As the conversation globally moves to cope with and moving beyond the CoronaVirus, NairoBits is constantly innovating to find solutions in our new ‘normal’. NairoBits closed shop in its training centers following the Kenyan Government directives on the closure of all learning institutions. However, we have actively put up strategies to ensure that our students continue learning vital tech skills using online platforms that are easily accessible to them.

More often than not, the cost of communication (Voice calls & Data Bundles) inhibits online learning for our students who come from families that are constantly struggling to put a meal on the table. To mitigate this, we have opted to subscribe to a daily data bundle plan for ease of communication and access to the internet.

COVID-19 has seen us adapt to using tools such as WhatsApp & Google Hangouts to deliver content to the students. We constantly use posters & infographics to present course information in a graphic way that is deemed more effective due to its appealing nature. Our course trainers use WhatsApp Group Chats for communication in sharing updates and notes to the students. Students who require clarity at any time have meaningful exchanges with their facilitators through voice messages which enhances understanding as compared to written messages.

In response to COVID-19 as well, Google non-profits have offered NairoBits complimentary access to ‘Google Meet’ which serves as our teleconferencing kit for our training and daily administrative processes. This platform allows us to record meetings providing a learning avenue for learning for those who miss real-time training. Further, we utilize ‘Google Docs’ for real-time productivity monitoring for our students.

The pandemic enhances social issues on the lines of inequality hitting our beneficiaries with a myriad of daily challenges. In response, we have devised online programs on Mental Health, Gender-Based Violence, and Sexual & Reproductive Health Rights to help them cope with situations that put them at risk daily. While social distancing, the world may seem bleak and loneliness becomes everyday life. We regularly check up on our beneficiaries and share light moments. We undertake sessions on mental health weekly in our hope to maintain sanity. We have also liaised with Mental Health Experts to stand on call!

Following the sentiments made by Kenya’s Chief Justice on the 35% spike in GBV cases during this quarantine period, we have successfully conducted sessions on Domestic Violence for our beneficiaries. We are continually advocating for healthy relationships to avoid exploitation in times of vulnerability. We continue the sensitization of SRHR to reduce the risk of engaging in irresponsible sexual behavior, especially among the girls. In this regard, we have facilitated access to youth-friendly services through referrals and toll-free lines that aid in psychosocial support and counseling such as Aunty Jane Hotline.

As an organization, our moral compass leads us to do much more than provide technical training in these uncertain times. We are currently undertaking fundraisers to support our students and their families who may go for days without food. We urge the general public to spread love and donate to make some lives just a little easier. Details on our donation channels can be found on our Website.


By Sam Nyamwange