Our newest Girl Impact partner has volunteers in a tizz! Every Tuesday volunteers return from their morning session with Quirky 30 with smiles on faces, chatting a million miles an hour about how inspiring the participants were, how much they learned and how they can’t wait for next Tuesday.
Quirky 30 is definitely an amazing program. You only need to read about our Destination Managers experience to know how incredible the youth are (you can find that here). What is even more inspiring though is the program itself. Teaching participants aged from 16 – 31 years old computer programming and coding is a life changing and challenging venture. Founded by 2 former inmates, Quirky 30 is their solution to enable youth to find an alternative to poverty and crime, which is prevalent within the local communities.
“We up-skill in marketable skills and create channels and opportunities for inclusive economy using technology to empower, advance and promote sustainable livelihoods. Our core business focuses on training female and male unemployed youth, teenage mothers, high school drop outs, ex-offenders and offenders in coding, design, soft skills as well as entrepreneurial skills to help them escape the grinding cycle of poverty and crime which characterizes so many of their lives. Coding is an aspirational job skill, which is not only in high demand globally but is also well paid. We provide free training to the population groups that are in greatest need of such job skills – yet have the least access due to their marginalised situations – we hope to reduce inequality, poverty and criminal activity, and ignite technological revolutions in previously hopeless and unlikely places.”
Quirky 30 has partnered with African Impact to ensure the ‘soft skills’ are delivered as well; guaranteeing confidence, self assurance and self belief are instilled – all of which are so important in landing a job. For those who have never held a job before, the vital skills of CV writing, interview techniques and workplace ethics are vital in securing employment. African Impact volunteers are able to guide Quirky 30 participants through the challenging and intimidating world of job applications and are looking forward to seeing just how many are snapped up for employment at the end of the year.
The outcome of this incredible project are youth that are set to succeed. Creating a safe space for the participants to talk openly, to questions volunteers, each other and themselves enables courage to take root and the understanding that maybe soon they can be achieving that dream of well paid, consistent, rewarding work.
But why take our word for it. We recently asked Quirky 30 participants to share their thoughts on the program and volunteers. Here’s what they had to say;
“I have learned constructive ways to solve problems.”
“In this program, I’ve learnt a lot about equality. I’ve realized we really not equal in terms of gender culturally and I think that needs to change.”
Mkhansyi, 21 years old
“It’s been beneficial in terms of learning new things that I didn’t know. There’s some challenges that I’ve noticed here that influence people’s decisions.”
Mandy, 19 years old
“ The programme is cool. It stimulates us and exposes us to things we hardly talk about. As for me, I keep it up because at some point it helps me emotionally, mentally, etc.”
“ This program has given me insight into how cultural, youth experiences, and perceptions shape our current society. It has also empowered me with a number of tools for inward reflection. You’re never too old to learn or change.”
Lwazi, 23 yeard old
“The experience in Quirky 30 has groomed me to be a better person in business and socially. The opportunities that learning the digital world has given me will open new doors for myself and be independent. I believe I can stand on my own two feet and open a business. I am equipped to work for myself and change.”
“I have learned a lot from this programme. I have gained a vast amount of knowledge that I never thought I would have because coding and programming are two broad things and getting to know how to create a website or mobile app is a big thing. I have a huge love for technology since I started learning about computers. I would say Quirky 30 is a place for you to see where you want to put yourself in the technology world. Thanks for everything!”
If this sounds like something you’d like to be involved with, great news; Quirky 30 is set to quadruple in size in 2018! This means our impact is also expanding and you can join us in developing self confidence, knowledge and empowerment to a whole new set of participants.
To find out how you can join the Quirky 30 love affair, head to the African Impact website.