by Najah Woodby
I recently graduated from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and had time to reflect on standout activities from my time as a student. My experience in Kenya with the Youth for Technology Foundation definitely tops the list!
Tour of Technology
As part of a Global Initiatives in Management class focused on social impact, over 30 of my fellow students and I spent two weeks in Arusha, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. During our visit, we met with socially-minded start-up organizations in the two cities. YTF was among the six companies that the technology-focused group met with. The group also met with Safaricom, Medic Mobile, BRCK, Eneza, and Acumen while in Nairobi.
Prior to meeting with YTF, our group had learned about and witnessed the use of agrotechnologies such as hand corn shellers, fertilizer spreaders, and other technologies used to make farming more efficient. It was not until our meeting with YTF, hosted and arranged by YTF’s Country Manager Joe Kamau, that we fully understood the movement towards high tech education in East Africa.
Showcasing YTF’s One-of-a-Kind Work
We were inspired by the stories of the instructors who all studied computer science at the university and spent time teaching the youth about coding and robotics. What was most inspiring was how the instructors empower their students to not only think about the problems they are faced with in their everyday life, but also think about how they can solve their problems through the use of technology.
While we were impressed by the start-ups that we met with at the Nairobi garage and iLab, the work that YTF accomplished was truly unique.
It was organizations like YTF that inspired me to return to Nairobi after graduation to work with a small fashion start-up prior to starting my full time job.