CNN Hero: Nelly Cheboi


Being stuck in a cycle of poverty from a really young age, Nelly Cheboi took it upon herself to be the hope for her family and her community.

“Looking at the poverty in the household, looking at the community and suffering, it just became so clear that I needed to do something,” Cheboi remarks.

Nelly Cheboi attended college in 2012 on scholarship in the United States, while working odd jobs to support her family. She credits her passion for computer science and computer literacy for creating opportunities to do what she loves while still making money. This was something that not many people in her community had.

 As much as some skills did not come easy for her, Cheboi put in the required effort, and even more, to master them. This is with the motivation of the opportunities it held. Her keen efforts led to her earning a bachelor’s degree and a skill set that is a core part in the TechLit curriculum.

In the beginning, the year 2018, Cheboi used her connections from her profession to acquire recycled computers. She had to cater for the customs fees and taxes herself, while carrying the machines in check-on bags.

Presently, the non-profit organization works with freight and shipping companies to transport the donated computers. The donated hardware is wiped, refurbished and distributed to partner schools in rural Kenya, where students aged 4 to 12 receive daily classes and frequent opportunities to learn from professionals and gain skills that will help improve their education and prepare them for future jobs.

With that said, this CNN Hero is giving a chance for a brighter future to close to 4,000 children. Cheboi’s organization, Technologically Literate Africa (TechLit Africa) maintains online and onsite ownership of the computers, providing tech support, software updates and troubleshooting. TechLit Africa installs new customer operating systems geared towards children, and schools are asked to pay a small fee for the services, which includes TechLit educators onsite from 8am-4pm.

The organization currently serves 10 schools, and by early next year, Cheboi hopes to be partnered with 100 more.

Want to get involved? Check out the TechLit Africa website and see how to help.

To donate to TechLit Africa via GoFundMe, click here

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