We are thrilled to share that we have partnered with the Otermans Institute. Otermans Institute is a social enterprise that provides a training system for soft skills and professional development to some of the world's most under-resourced populations at scale.
With the launch of this partnership between the Think Malawi charity and Otermans Institute, Malawian learners will be provided with soft skills training in one of the schools we support in Malawi, as well as other groups selected by our partners at Umodzi Youth Organisation.
About the Otermans Institute
By using highly qualified tutors and a suite of digital resources Otermans Institute works to effectively democratise access to quality teachers, soft skills training, and personal development for those in under-resourced populations around the world.
Learners in thirteen countries worldwide are already benefiting from the Otermans Institute’s technology across three continents. And now, students at one of the schools we support in Malawi are also benefiting from this technology, in addition to further learners identified by the Umodzi Youth Organisation.
Providing access to online training in Malawi
All courses with the Otermans Institute in Malawi take place online via Zoom, however, internet access in Malawi can be limited.
Classroom of learners in Malawi tuning in for their session with Otermans Institute
Due to high costs and difficulties accessing it, internet penetration in Malawi stands at just 20.2%. This means that nearly 80% of the population in Malawi lacks access to the internet.
This meant challenges to overcome in starting Otermans Institute courses for learners in Malawi. Furthermore, barriers to participation for schools and groups also included device availability such as laptops and phones, as well as electricity supply to power devices and internet connectivity.
The school selected to take part in our partnership with Otermans Institute and receive digital and soft skills training sessions virtually was Chimbota Secondary School. Additionally, our partners at the Umodzi Youth Organisation were able to identify four additional groups of learners, to receive the training from within the communities of their group co-ordinators.
Think Malawi provided funding to purchase three electricity generators for the groups sourced by Umodzi Youth Organisation, as they can experience frequent downtimes in electricity supply and the sessions are on a set schedule each week that learners need to be able to commit to.
Benefits for Malawian learners
Online Digital Training Leaners on one computer at Youth Activists Initiative Organization’s office
The training and resources provided to learners in Malawi through this partnership include skills such as CV writing, interviewing skills, aspiration and motivation, and workplace and social skills.
Arming young Malawians with these soft skills and competencies can give them the confidence they need to successfully move on to university or find paid employment.
In a recent survey conducted with participants who will be taking part in the Otermans Institute training in Malawi, all learners reported that they are either intending to complete university, to go on to further education, or to seek paid employment after finishing school. The group are highly ambitious and training from Otermans Institute aim to help them secure these opportunities.
Think Malawi and Otermans Institute
Otermans Institute’s approach to training upskills learners by using elements such as artificial intelligence, gamification within learning, and has a strong focus on learner engagement and participation to achieve superior results.
Through this new partnership with Otermans Institute the Malawian learners are experiencing the opportunity to improve future prospects for entering further education or the workforce in Malawi. Despite some technological hurdles to overcome, most learners have been able to attend frequent sessions for upskilling and soft skills training with Otermans Institute.
Young participants gather around one laptop computer at Mphatso Zathu’s Premises in Blantyre City
Think Malawi is grateful to have had this opportunity to support young Malawians to improve soft skills training; Otermans Institute monitors learners’ attendance and progress. Successful completion of the end of course assessment will enable learners to be awarded a certificate of competence.
Think Malawi is a charity that supports causes to help children in Malawi achieve a brighter future through education. We support a range of projects such as girls access to education projects, sustainability projects, and literacy projects.
Our charity runs using a network built entirely of volunteers, so that over 90% of donations go directly to causes that help improve access to education for young Malawians.
If you are passionate about improving the opportunities for young Malawians through projects such as the Otermans Institute partnership, you can support us by making a donation. You can also make a difference by joining Think Malawi together as a regular donor, by giving as little as £5 per month. Members of Think Malawi receive newsletter updates on how their donations are being used, receive early access to events, and the opportunity to attend our annual general meeting.