Post-COVID Career Training for African Students

by Ashinaga Foundation
Play Video
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students
Post-COVID Career Training for African Students

Ashinaga Uk, with some support from Ashinaga based in Japan is happy to offer support to Tlalane, one of the Ashinaga Africa Initiative Scholars from Lesotho, is currently studying law at the University of Edinburgh. Over the past summer, she completed an internship in South Africa with the TEARS Foundation, which focuses on supporting victims and survivors of gender-based violence and sexual assault. According to Human Rights Watch, the rate of sexual violence in South Africa is among the highest globally. The foundation offers a 24/7 emergency phone line service for victims who need assistance. They also provide the following services: legal advice, referral for counseling, leaving an abusive situation, finding shelters for victims, guidance on how to apply for protection orders, case follow-ups with the police, referral for court support, as well as education, and raising awareness about abuse and sexual assault. While the foundation is based in Sandton, Gauteng, it aids victims all over South Africa, regardless of their location.

Tlalane joined as an Interventions Assistant Intern, working with the main team responsible for receiving calls and providing firsthand assistance to the victims. Her tasks varied depending on the victim’s case. Her duties included providing legal advice to victims of abuse and sexual assault. When her expertise was not sufficient to support the caller, she would refer them to the pro bono lawyers working for the foundation. She also played a crucial role in listening to victims who needed to talk, directing those in need to counselors. When needed, she placed calls to police stations to follow up on cases involving victims who had been in touch with the foundation. She had the opportunity to attend events focused on raising awareness about gender-based violence and sexual assault with her team. One of the most complex parts of her job was interacting with people suffering from mental health issues.

Tlalane’s work routine varied on a day-to-day basis. She placed calls to victims who had dialed the emergency number the previous night in the mornings. Depending on their situation, she would open new case files for them. She would be responsible for some cases, but she could always rely on her team for support depending on the issue. Her main contribution to the organization was through her legal knowledge. She also helped victims who could not communicate in English, but only in Sesotho, Setswana, or Sepedi. As no one in the organization was proficient in these languages before her arrival, she was essential to the team when dealing with these specific languages.

Since Tlalane is not a South African citizen and her studies were not in South Africa, she faced numerous challenges. Not being familiar with the legal system in the country, it was hard for her to interpret South African law, having studied law in Edinburgh. While the two jurisdictions are both Common Law and have similarities, the Scottish law regarding sexual assault that she is familiar with differs significantly from legislation in South Africa. However, Tlalane took this opportunity to learn more about South African law. She had to research and discuss different aspects of the law with her colleagues to overcome this knowledge gap. Another challenge was referring various victims to the proper facilities. As a Mosotho, she was not aware of the facilities and services for victims available in South Africa, which contrasts with Lesotho’s lack of support and assistance for victims of sexual assaults. Her motivation to learn and help the victims pushed her to research these resources thoroughly and always provide the best possible assistance.

Tlalane had various take-aways from this internship. Her main one was the importance of adopting a solution-based attitude. At times one focuses on overanalyzing the problem. While it is essential to understand the issues, finding an effective viable solution is critical. As Tlalane’s role required a problem-solver mindset, she knew that her work directly impacted people’s lives. She improved her communication skills significantly, as she constantly had to communicate with various stakeholders, in different situations, with diverse backgrounds and unique views. While ensuring that she learned to communicate appropriately, she developed her professional capacity as she worked in an office setting.

Lastly, she learned how to network. During the events they attended, Tlalane had the opportunity to connect with people on behalf of the organization and met individuals that will be instrumental in her future career.

The internship has allowed her to reflect on her plans after graduation. Her work with the foundation re-ignited her motivation to help sexual assault victims, especially in her home country, Lesotho. While her Ashinaga Proposal, which focuses on assisting sexual assault victims in Lesotho, is still at the research stage, she is more determined to turn it into reality. Tlalane always thought of graduating and getting straight into practicing law, and now she is considering obtaining a master’s in human rights law. She is also evaluating whether she can start practicing law while working on her personal project in Lesotho. She is looking into volunteering with organizations such as the Rape Crisis Center while completing her degree. This experience has provided her with a variety of skills. One of these is the ability to think about solutions critically, which will be fundamental when tackling the implementation of her Ashinaga Proposal in her home country.

