I'm Claudine, co-founder of SAN Tech Ltd, who provides IT education and internship programs for Rwanda youth. I started SAN Tech Ltd because I want to provide IT education and internships where participants, who are passionate about solving social problems, can realize their ideas by themselves.
Along with raising interest in IT recently, there have been many IT educational programs and school classes in Rwanda. More and more young people are trying to solve social problems with IT.
However, due to the lack of practical IT education, as many as 140,000 young Rwandans are having difficulty getting a job and starting a business. According to the 2020 International Labor organization's Rwanda Youth Job Report, 3 out of 10 Rwanda youth in their 20s are unemployed. Youth unemployment is becoming a serious social problem because it causes other social risks such as poverty and crime. So, providing practical IT education is urgently needed to solve the youth unemployment issue in Rwanda.
When I was at University, I was looking for an internship to develop my programming skills to create social innovation projects in the future. However, it was not easy to find an internship itself. I was finally selected for the internship program, but there was no opportunity to learn practical IT skills. So, I thought about it. "Let's create my own company and provide internships and practical IT education for young people with social innovation ideas!" That is how SAN Tech's challenge began.
After graduating from university, I started a company with some like-minded friends who have a passion for social innovation with IT. We have established a training hub and have provided IT education and internship for young people to realize their innovative ideas since 2021. SAN Tech Internship is a program that allows participants to make their ideas into projects based on the IT education they learned at school. Since SAN Tech mentors create projects with interns as partners, they can learn practical IT skills independently.
My internship with SAN Tech Ltd has been a great blessing to have. I have been paired with a phenomenal mentor who has guided me through this academic internship. I believe everyone should do an internship because it is a great opportunity to apply the knowledge you gained in school to a professional work setting. This opportunity has given me a chance to see if what I am studying is really what I want to do with my degree
– Daniel KAJUGA, Internship beneficiary
We are helping the internship participants continue their interest in the IT field by developing their programming projects. SAN Tech also provides career counseling after the IT education and internship programs. So that participants can continue their careers.
As a result, six people participated in the internship program, and three of them are working together at SAN Tech right now. Furthermore, there are more than 50 graduates of the training hub. We will continue to work with other institutions to provide internship and practical IT education to the more young generation. In particular, SAN Tech strives to provide practical IT education and internship programs to women. So, they can overcome gender discrimination and become female IT experts in Rwanda.
Rwanda's COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2021, and all institutions were closed. We also had a lot of difficulties when I started SAN Tech in this circumstance. However, I couldn't give up providing jobs to young people and helping them solve various social problems. Still, as the COVID-19 situation is gradually stabilizing, more and more people are coming to the internship program and training hub. We need new educational spaces and equipment.