On 17th of November 2023, Techno Brain Group hosted secondary students, teachers and guardians at their offices in partnership with red(P). The inaugural annual conference brought sponsored students from across the country to reflect on their achievements, interact with professionals and get exposure to careers in technology. red(P) is a volunteer led organization that seeks to reduce poverty through technology and sponsors students from marginalized communities and needy backgrounds in their secondary education. Techno Brain is dedicated to building and empowering Kenyan youth, hence supporting red(P) in their cause.
“It was my first time to see traffic lights!” One of the student’s marveled in the lifestyle in Nairobi being his first time away from his village in Narok, a mere 3-hour journey. He expressed his amazement in the sheer diversity of sights, sounds, activities and how exhilarating the towering buildings to the cacophony of traffic and city life was. As he shared his story of losing his father in a senseless killing, shortly after his mother to COVID 19 and taking on responsibilities of parenting his 6 siblings, the mood sobered at the realization of the harsh reality of the struggles these students faced. His determination to succeed in his studies and get to university was inspiring and with story after story of hope from the students, there was a clear realization that investing in their future would impact more than just the student.
The key objective of the conference was to encourage students to seize the opportunity and pursue their dreams. The teachers and guardians who accompanied the students shared with the attendees their stories and narratives of students who had beat all odds to become successful. They urged the students to seize this chance and concentrate on achieving success in their academics, while motivating them to seek assistance where necessary and ensure that nothing hindered their pursuit of goals.
Red(p) co-founder Deb Mukhopadhyay, stated that financial constraints shouldn’t hinder a student’s access to quality education. Deb stressed, leveling the academic playfield helps bridge the gap between students from different socio-economic backgrounds, ensuring everyone has a fair chance to succeed. Reflecting to the start, he recalled that red(p) began with 9 students and grew to support 122 students through the support of well wishers and volunteers. He talked about the dream to build a technology platform that would enable the growth of support to students across Kenya and other countries across the world.
Praba Santhanakrishnan, a distinguished guest and Co-Founder & CEO at Cookr, attested that despite a humble upbringing, facing poverty, and dealing with hardships during his early life he did not give up. He rose through the ranks in Microsoft, became a lecturer and started his own company. Similarly, Techno Brain’s co-founder & CEO, Manoj Shanker, shared his story from his humble beginnings in the village to founding a global technology company. Many were surprised to hear that he used to go to school without shoes. There was a general realization that the beginning does not define the future. Each participant was challenged to chart their course and seek to achieve their goals relentlessly. With a mission of empowering millions of lives globally, executives from the Techno Brain Group, remain resolute in tapping young, needy students, while stressing the crucial role technology plays in addressing poverty on multiple fronts and offering solutions that have the potential to uplift communities and individuals.
Other members of red(P) and Techno Brain Group also shared their journey to success. It was eye-opening for the children to find out that most of the volunteers were also from humble backgrounds and were driven to support because they too had received help to raise from their situations and pursue their careers.
The team further introduced the children to what various teams at Techno Brain were doing. This exposure was aimed at opening their minds to the diverse opportunities available, beyond conventional or familiar roles. Knowing about different career paths boosts confidence as children gain a better understanding of what they might want to pursue in the future. Students interacted with members of the engineering center and were exposed to a virtual reality experience in Techno Brain’s experience room. An immersion into the digital world and use of controllers or hand tracking devices was an awe-inspiring moment for most. A few of the students remarked that they were not aware that the technology field had such diverse options and were keen to explore more.
As the day drew to a close, students, teachers, and guardians expressed gratitude for the inspiring and educational day. They recognized the generosity and importance of the contribution that aided the students, promising to continue their studies and pay it forward by helping others in the days ahead. red(P) and Techno Brain aspire to impact more lives in the future and are committed to creating a pathway for additional students to seek support.
To learn more about red(p) please visit www.red-p.org.