Ashianga Proposal: The Ashinaga Proposal is a compulsory exercise through which AAI Candidates and Scholars develop the skills required to identify and solve real-world problems, preparing them to return and contribute to sub-Saharan Africa. Scholars will develop valuable transferable competencies for their personal, academic, and professional life. For a detailed program structure, please refer here.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Kundai and Samuel with Arkray, Inc. Japan
Kundai and Samuel with Arkray, Inc. Japan

AAI Scholars Kundai and Samuel made the most of their experience with Arkray.Inc Japan
The Ashinaga Africa Initiative (AAI) is an international leadership program that cultivates the next generation of leaders to contribute to the development of sub-Saharan Africa.

One of the ways AAI Scholars develop their leadership skills are by completing internships during their undergraduate studies. In summer 2021, we had a chance to interview Kundai and Samuel, two AAI Scholars who completed their summer internship with Arkray Inc. Japan, a Healthcare and medical device manufacturing company located in Kyoto, Japan. Arkray’s vision is to contribute to the well-being of people around the world through technology. Arkray conducts research, develops, manufactures, distributes, and provides after-sales services for clinical testing instruments, reagents, and data management systems used for diagnosis, treatment, and medical examinations.

Kundai is an AAI Scholar from Zimbabwe who is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering. His internship with Arkray taught him a range of skills like negotiation, communication, and teamwork. Kundai was responsible for finding distributors in African markets and promoting product awareness development in Africa. In addition, the project allowed him to meet with major stakeholders in the medical field in Africa and leading figures such as Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Japan.

In Kundai’s own words: “This has been one of the most exciting experiences for me. It was more than just an internship. I built strong connections and fell in love with Japan. I am very grateful for Ashinaga and Arkray for the opportunity to learn and grow.”

Samuel is from Rwanda. He started his internship with Arkray to learn more about the Japanese work culture. In addition to applying his skills to real-world problems, Samuel expanded his network and learned to communicate effectively in professional settings.

During his internship with Arkray, Samuel managed social media campaigns for a medical device. His projects included market research and content creation. As a result, he was able to apply his knowledge, strengthen his existing skills and develop new ones. For instance, Samuel was responsible for a new video project that included scripting, shooting, and video editing. According to Samuel: “This internship allowed me to work on diverse projects and
develop various skills. But above all, I learned about the work culture in Japan and connected with my colleagues beyond our work hours”.

Samuel and Kundai highlighted the importance of balancing hard and soft skills in the workplace. When we asked them what advice they would give to aspiring AAI scholars, Samuel said, ” It is essential to invest in creating meaningful connections with your colleagues. Beyond working on the same projects, try to learn more about them and try to spend time with the outside of work”.

During the presentation, Mr Yoshinaga, a representative from Arkray, shared his appreciation for Kundai and Samuel’s hard work and contributions to the company, adding that he looks forward to working with more AAI Scholars in the future. Ashinaga is proud to see talented AAI Scholars like Samuel and Kundai progress in their career paths while developing new skills. Arkray shares their commitment to continue collaborating and creating more opportunities for learning and growth for scholars.

We want to show our sincere appreciation for the generous support you have shown us to make this internship possible.

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
AMIA Logo
AMIA Logo

 

Thanks to all who supported this project through GlobalGiving, we are happy to announce that we have launched a new program that offers graduates from our Ashinaga Africa Initiative program a grant of 3,000 $ annual grant for postgraduate study in top-tier universities in Sub-Saharan Africa.  There will be ten scholarships available each year starting August 17th, 2021.  On September 16th, the Graduates and Alumni Team organized a webinar to share more details about the program and hear stories from guests with postgraduate experience on the continent.

