technical skills but also skills that will help me in the ICT field,” said Faith Murigi, NetHope Academy Graduate..
In addition to its traditional NetHope Academy program, NetHope recently launched a new program optimized for students who aspire to become IT entrepreneurs vs. IT professionals like the students enrolled in the traditional NetHope Academy program. NetHope is partnering with Enablis, a Canadian-based nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurs in the developing world, to facilitate its entrepreneurial academy in Kenya, Rwanda and Ghana. Students will be admitted based on how well they compete in a business plan competition, and the top students will receive mentorship from current entrepreneurs. Select entrepreneurs will receive seed funding to pursue their business plans.
NetHope, Inc., which started in 2001, is a new-generation collaboration of the international community’s leading nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) representing over $33 billion (USD) of emergency relief, human development and conservation programs in more than 150 countries. Through member collaboration and by facilitating public-private partnerships with major technology companies, NetHope enables members to leverage their technology investments to better serve their end beneficiaries. For more information, visit www.nethope.org.
For More Information Contact:
Brendan Blandy, NetHope Media Relations
Supporters of NetHope Academy Rwanda