Digital Divide Data (DDD) is a non-profit, social enterprise committed to building long-term and scalable solutions to youth unemployment.
In Cambodia, Laos, and Kenya—countries where DDD operates— the biggest challenge is the lack of access to quality jobs in the formal sector. Because of low educational attainment and inadequate professional skills, the underserved youth in these countries often find themselves unemployed or employed in the informal sector. Moreover, they remain in the intergenerational poverty that keeps them from escaping subsistence living. In response, DDD pioneered the Impact Sourcing model as a means to provide youth with access to higher education, professional skills development, and formal employment in the IT sector.
In 2017, DDD launched an ambitious initiative in Kenya to harness the potential of emerging technologies to upgrade its associates’ IT skills and thus boost their employability. DDD founded the Kenya Cloud Center of Excellence to train, employ, and certify youth in cloud computing services. After 6 months of intensive cloud training, associates become certified Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud engineers. An AWS Certification opens a whole new area of opportunity for DDD associates and is a credential they can continue to leverage throughout their careers.
The Cloud Center not only provides youth with practical skills to improve their employability and self-sufficiency but also demonstrates that given the proper training and resources, motivated but marginalized youth have the capacity to learn the advanced IT skills that will help them fill the jobs gap in the technology sector.
With support from the Rising Tide Foundation, DDD is training 240 young Kenyans in cloud computing administration skills, who would otherwise not have access to specialized IT training and subsequent job opportunities. With their AWS training and certification, these youth are in-demand applicants in the job market due to the limited qualified labor pool in Kenya and worldwide for this particular technical skill. Upon their completion of the course, these youth are supported to secure jobs in the local IT industry and at DDD. Through DDD’s Cloud Center of Excellence, youth in Kenya will enhance their employability in the tech sector and their ability to command a salary that can better help them support themselves and their families.