AAI Scholars and Graduates got the chance to hear from our honorary guest, Professor Miriam Were. Professor Were holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Public Health degrees from Johns Hopkins University in the USA.  She is also a former Chancellor of Moi University, Co-Founder of UZIMA Foundation-Africa, and an Ashinaga Kenjin-Tatsujin Council member. 

Professor Were started her speech with the two main reasons she believes a master’s degree is essential on the continent.  The first is that graduate students get to rub shoulders with those who have great expertise in their chosen areas of specialization. The second is the opportunity to focus on a local place of interest and identify ways to contribute to its development.

Professor Were reminded the AAI Graduates and Scholars that they had the unique privilege to undergo their undergraduate degrees abroad and gained excellent exposure to the world. In addition to the international outlook, the Ashinaga Masters in Africa offers its Scholars an even more unique opportunity to develop locally focused skills and complement those they developed abroad to fit the realities of the sub-Saharan African region.

According to Professor Were, through AMIA, AAI Graduates will be able to identify the problems related to their areas of interest and the expertise they need to solve them. Professor Were added that a Master’s program in Africa would allow the AAI Scholars and Graduates to develop a rich professional network back home and explore employment opportunities to ease their entry into the African job market.

 

Besides Professor Were’s speech, the AAI Scholars and Graduates heard testimonies from George Ampratwum and Suzan Kilamile. George is the Professional Network Development Team manager at Ashinaga. He has a wealth of experience in career development on the continent. He received a master’s degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of Ghana and then an MBA from the African Leadership University School of Business.  In addition to George, The AAI Graduates and Scholars heard from fellow AAI Graduate Suzan Kilamile.  Suzan is currently pursuing her master’s in Physiology at Muhimbili University in Dar Es Salaam.  In parallel with her studies, she works as a tutorial assistant in Physiology at the Christian Medical University in Kilimanjaro.  Besides learning more about the local Physiological field, Suzan highlighted how the master’s program helped her meet more Physiologists, expand her network in Tanzania and expose her to new opportunities.

Professor Were, George, and Suzan all emphasized that AMIA offers AAI Graduates and Scholars an unparalleled opportunity to develop skills relevant to their countries. Such as building rich local networks and exploring professional opportunities to make significant contributions that will improve the quality of life in Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

AMIA Webinar
AMIA Webinar

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Apollo is an AAI Scholar from Uganda. Due to COVID-related travel restrictions, he wasn’t able to come to Japan to start his university degree in person. This has not discouraged him to be proactive and use his time in Uganda to gain experience. He took on an internship with the Wakiso District Local Government and later participated in another online program called BuildforSDG2020. Additionally, he attended an entrepreneurship camp called the Swiss Re Start-Up Academy hosted by Swiss Re-insurance company, Aiducation International, and Junior Achievement Uganda. Apollo has also been very involved with the Nansana Cleaning Club.

 

 

He told us a little bit about the Swiss Re Start-Up Academy;

“This was an interactive program for young entrepreneurs to develop business plans for our start-up ideas. We were offered lectures and mentoring on topics of pitching a start-up in front of investors, identifying customer needs, solutions, and unique selling points, success factor business model, marketing and market analysis, sales, basics of book-keeping, negotiating, influencing skills, and teamwork. For my group, our idea was ‘Comfort Sanitary Pads’ which is a business idea of providing reusable sanitary pads for school-going children in Northern Uganda.

 

Comfort Sanitary pads come to avail reusable sanitary pads accompanied with anti-bacterial wash with a lower annual cumulative cost. A pack of 2 pads will cost 6000 Ugandan shillings and will take them for a year compared to the current one-time disposable pads of 3000 shillings.”

After attending this camp, Apollo put his entrepreneurship skills to the test and submit the idea to the UNICEF Uganda Innovation Fund Challenge.

