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Alumni Spotlight: Remy Gakwaya’s Dzaleka Coding Center

SNHU GEM alum Remy founded TakenoLab Technology School to provide coding and entrepreneurship skills to his community.

As the first large-scale online learning program for refugees, SNHU Global Education Movement (GEM) students are able to use their unique educational experiences and digital literacy skills to earn the degrees they need to excel in today’s virtual workplaces.

For SNHU GEM alumnus Remy Gakwaya, he was able to leverage his GEM degree in Business Administration and Management as well as his passion for coding to help his community. Through his TakenoLab Technology School, he has brought important digital skills to Malawians and his fellow refugees in Malawi’s Dzaleka Refugee Camp.

Earlier this month, Remy shared his experiences as an entrepreneur, innovator and SNHU GEM alumnus with the Global Innovators Academy.

Today, Remy’s TakenoLab Technology School teaches refugees how to code in a variety of programming languages. Inspired by the values of GEM and its partner organization Jesuit Worldwide Learning (JWL), Remy “wanted to provide these skills to other fellow refugees who cannot make a living as such refugees cannot work in Malawi or establish businesses.”

Despite an initial lack of funding, Remy started small, with only six students, but his program steadily grew. His initial success caught the eye of international organizations as well as SNHU President Paul LeBlanc and several SNHU board members, who helped fund the new Dzaleka Entrepreneurship Center that opened in March 2021.

While Remy faced doubts that creating a coding center was possible, he listened to family and friends encouraging him to persevere. The TakenoLab Technology School has now enrolled between 100-150 students who meet weekly to learn coding and its real-world applications.

“We have achieved a significant milestone in transforming young refugees and the host community who had no hope for the future,” Remy said. The center will continue to provide entrepreneurship and computer programming skills to other refugees in his community, and he hopes to expand each year to reach more students.

Remy’s story is just one example of GEM students’ entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to helping their communities.

He hopes to continue to share the lessons he has learned with other young people: “Many people will tell you that what you are doing will not work and you are wasting your time. They will give you good reasons to accept what they are saying. Take the good part of their story and format the rest.”

To read Remy’s full story, visit the Global Innovators Academy