A Word from Our Interns

As Rlabs we pride ourselves on transforming communities through creating environments and systems that are conducive to impact. But we feel that we have fallen into the rhythm of speaking about it more than actually demonstrating it. And what better way to demonstrate it than to gauge and report on the actual experiences of our interns?

Here we have three of our interns who are currently working with us while sharpening their skills, accumulating experiences and gaining invaluable insights. Lenin, Farieda and Ebrahim have been with us for a few months now, and already their lives have been transformed. Let’s start with a peek into what Lenin Qonde has to say.


“My name is Lenin Qonde, born and raised in Cape Town by loving parents and 3 siblings.

I became aware of the program during my initial volunteer work at RLabs. I was encouraged to sign up for the skills accelerator process after a brief onboarding session which I took part in.

The educational journey has been transformative for me on many levels. It has taught me concepts of computing I never knew existed. My knowledge has expanded on topics such as writing code and interpreting Python scripts. I’ve managed to understand and articulate Cloud computing models. Restart has had an economic and educational impact on me. My expectations for the year have been met. The program encourages interaction and cooperation among the group. I became comfortable in presentations and sharing my ideas with my colleagues.”


It’s inspiring to know that we have had more than just an impact on him educationally and that he has been empowered economically in the process! Let’s see what Farieda has to say.
“Good day!

I’m Farieda Sydow, 29 from Lentegeur Mitchells Plain. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for just over 6 years. I found out about this internship through social media, well WhatsApp to be exact, it was posted on someone’s status and from here I followed the link to apply. I matriculated in the year 2012 and did a computer basics course as well. I came into this programme not knowing anything about what re/start was or anything about cloud computing.

This programme up-skilled me in so many ways possible. After only 3 months I’ve obtained skills such as Linux and Python, AWS services key cloud computing concepts and IT fundamentals. This programme also prepared me for the real world, working with people, and being professional in the workplace. This helps me prepare for a career in the cloud.

This programme opened me up so much and gave me hope for a successful career. It made me set goals for myself and believe I can achieve these things. I speak more and more to family and friends about this amazing opportunity that I was given and with this, the next person is given hope for a better future for themselves.”

It’s incredible to see that regardless of knowing nothing about cloud computing, she has led to her setting goals for herself within one of the most lucrative industries of our time.

Which leads us to, Ebrahim Akiemdien. He has just officially qualified as a Cloud Practitioner! Let’s see what he has to say.

Ebrahim Akiemdien – AWS re/Start Intern

“I’m Ebrahim Akiemdien and I recently matriculated. I spent the beginning of the year at home as I planned on taking a gap year. The AWS re/Start program was presented to me by one of our family friends and she encouraged me to do it as it equips us with skills that are currently in demand.

Well, she was correct. The skills I learned open a lot of doors and allow us to go into a variety of jobs or faculties as there is always something more you can do when it comes to cloud computing. We covered quite a few things within the program even if it’s just the basics of some such as using Linux, networking, coding with Python and understanding databases.

Our main focus was the AWS resources, but the basics of the previously mentioned modules allowed us to interact with hands-on environments and gave us an understanding of the development of cloud environments within AWS. Our group of interns successfully graduated from the program, and I can confidently say that all of us learned a whole new set of skills.

The program not only equipped me with cloud computing skills but also with skills such as time management, being able to work in groups and understanding others and their way of thinking.

It also improved my problem-solving skills and decision-making skills, and I’m sure you might ask how a cloud computing program improves problem-solving skills. Well, simply put, tasks such as troubleshooting test your problem-solving skills as there can be the tiniest of errors that can be quite difficult to find.

Our intern group as a whole worked together and this helped with the grasping of concepts. It’s difficult to speak of individual improvement as my improvement resulted from working together, with my instructors and the general environment that I am in.

I have a background in computers as I did Information Technology in High School and this kind of gave me an advantage and the ability to explain concepts that I already learnt and understand to others in a much simpler way. This made it easier for them to understand but like I said, our intern group worked together and improved each other.”

Not once did he even mention obtaining an infamously difficult qualification… A testament to his humility.

And these three beautiful souls are just a taste of the many instances of impact we have had the good fortune of being able to aid in.

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