Jody Karra’s journey from retail worker to Project Administrator and Personal Assistant to MiDO Technologies’ Managing Director, Dale Simons, is a testimony of MiDO’s commitment to empowering youth to empower themselves. Thanks to MiDO’s vision to equip youth with technological skills, young people like Karra have been able to rapidly develop their careers.

“My life has changed dramatically since working at MiDO, and my confidence and self-image are better than it was five years ago,” says Karra, who was initially appointed by MiDO as a Hub Coordinator at MiDO’s first hub at Stellenzicht High School in Jamestown, Stellenbosch, in 2017.

MiDO’s work in the ICT sector has been crucial to closing the skills gap in technology among youth in the Western Cape. They have done this by reaching out to schools and recruiting unemployed youth, methods that Simons believes will have a positive impact on education in South Africa and the difficulties youth face in finding jobs.

Unemployed youth from lower-income communities are appointed as Hub Coordinators at MiDO’s Digital Technology Hubs, where they are provided with digital and technical skills training through MiDO’s Digital Citizenship Programme. The program consists of a mentorship opportunity and an industry-based 12-month paid internship.

“These internship opportunities are unique because it provides participants with digital skills that will lead to them having better career prospects,” says Nadine Farao, Sales and Marketing Manager at MiDO.

This is supported by one of the key findings of the Harambe Mapping of Digital and ICT Roles and Demand for South Africa Survey. According to the survey, digital skills will pave the way for over 66 000 jobs in South Africa’s ICT sector over the next year.

“I believe that that is where MiDO will be crucial in unlocking our youth’s potential and leaving a lasting legacy of digitally empowered young citizens,” says Farao.

After being appointed as a Hub Coordinator, Karra worked diligently to prove that she is capable of completing tasks promptly and professionally, as well as willing to go above and beyond what is required. This dedication did not go unnoticed and Karra was soon given the opportunity to expand her skill set, which ensured her promotion from Hub Coordinator to Project Administrator in a relatively short period at MiDO.

Since starting at MiDO, Karra has completed a Higher Certificate in Business at Cornerstone Institute. Her registration fees were sponsored by another Jamestown-based NGO, Usiko Stellenbosch. The study opportunity, says Karra, did not only help her improve her skill set, but gave her a chance to build a network of supportive professional relationships with other students.

“I believe that circumstances shouldn’t define your future because your mindset can take you places you never thought possible,” says Karra.