We know from our annual survey that many of our readers – 40% in fact – are unemployed and looking for work. With this in mind, we approached Harambee, an organisation working to support youth in this area, to help us develop a course that would be helpful to them.

It was a great partnership! First we got inspired by Harambee’s work in general, and we could see that it would be of great benefit to our readers, so we published an article about what they do in the form of an interview with Nokubonga Gumbi from Harambee. You can see that here.

Then Nokubonga and other Harambee staff members brainstormed topics with us they thought would be useful, and gave us reference material and information on each one. Our own writer then ‘FunDzafied’ this into ten blog pieces to fit our site, and then we created a course with questions on each text. Topics included: writing a CV and covering letter, ‘hustling’, identifying job scams, looking for work online, and staying motivated while unemployed.

The course was available online for three months – February to April 2021. During that time, 9567 people registered for the course, 4933 started the course, and 1544 completed the course. This is a 16.1% completion rate which is above average for open courses in general.

The participants who completed the course filled in a final survey, and we can see from their comments that they found the course extremely useful – in some cases, life changing. Here are some sample (unedited) comments from the thousands we received:

I am honestly full of excitement and changed alot since I have began with this course. It answered all the questions I wanted to know why was not getting a job.It also keeps me going because I now see that I can also volunteer or self hustle. While looking for an opportunity in a Internship.I now know which information is important in my CV,Cover Letter,Interview and the behaviour I have to display at work each and everyday.I am very motivated it changed my way of thinking and I also network a lot.
I did enjoy the course it helps me me to stay motivated and calm, because being unemployed and not doing nothing it’s really a stressful, whatever I learned in this course I’m it taught me not to look down for my self, I’ve to stay motivated all the time even though there are more rejection in life , stay positive
I extremely enjoyed this course as I gained a lot from it. It is a very educational course that I think everyone needs, I now have gained more confidence in myself and motivated by the skills I gained through this course. I am motivated to try all the tips that I gained and I am positive that I will get a job. Even if I don’t get a job soon I won’t be demotivated I will try to better my skills by volunteering and hustling while I try to acquire a job.
Yes I did I’ve learnt so much about how to make a CV and how to be professional. It helped me because I know that when I get told that I didn’t find a job I get heartbroken but now that’s a thing of the past
I was not aware of how to cope while job hunting and what I am supposed to do when I finally get the job..doo now I feel ready for challanges
I did enjoy it, it occupies me and help me to stay motivated and keep a positive energy everyday
Yes, it helped me a lot on improving how to face difficulties, rejections, write a good CV… There’s too much I’m just happy it’s really helpful and amazing
Yes.The course makes me believe in myself and now I am more brighter and I think I am now the competition for anyone ,and anything .The course make me believe in myself and how to set goals .I am now out of my comfortzone.Thanks we appreciate you guys alot.
I am starting to be in control again

We also ask a more general question on the final survey of our courses about whether reading on FunDza/doing courses has changed participants’ lives in any way. Here are some of the responses that show the impact they are having on unemployed youth:

It has in a big way.it helps me deal with depression and stress as i am unemployed and have too much time that i dont know what to do with myself

It improved my life as I was having a low self-esteem before I started reading on fundza but now I have a new mindset and able to start believing in myself and have hope that I will find a job by using the tips I learned in this course
Yes it has and still improving my life in general,I have regained my positivity about life without work as I have been reading some positive stories about how some people have overcome their challenges.The certificates makes it worth a while as it’s a sign that not all have to go to school to achieve one as every one has their challenges as some can’t afford such.But overall its empowering and has so much power to keep me coming back for it as I want to achieve more.
Yes it has,I’ve been unemployed for awhile an been discouraged and just sitting at home with no luck even if i try looking for a job,so since ive been taking this course ive noticed were i was lacking and needed motivation so the course really improved me in my confidence as well as having a scheduled time table to wake up and do chores and do the course.
Yes reading on fundza has improved my life because it touches on alot of things l face in life and it has helped me to regain my self confidence and the zeal to keep on reading and to keep on looking for a job.not to lose hope

We are very pleased that the course was so helpful to our readers. This model – of partnering with organisations who are expert in their fields to help us – works exceptionally well, as we are then able to ensure our information is accurate and the best we can give to our readers, many of whom are going through very difficult times. We look forward to more collaborations!