Uncommon.org Partners with Digital Marketing Institute and NKDigital

Uncommon.org Partners with Digital Marketing Institute and NKDigital

We are very excited to announce our recent collaboration with Digital Marketing Institute and Nikolina Kobali, founder of NKDigital – a 2020 Gold Partner of DMI.

All five of our Digital Marketing Managers, and one of our Digital Marketing students, have been gifted DMI’s Pro Diploma program, which retails for around $2,000.

Additionally, Nikolina Kobali, a Digital Marketing professional with years of experience and affiliate of DMI, will be Mentoring the Uncommon team throughout the course. The goal is to eventually embed the DMI experience into our own offering, which is targeted at unemployed young adults in Zimbabwe with little to no technology experience.

Working with partners of the caliber of NKDigital and DMI is a fantastic opportunity for the individuals in our organization and the team at large. We’re excited to elevate our capacity as Digital Marketers and educators and to help hundreds of ambitious young adults start their careers in tech!

Thank you Digital Marketing Institute and NKDigital!

$25,000 Matching Donation Campaign!!

$25,000 Matching Donation Campaign!!

Thanks to a private donor, all Monthly Donor signups – regardless of size – will be matched with an additional $250 throughout the month of November. This is an incredible opportunity for Uncommon and our students, and we hope you’ll join in on the fun by becoming a Monthly Donor.

When an unemployed young adult joins our program, their earning power increases dramatically. We use 100% of our Monthly Donor contributions to fund education, so when you join the Monthly Donor community your support is being invested entirely into someone else’s future.

$25,000 is roughly the amount it costs us to run one of our Innovation Hubs. Each Hub equates to about 20 young adults training for the technology workforce and 1,000 children in our after school coding program.

Our goal this November is to signup 100 Monthly Donors and unlock the full $25,000. With our current Monthly Donor contribution averaging just under $25, reaching the 100 signup goal could mean funding the operating expenses of TWO Innovation Hubs.

With that said, no gift is too small, and Monthly Donor contributions of any size are eligible to be matched. Thank you for joining our Uncommon Community and investing in someone else’s future.

Nedbank Zimbabwe Sponsors Latest Uncommon.org Innovation Hub

Nedbank Zimbabwe Sponsors Latest Uncommon.org Innovation Hub

The impact of Nedbank’s recent philanthropic investment is extraordinary.

Nedbank Innovation Hub

We are absolutely delighted to partner with Nedbank Zimbabwe to launch our first Innovation Hub outside of Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare. The Nedbank Innovation Hub is located in the Emganwini township, not far from Bulawayo’s city center where we’re hosted by Zara’s Center, a community based NGO focused on critical food, health and education projects for some of Emganwini’s most underprivileged youths.

Expanding into Bulawayo is a key part of the strategic plan for Uncommon.org. Proving that we can operate effectively across cities is a crucial milestone to achieve for our young EdTech start-up. We’re grateful to Nedbank Zimbabwe for believing in our mission and paving the way for our growth throughout Zimbabwe and the region.

Dr Sibongile Moyo

About the Nedbank x Uncommon.org collaboration, Managing Director Dr. Sibongile Moyo had this to say, “When we first learned about Uncommon.org, we knew this was a mission we had to support. Not only are we happy to invest in technology education and workforce development, we’re eager to begin placing graduates from our Hub!”

While the exact details of the partnership are confidential, securing Nedbank’s sponsorship is a major milestone in our non-profit’s path to sustainability.

In addition to designing, building and marketing websites for clients (Hire Uncommon!), we provide physical and digital branding opportunities of our Innovation Hubs to corporate partners looking to invest in access to technology education and workforce development.

Not only does Nedbank Zimbabwe now have a beautiful space that directly associates their brand with education and positive, community level investment, we will also be branding all of the learning materials and certificates that leave the Hub and enter local households.

On average, 1,000 students from the schools near our Innovation Hub will go through our after school coding program each year. That means roughly 1,000 households (est. 5,000+ family members) with certificates on the wall indicating that their child’s computer coding education was paid for by Nedbank Zimbabwe.

The volume and quality of impressions here is amazing and we can’t wait to help Nedbank reach new clients and customers through investing in Uncommon, and investing in education.

If you or your company would like to learn more about building and / or sponsoring an Innovation Hub, click here.

Uncommon.org Selected as Data For Good Fund Grantee

We are beyond grateful for the team at the Data for Good Fund and UpMetrics for reviewing and accepting our grant application!

Becoming a Data For Good grantee means access to the UpMetrics dashboard free of charge for an entire year, as well as ongoing support from the DFG team.

When we first applied for this opportunity, we were actually in the process of designing a data collection & analysis project internally, so this news couldn’t have been better timed.

As an organization, we get the privilege of seeing the impact of our work every day. We’ve long believed that coding helps students in myriad ways – both in and outside of the classroom, but does the data back it up? 

What about happiness or self-confidence?

It’s hard to describe how cool it is to watch 10 year old kids sprint to our after school class where they get to learn how to build (and play!) computer games, but is there actually a direct correlation between learning these skills and happiness? Over the course of their time with us, we see quiet, shy students become outspoken and vocal, future programmers, but is there a legitimate link between coding and confidence?

Similarly, how does coding impact a child’s overall academic performance? Does joining our after school coding program correlate to better attendance and grades in other subjects? These are some of the questions we can’t wait to explore! Another thing we’re very interested in measuring is the economic impact our program has on both individuals in our Bootcamps, and entire communities where the Hubs are located. 

Through our multi-tiered approach, we are training unemployed young adults for the tech workforce while simultaneously teaching computer coding to kids at every school in the community. Eventually, every child and young adult in the neighborhood will be getting intimate, hands-on and practical coding / technology experience. What type of long-term, economic impact will this have? 

As a Data For Good Grantee, we can’t wait to dig more into these questions and use the tools to better visualize and learn from the data we’ll be collecting. We’re excited to share what we find!

Applications for Design, Coding & Marketing Mentors Now Open

Our current focuses are on User Interface & User Experience Design; Website Development including WordPress, React, NodeJS, JavaScript and Git; Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing.

If you or a colleague you know has any of these skills and would like to help an unemployed young adult start their career in tech, please reach us directly at mentorship@uncommon.org

There’s no doubt that one of the silver linings to come out of the pandemic was the launch of our Mentorship Program. COVID-19 meant going virtual in a way we never had before, and going virtual opened up so many new possibilities for our program.

Our first Mentors were a pair of friends / Digital Marketing experts from Google and Polestar. After just a few weeks, it became apparent to everyone, just how valuable and rewarding the experience was to all those involved. Our next ambition was to scale up the program a bit, and over the next few months we brought on Mentors from YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, Pinterest, AutoDesk, Morgan Stanley and so many other amazing companies with employees based all around the world.

We love the Mentorship program because not only does it mean our students are getting professional level technical support, it also helps develop interpersonal skills, increases confidence and professionalism and exposes our students to an entire world they hadn’t previously had access to.

So with that said, it is with great excitement that we are now putting out a Call for Applications for more Mentors to join Uncommon.org and work one on one with a student in Zimbabwe.