On the 29th of June 2019, joy, excitement, and happiness filled the air at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi. It was the graduation ceremony for Funzi learners.
What’s great about mobile learning is that it enables us to reach a lot of people. We can give everyone the opportunity to learn and build a meaningful livelihood. But, being online also means that we often don’t get to know our users, let alone learn about their stories. The Funzi Community and Ambassador program combined with passionate and talented ambassadors have allowed us to do just that.
The first ever Funzi Ambassador led graduation event took place in the beginning of 2019 at Dzaleka refugee camp in Malawi. The event was spearheaded and hosted by one of our real life superstars, Mmunga Lulaca. If you’ve been following our blogs and social media for a while, you might remember Mmunga. He has built a community of motivated learners who aspire to improve the lives of everyone in Dzaleka with the knowledge and skills they learn on Funzi. You can read more about his story as well as the journeys of other refugees at Dzaleka here.
Mmunga was inspired to start hosting these graduation ceremonies because he wanted to raise awareness about Funzi. These graduation events have gathered a lot of interest from people in the community to start learning on Funzi.
”Today, everyone is talking about Funzi and I sometimes have interviews with our local radio Yetu Community Radio”, shares Mmunga.
This June, there were 35 graduates and 80 participants including respected guests from Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS), a local bank, radio station and Dzaleka Camp’s administrator. The number of learners that graduated this June has already doubled in comparison to last January. Mmunga hopes that future events will include more graduates who will become the pillars of change in Dzaleka.
So what will the graduates do next? Many of them have plans to start their own business, says Mmunga. One of the graduates already has a business idea in mind. She wants to open her own salon: “As a skilled girl, I will work on creating opportunities for other girls by opening a beauty salon which will allow other girls to generate income. Why opening a salon you ask? As an entrepreneur I first read the need of my community and discovered that a salon can be a good start-up and that I will not benefit alone but everyone working in it.”
Most of those who graduated in the first intake in January are already running their own small businesses, says Mmunga. He added that “there is hope for them to start these businesses because the loan officer of My Bucks Bank, Madam Caroline has encouraged them to meet the bank for loans and to promote their businesses.” The business foundation provided by Funzi online learning service combined with support from local institutions and organizations are transforming the lives of many individuals at Dzaleka Refugee Camp.
“Funzi online course has assisted many young people in this community and it has up lifted their knowledge and the wellbeing of different individuals in Dzaleka. The skills and confidence built in us today, will unlock the impossibilities, Founder 101 is more than a scripted book. We now understand that an entrepreneur is a person who sees opportunities, while others see impossibilities.” - Funzi Founder 101 Graduates
The Funzi Founder 101 Entrepreneurship course promotes inclusive entrepreneurship - for everyone, everywhere. It helps learners build business skills and a growth mindset to pursue their goals and become an entrepreneur, regardless of social, economic, or cultural background.
If you’re interested in checking out this course and bringing our entrepreneurship hub program to your community, send us a message.
And once again, this initiative would not have been possible without the incredible work and entrepreneurial spirit of our Ambassadors Mmunga and Nellycia. They are continuously working on this project to find organizations and individuals in the camp to further support these activities. Comment below if you want to want to know how you can support the growth of entrepreneurs in Dzaleka!