In September, program manager Revi Sterling and field coordinator Grace Githaiga visited the the World Vision APD office in Matete, Kenya, to talk to recent Women and the Web graduates. The graduates will be profiled over the months to come and have promised to stay in contact. Several Women and the Web past participants have found opportunities either in the ICT sector or because of the affordances of ICT. Several dozen have received microfinance funding to pursue new and enhanced livelihoods, and some have gone on to study ICT in more depth. These profiles demonstrate the impact of the Women and the Web program on the lives and livelihoods of thousands in Matete, in conjunction with the stellar training provided by World Vision.
Please meet Pastor Akaranga:
Pastor Akaranga is one of those unique men who decided that they, too, would take ICT training. The Women and the Web program is open to men as well, and in his words, it was getting hard to be an analog pastor with a digital congregation. In fact, one of his parishioners told him about the training and also instructed him – Mercy, the young woman with the printer business who was recently profiled.
The Pastor is also a farmer, and talked about how ICT is helping in both capacities. In the church, he can now communicate with other pastors abroad, and work on sermon ideas through email and WhatsApp. ICT completely opened up his farming business – with an approximate 80% income increase. He has been able to fill out the required online forms to participate in national agricultural tenders, connect with transportation companies, and use agricultural applications.
He has also been able to talk to his son, who has been stationed in Somalia for 10 months.
He had valuable feedback for the program — the training should go to women, not the other way around. Likewise, the entrepreneurship training should be more localized to the region. ICT can be a catalyst to changing gender roles, especially when it comes to entrepreneurship activities, but the training should mention them and then let women decide if they want to be “bold.”
Speaking of bold, he does want all the women in his church to take the Women and the Web training, and has three pastors currently enrolled so that they can be as digital as the people they serve: