The IT Bridge Academy offers young jobseekers with disabilities who have a passion for IT the chance to train and get hands-on experience in the sector.
Working alongside our partners, the academy comprises nine months of classroom learning, with a syllabus adapted from CISCO’s existing IT training. After graduation, students enter a six-month internship at a top technology company where they gain real-world skills and experience. Their journey continues with a six-month mentorship managed by CISCO UK, which gives them further confidence and guidance in their job search and supports them in their early careers.
Since the first cohort graduated in Nairobi, Kenya in 2022, the majority of students have transitioned into formal employment jobs at IT and telecommunications companies, including the largest mobile network provider in East Africa (Safaricom), think tanks and and digital and technology start-ups.
This unique initiative recognises the digital gender divide and is working to achieve gender parity and a 50/50 ratio in each student cohort.
Watch the video below to learn more about the programme.
There are many ways private sector partners can get involved with the IT Bridge Academy. Partners can offer:
Our partners at Safaricom in Kenya are an example of a company offering six-month internships for IT Bridge Academy graduates. During these internships, the students gain practical work experience at a well-known employer. They receive mentoring, are supported in their internships and can explore various areas of interest in the IT department, HR and beyond.
We can also offer support to our partners such as helping them build their own disability confidence and providing a pipeline of talent.
If you are interested in getting involved as a donor or private sector partner, please contact [email protected].
Along with our partners, Sightsavers is helping to make practical changes to the way companies train and hire people with disabilities, and to develop innovative ways to help people find a job.
The IT Bridge Academy is run by Sightsavers in partnership with The National Industrial Training Authority (NITA), United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK), Safaricom, and Three Talents, Accenture and CISCO.
The project in Nairobi, Kenya is funded by donor partners: Futuremakers by Standard Chartered, GIZ’s Global Project on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities and the Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D) Programme. E4D is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and NORAD and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
In Kenya, a Sightsavers initative is helping young people with disabilities launch their careers. Here, some of the students share their stories.
In Kenya, students who have been studying IT as part of a Sightsavers initiative are now looking ahead to their graduation, internships and future careers.
We’re working with partners in Kenya to give young people the skills and practical experience they need to begin a career in IT.