As unemployment continues to rise in Kenya, the country's jobseekers are turning to websites hosted in and out of the country for online work, mainly freelance engagements.
Each year, a big number of graduates from universities and tertiary institutions join the job-hunting group in Kenya, but not so many can get a chance. High unemployment rates have left millions of youths jobless.
However, the country's online job sites have helped relieve the unemployment pressure for the jobless, mainly the youth, by providing online jobs enabling the youth to earn money as freelance workers. The websites offer various jobs such as writing, web and graphic design, internet marketing, online tutoring, online researches, jewellery selling, adverts placing, data entry, telecommuting that are popular among Kenyans and some other opportunities that do not require special skills, thus allowing all kinds of people to work.
Evans Hamisi, a resident of Nairobi, is making money online. Hamisi, who majored in Business Management, graduated from a university in Nairobi three years ago and has been working online for the past two years. "I work for several online sites both foreign and local as a freelancer. With the money I make every month, I do not think I will look for employment anytime sooner," says Hamisi. The 28-year-old works as a web designer, a writer, a graphic designer and online tutor. As an online tutor, Hamisi teaches students mainly mathematics and statistics. "They post assignments online and I take them through the work step by step through my employer's website. Sometimes if that is not possible, I do the work, then I explain the steps I have gone through to arrive at the answer so that it is easier for them to understand," he said.
Similarly, as a web designer, Hamisi gets clients' assignments from his boss. He then reads the guidelines, and if there are any questions, he asks before he works. "I take time to understand what clients want before I start working. This has helped me to be efficient and avoid time-wasting," he told Xinhua. While working on websites, he comes up with the first draft, sends to clients through his employer before he gets feedback. "It is a process that sometimes takes time because some clients do not respond immediately. It needs a lot of patience," he said.
Most of the websites he designed, he says, have never been rejected by clients, adding he was paid between 82 and 141 US dollars for each assignment. "Initially, I used to be paid through a money transfer system but I found the charges expensive. So, I asked my employer to wire the money in my bank account. The system is convenient and I am able to keep track of the payments," he said. In the years that he has worked through the internet, Hamisi said he has earned more than 5,000 dollars. "I look at the money and thank myself for turning online in search for jobs instead of using the conventional methods of applying to companies," he said.
"They give me assignments, which I work on and send back. The articles vary from as little as 300 words to 1,500 words.
This earns me between five dollars and 20 dollars. There is no limit in the number of articles one can write," said 25-year-old Zachary Kweyu, who writes online for a website in Kenya. Kweyu said work online is better than stay unemployed. To work online, they said one only needs a computer and access to the internet.
Another way of making money online that is becoming popular in Kenya is to partner with Google's Adsense, which provides advertising business. In the partnership, individuals co-work with Google, where the multimillion advertising giant gives them adverts to put on their sites. The company then pays them according to the visiting amount of the websites. (Xinhua)