Cybersecurity firm Performanta teams up with innovative EdTech NGO to grow skills

In a bid to promote skills that enable Africa’s digital future, South African founded cybersecurity firm Performanta has partnered with skills development NGO Infinite Family to empower South African youth.

Promoting cybersecurity careers helps develop a generation of professionals who can establish Africa as a leading digital economy.

“Demand is constantly growing for more people with cybersecurity skills,” says Chereen Godwin, Chief People Officer for Performanta.

“We see it as strategically important to invest in skills development in this space not only as a way to give back to the communities we work with but to help grow this important sector. It’s critical for our industry that more learners are introduced to the cybersecurity world and see how those skills can shape their careers and take them places.”

To help bring that message to more learners, Performanta supports Infinite Family, an NGO that brings valuable, online, live mentorship right into learners’ communities via its LaunchPad computer labs.

Infinite Family was founded by Amy Stokes in 2006 as a digitally native service that teaches crucial technology skills and connects candidates with mentors from many different sectors from all around the world.

“Infinite Family complements our vision. It uses webcams to connect learners with mentors who provide advice and guidance during some of the learners’ most crucial years,” Godwin explains. “Infinite Family helps teens and young adults in South Africa develop the grit, perspective and ambition to go further than they ever thought possible.”

“Kids can’t just walk away from the situation that they were born into,” says Stokes. “The birth lottery dramatically affects all of your life opportunities. And the birth lottery often gives South Africa’s children the raw end of the deal multiple times in a row.

“The parent, guardian or caretaker is doing everything they can just to keep food on the table and everybody healthy, so we use webcam technology to bring experiences and expertise from around the world into kids’ lives not only to teach them but to motivate and inspire them.”

According to Statistics SA, the average monthly income of a secondary school dropout is only R2,600 per month. Someone who completes Matric/grade 12 can expect at least four times as much and over eight times if they achieve a tertiary qualification such as a bachelor’s degree.

But the odds are stacked against many South African children. A lack of access to responsible mentors for sounding boards and advice is a significant barrier for their futures.

Infinite Family virtually connects teens and young adults in South Africa with mentors in 18 countries. It trains the mentors and applies several measures to monitor the students’ progress continually. The NGO’s programmes cover life and professional skills, as well as educational elements.

The NGO is leveraging its partner relations to launch an online university.

Read more: South African edtech secures undisclosed amount of funding

Featured image by Julia M Cameron/Pexels

Lindsey Schutters


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