Remy Gakwaya provides coding and entrepreneurial skills to members of his community in the Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi.
SNHU Global Education Movement (GEM) and Jesuit Worldwide Learning class of 2020 alumnus Remy Gakwaya was a 2021 Falling Walls winner in the Future Learning category, and a finalist for the Science Breakthrough of the Year award for “Breaking the Wall to Technological Education for Marginalized Communities.”
Leveraging his degree in Business Administration and Management and a love for coding, Remy founded the TakenoLab Technology School in 2015 to teach digital skills, software development, entrepreneurship, and e-lancing to Malawians and fellow refugees in the Dzaleka Refugee Camp. He “wanted to provide these skills to fellow refugees who cannot make a living, as refugees cannot work or establish businesses in Malawi.” With these skills, refugees and Malawians alike are able to enter the virtual workforce or pursue additional education with the digital literacy needed to succeed and overcome such barriers.
He started small with just six students. Since then, TakenoLab has grown into a first-of-its-kind resource for the Camp. In 2019, SNHU President Paul LeBlanc and current and former SNHU Board Members Arthur Sullivan, Peter Worrell and Rob Freese gifted Remy $96,000 to support his plan to expand the school. This enabled Remy to purchase a piece of land in the Camp where he built the brand-new Dzaleka Entrepreneurship Center with classrooms, a boardroom, and over 30 computers designed to support 1,000 Malawians. The school has enrolled 2,000 students since 2015, and is currently serving 250 students this year alone.
“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.
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.”
SNHU GEM is incredibly thrilled that Remy is a Falling Walls award winner for Future Learning and a top ten finalist for the Science Breakthrough of the Year Award. But we are even more honored that he is using his education and entrepreneurial spirit to lift up the community one student at a time.