Take a look at what we’ve accomplished so far, and where we’re heading in the next few years.
Expanding into Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city, brought many challenges and opportunities for our team. With the support of Nedbank Zimbabwe (our Innovation Hub sponsor), Zara’s Center (our amazing host), and after a year of hard work, we’re excited to begin seeing our investment into the city pay off through the completion of our recent internship program, where students stepped away from the Hub to join various companies for one month, in-person internships.
Throughout the year, our students in Bulawayo – some, first time computer users – have been studying User Interface / User Experience Design, Front End Web Development and WordPress, and Digital Marketing & SEO. Getting the chance to intern and put their skills to the test alongside professionals in live working environments has been extremely valuable for our students.
Here’s what one of our students, Gracious, had to say about her time interning as a Digital Marketer.
“As an intern, I found myself surrounded by mentors who were dedicated to helping me succeed. After spending time in the work space, being exposed to a variety of skill sets made me realize how every sector is interconnected and how important being versatile is…I am more confident than ever before and I will recommend Uncommon and the internship program to my peers. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience!”
Likewise, the companies that hosted our students got a lot out of the experience as well. Here’s what Mpi Ndebele from InnoTech Africa had to say.
“The students are able to understand what the client is thinking. They didn’t need to hold their hand, they brought fresh ideas and a new perspective on things. They had confidence and weren’t afraid to voice their opinions or ask questions, and they were willing to learn new things.”
Now that the internships are over, we have welcomed the students back to the Hub for their final module where they will focus on Job Prep as well as polishing up the areas that their employers identified needed improving. After that, we will support the graduates in their job search, though we have a feeling that many have already found a home after their internships!
Huge congratulations are in order for Beyond Bechani, Racheal Bulombe and Anesu Ndoro, who relocated from Harare to Bulawayo to launch our work there, as well as to the various team members who spent time visiting and working in Bulawayo over the past 12 months.
When clients choose to hire Uncommon.org, not only are they getting a great product at a great price, 100% of the funds we earn are used to further our education mission.
We were recently approached by Taylor’s Africa, a Zimbabwean based safari company that had previously hired us for web development work. Their business had grown substantially over the past few years, and they felt that it was time for a design refresh.
Beyond Bechani (Designer) and Milliscent Rufasha (Developer) took the lead on this project and were really able to capture the clean, simple design that the client was looking for.
Not only is the client very pleased with the project, they’ve told us to be on the lookout for a contact of theirs from the UK that wants to hire our team for their next project.
We believe there’s a huge opportunity for Uncommon.org and our “impact as a differentiator” business model. We’re really excited to continue improving this business and someday turning it into a major revenue stream for our nonprofit.
If you’d like to see a few more of our recent projects, please check out our Portfolio page.
Get ready to feel inspired by Perpetualjoy’s uncommon story.
After graduating from University, Joy found herself like so many of her Zimbabwean peers, unemployed.
In a country that once again claims the world’s highest inflation rate, and where unofficial unemployment rates in our communities are ~80%, investments in university degrees don’t translate to the higher qualities of life that they once had.
While Joy was participating in our program, she married and gave birth to her first child. Taking maternity leave left her behind her peers and we decided that when she returned, we’d train her in a new track – Project Management.
We matched Joy with Mentors from New York City and Australia and she joined our business team, learning how to manage website development projects for our international clients.
Recently, Joy accepted a job offer earning nearly 5x the average Zimbabwean income. We couldn’t be more proud of Joy and the role we’ve been able to play in her uncommon journey.
We’ve just launched a campaign to purchase and send 120 laptops to Zimbabwe for our next Bootcamp students.
We’ve designed our education program to have as few barriers to entry as possible, and providing personal computers for our participants is one of the ways we ensure that our free program is accessible to all.
Over the next few months, our goal is to secure funding to purchase and send 120 refurbished MacBooks to Zimbabwe for our next Bootcamp students.
If you’d like to make a donation to purchase a laptop or help cover the shipping fees, please consider doing so here.