Agnes is from Kenya and works as a Livelihoods and Protection Caseworker at the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Her career decisions have all been driven by a deep enthusiasm for protection and empowerment work – particularly concerning refugees, women, and the youth. Agnes has completed multiple courses on Kaya and currently has three ongoing!

Hello Agnes! How did you hear about the e-learning platform Kaya, and which courses did you take?

I first learned about Kaya when I joined IRC in June 2019. I enrolled for a few courses and only got to consistently study those and more courses when I started working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

So far, I have completed a total of seven courses and I have three ongoing courses.  The first course I did was on Cash and Voucher Assistance and Livelihoods which really enhanced my knowledge and understanding of livelihoods programming and the nature of the program I am currently supporting- having transitioned from a completely different field. I recently completed the Sexual and Gender Based Violence course provided by UNHCR, which I found to be very intense, informative and quite useful.  I have found all the courses that I have taken on Kaya to be quite imperative to my current work.

Did the courses have an impact on your daily job/career?

All the courses that I have completed on Kaya are vital to my current role and have reinforced my skills as a humanitarian. I am able to adequately respond to the needs of the people that I serve. I love that all Kaya courses are self-paced and that my progress is saved and bookmarked for me to return to it during my next study session.

Everyone has a different understanding of the word “humanitarian”. What does being a humanitarian mean to you?

Being a humanitarian, to me, means offering myself, my skills and empathy to ameliorate the conditions of vulnerable persons and to make the world an amazing place for all humanity.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the way you work and/or learn?

The pandemic has made me appreciate the digital resources available that make working and learning remotely easier. I have had more time (including the time that I would otherwise spend on the road) to build up on my competencies and Kaya has been an excellent resource for that.

What would you say are the greatest challenges surrounding humanitarian learning today?

I would say one of them is the lack of time to access the available resources. Humanitarians are always busy serving persons of concerns – when they are not in the field, they are in the office with little time and a plateful of tasks to complete.  I would also highlight the lack of specialised resources for particular areas of humanitarian response. Most learning material is generalised while most humanitarian programmes differ in various ways.

Any final comment or suggestion?

I am so glad my employer introduced me to Kaya. I have greatly increased my knowledge in my area of career interest and I am able to better serve beneficiaries in my scope of work. With continued access to the courses provided by the Humanitarian Leadership Academy, my chances of moving up the ladder also continue to increase.

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