THE CALESTOUS JUMA INNOVATION AND RESOURCE HUB (CJ HUB)
DRIVING INCLUSIVE CAPACITY-BUILDING IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY,
AND INNOVATION, IN BUNYALA SUB-COUNTY, KENYA
A Community Development Hub
Providing training in digital literacy and basic computer skills, as well as personal and professional growth opportunities. As the CJ Hub grows, we'll offer additional opportunities to learn entrepreneurship, leadership, financial literacy, and other discipline-specific skills for those who are interested.
The CJ Hub is equipped with computers and internet access as well as a gathering and demonstration space for guest speakers, workshops, and community meetings. There are plans to add a customized digital library pre-loaded with community-relevant information.
Stories of change
Shanon sought out the CJ Hub for a simple reason – she wanted to learn, and the free courses welcomed students of all backgrounds.
Arriving with no prior computer experience, she can now proficiently type and utilize essential programs like Microsoft Office, thanks to the individualized attention and patient guidance she received from the volunteer instructors.
Shanon also credits the career guidance at the Hub with helping her identify and foster her strengths and interests. Now, she sees a different future than she had imagined: Attending university.
She believes access to RACHEL, the remote digital library the Hub uses as a resource for project-based learning, expanded her experience at the Hub. It provided her with a hands-on learning experience, including access to Dr. Juma’s books, articles, and videos of his lectures and interviews, helping her widen her viewpoints and perspectives.
Technology no longer intimidates her. According to Shanon, the Hub classes have “unlocked her creativity” regarding computers and what they can help her accomplish.
According to Shanon, she is confident that she “can acquire a job that requires computer knowledge, and hope to use the skills learned for my own personal advancement in my career journey at university.”
Her story epitomizes the CJ Hub's mission to cultivate individual talents that contribute solutions to 21st-century challenges. Looking ahead, Shanon wants to pay it forward by helping others get the skills needed to build the brighter future Africa deserves.
Part of a generation of youth yearning for authentic connection, Eugene knows that digital threads bind people and communities across Africa and the globe. As he put it, "The world is changing, and every part of the economy is being digitized. To be competitive, I need to be computer literate.”
For Eugene, upskilling was not a choice but a necessity. And the CJ Hub provided more than just technical know-how. He
found community in the computer lab, building bonds with fellow students in the same boat, navigating this digital world together.
RACHEL, the Hub’s digital library, opened doors to Professor Juma’s lectures and writings - resources that sparked inspiration about what is possible for Eugene, Kenya, and Africa.
He will find a job, confident his new expertise will carry him forward. And he hopes to inspire others like him. He knows that the more young people gain these skills, the more connected his community will be to the global economy and the wider world.
“Thanks for impacting me positively with basic computer skills. I find it easy taking my computer classes now that I have the knowledge acquired at the CJ Hub.”
Michael Agwilo yearned to serve his community, but he knew he needed to develop his computer skills. Those in community leadership roles must be able to access and navigate the internet in a world where so many work, connect, and create meaning online.
The free computer classes at the CJ Hub offered him an on-ramp to gaining the technical abilities and cultivating the skills he knew he needed to serve his community. The volunteer instructors met Michael where he was. They provided meaningful instruction, patiently guiding him until he developed his computer competency.
No longer intimidated by the sight of a keyboard and screen, he embraced the new power at his fingertips. He knows he can now communicate worldwide and feels he has a place in the 21st century.
His story highlights the empowering potential of digital skills programs to uplift individuals and their communities. Michael notes, “The time I’ve spent at the Hub has helped me gain confidence in my computer skills and allowed me to feel more comfortable socializing with my peers.”
Michael’s new skills and knowledge unlocked the opportunity to excel at Maseno University where he is studying International Relations.
Signing up for classes at the CJ Hub was the beginning of something new for Juliet. Since the classes were free, this was a great opportunity to learn about computers and popular computer applications.
Juliet wanted to learn the basics - how to create Word documents, build Excel spreadsheets, and make presentations in PowerPoint. Sitting in front of the computer on her first day, she stared at the
rows of icons and options, not knowing where to start. But Juliet was determined. She knew she needed computer skills so she didn't get left behind.
And the volunteer teachers were patient. They walked her through the basics. By the end of the course, Juliet could navigate each program. According to Juliet, a highlight of her Hub experience was the opportunity to experience peer teaching.
Now, Juliet sees a bright horizon opening up. According to Juliet, she now sees the possibility of “getting a job or starting her own business.”
The CJ Hub has given her a bright future she only dreamed of.
Aquaculture Equity Pilot
Programs at the CJ Hub will be linked with hands-on practical training in aquaculture and related farming opportunities, with an emphasis on local innovation.
“The programmes offered in areas like entrepreneurship development and youth mentorship will help people at the grassroots level curb poverty levels and people will be able to access knowledge at their (doorstep) location instead of going to towns."
- Port Victoria community member Ogoba Osogo