 

Apollo and his teammates participating in the Swiss Re Start-Up Academy.

 

The Nansana Cleaning Club was first established by the fifth cohort of AAI Scholars as a community initiative to improve Nanasana’s hygiene and cleanness standards. Apollo has tried to carry on the legacy of the club, especially during the pandemic, when sanitation is central to stopping the spread of COVID-19. He says;

 

“The club has now spent two years in existence. As a club, we hold monthly cleaning vigils at different places within Nansana every second last Saturday of the month and periodically conduct sanitation clinics to raise awareness about the importance of a clean environment. Some members have volunteered to check the temperature of people entering marketplaces using temperature guns and also ensuring they wash their hands in these COVID times. The club has now secured partnerships with local NGOs like the Matovu Foundation and Uganda Pioneers Association.”

Though he may not be able to fly to Japan to attend university yet, his work for the community is not going unnoticed. Apollo has been recognized for his work with the Cleaning Club. He was named on 25 Under 25: Leaders Changing the Game 2020. Apollo also won the Samsung Hidden Eco-Hero Award 2020, selected as the26th Eco-Generation Regional Ambassador for Uganda, and is currently enrolled in the 2021 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program.

 

Apollo’s goals after getting to Japan include maintaining a high GPA, mastering Japanese, undertaking multiple internships, gaining multiple leadership experiences, and eventually going to graduate school.

 

Ashinaga is thrilled to see Apollo working for his local community already, and we cannot wait to welcome him to Japan.

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Walter and Patience on-sight at their internship
Walter and Patience on-sight at their internship
A core component of the AAI program is the mandatory internship (8 weeks or longer), that scholars must complete in sub-Saharan Africa while in the program.

For the past couple of years, we have partnered with many companies and offered scholars a chance to gain working experience in Africa. This year, however, their opportunities were affected by the global pandemic, like the rest of the World. 

There was one opportunity was born out of the shared interest for business in Africa among Ashinaga Foundation, Big Wave Kawasaki, an automobile recycling and spare parts business based in Oita Japan, and looking to expand their activities in Africa, and Qunie, a leading consulting firm of NTT DATA Group with a wide range of activities in Africa.  

The two Scholars who were invited to complete the internship, Patience and Walter, are from Uganda and both pursuing undergraduate studies in Japan. This offered them a unique insight into the car parts import/export industry that ties Japan to several African countries, including Cameroon where Big Wave Kawasaki currently has operations.


The internship provider took a great approach with the scholars, allowing them access to many of their business operations, including their dedicated strategy to developing an environmentally-sound business, with emphasis on building a recycling-oriented society. To conclude their internship, the scholars presented their learning to an audience of members from Ashinaga, AFRECO, Mainichi Newspaper, Mainichi Advertisement, and Qunie, all partners who contributed to creating this opportunity. 

Patience, as a business major, enjoyed the insights in business modeling and mentioned her interest in exploring the possibility to establish a similar business model to that being conducted in Cameroon in Uganda.  

As a mechanical engineering major, Walter appreciated the opportunity for a concrete application of his theoretical knowledge. Having an early understanding of the power of a powerful network, they also shared their excitement to have now expanded theirs and met potential mentors, future employers, and business partners.

The synergy highlighted by this unique collaboration between three actors is one in which Ashinaga strongly believes in. Both Big Wave Kawasaki and Qunie recognized the value in the fresh perspective from the future African Leaders that are the AAI Scholars.  

While Ashinaga will now explore ways to make this opportunity a consistent one, we also strive to develop similar ones with new partners. We are particularly eager to develop such opportunities with companies with operations in Africa interested in interns/employees with an international outlook.  

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Ashinaga Foundation

Location: Chiyoda-ku - Japan
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AshinagaGlobal
Project Leader:
Shona Morimoto
Chiyoda-ku, Japan
$7,665 raised of $10,000 goal
 
141 donations
$2,335 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Ashinaga Foundation has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.