Opening up a skill learning opportunity for people across the globe with the RLabsU Virtual Micro-courses using WhatsApp in June 2020, many did not see it almost possible. With this crazy initiative running so smoothly RLabsU then strategically decided to create and offer 4 digital micro-courses in August 2020. Coaches, known to be a virtual co-facilitator making sure that the student understands the course materials, had an impactful experience and even grew more confident and comfortable with the virtual teaching process.

The ultimate goal is to equip people with what’s necessary to realise what’s possible for themselves even in 2020 and the digital economy. This time around they honed in on future-focused basic digital skills that had over 180 students successfully walk away with a certificate of completion. The 4 digital micro-courses on offer were Computer Basics, Internet Basics, Web Publishing, and Presentation Basics. 

The experience has been inspiring. The feedback received from RLabs ambassadors, who also contributed and participated in this movement as coaches, has been tremendous. I thought to myself the other day: “What if the whole of Africa could feel like that every day, wouldn’t that be an incredible Africa?” 🤯 It’s a far fetched idea, but imagining it inspires us to do what matters. Together we hope to reach even more lives in our beautiful continent, our motherland. We also hope to help inspire other passionate teachers to do it. To explore into this virtual teaching space more of our youth, I believe, will have to understand technology, community, and communication, three of the most important basic skills needed to operate in this new world.

Everyone is moving online. Everything is going online. Most things that can be operated in real space can be operated in an online space. It is more important than ever that we are all able to understand computing at a more intermediate level.

Many jobs are already based online. Many companies that seemingly thought they couldn’t operate online, have found ways to operate online. It will be an integral part of our new normal and we are already seeing it happen. Even entrepreneurship is now to a large degree based online and occupies a lot of the online space. All the communication tools one would use before are now able to fit on a single screen. You could start the next household name or fix a really big problem, from your mobile phone, a tablet, or from your laptop in the comfort of your own home.

This is what we hope for you too if you hadn’t already tried it. We know there is magic in Africa and you. 

Here are a few highlights from the online students sharing how their experience was participating in the Virtual Micro-courses: 

“Firstly is having a very supportive coach in terms of being helpful, secondly is learning more new things about the internet and last but not least is learning all this with the RLabs team.”

“The computer basics course was very educational and I have learned new things and it’s exciting to do educational things on WhatsApp.”

“The Course is fun and easy to understand. Interactive videos and material are very helpful.”

A powerful quote from Nelson Mandela reminds me of these opportunities: 

The power of imagination created the illusion that my vision went much farther than the naked eye could actually see. – Nelson Mandela

Young people have the potential to do incredible things. Some of them have done so under extreme conditions and still prevailed. We hold onto that fact and it is our greatest goal, to help you realise it too. Knowing we are valuable and worthy of being and living a better life, and knowing how to… is incalculably powerful. A huge thank you to the team of innovators, the future of leadership and the coaches. 

Your seed has been planted and your greatness was well received by the nation.

Keep reminding one another of this reality. Spread this Love at every opportunity. 

Have gratitude in everything you do and let’s keep making Hope contagious.

Written by: Kuselwa Ntantiso & Robin Payne

References: RLabsU Team

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