Growing up in the coastal city of Mombasa, Khadija Hamisi always exuded her commitment to education and getting the right empowerment right from her formative schooling years.

Her determination to excel in whatever she puts her mind to was greatly influenced by the success story of her cousin who studied medicine and travelled abroad for further studies.

Khadija’s passion for education spearheaded her to pursue her dream at the Thika School of Medical and Health Science, where she initially pursued a diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics.

Her career path shifted when she enrolled in the Ajira Digital Program, an initiative of the Kenya Government led by the Ministry of Information, Communication and Digital Economy.

Through a strategic partnership with Mastercard Foundation, the program is being implemented by Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and eMobilis among other partners.

The main objective of the initiative is to enable more than 1 million youth in Kenya to access digital and digitally-enabled jobs annually in the fast-growing gig and freelancing economy.

Within the Ajira Digital Program is the AjiraForShe apprenticeship program, which is specially formulated to address the existing gender inequality within the gig economy.

Khadija was in the first cohort of the AjiraForShe Program at Madrasa-Tul-Falaah, an Islamic learning institution in Kibera, and was keen to learn more to empower herself digitally.

Through the engaging program, Khadija acquired skills about web design, web development, transcription, digital marketing, and eventually gravitated towards web development.

Her newfound knack for web development saw her design a website for her mother’s clothing and cosmetics business, greatly increasing her visibility online and profits finally.

Guided by her madrasa teacher and mentor, Mwalimu Zena, Khadija completed the Ajira Digital Program training, started freelancing and developed websites for many businesses.

Her eyes are now set on launching a major project for herself soon and reveals that she is saving money for it from the revenue she has managed to rake in from her current gigs.

Khadija’s journey from a nutrition and dietetics student to a proficient web developer is testament of her varied capabilities and the transformative impact of the Ajira Program.

She also inspires many other women and youth to strive for excellence and progress.

“Khadija is an inspired lady, a feminist, a mentor to some,” she confidently averred.

This pledge to mentorship and advocacy for young women has become a pivotal part of her identity as she aims to widen their horizons beyond conventional norms in her community.

The launch of the Ajira Digital Program and setting up of an ICT hub at Madrasa-Tul-Falaah has accorded many young women a key platform to pursue alternative income sources.

The second cohort of the program at the learning institution now has 14 young women.