By Cubaka Bachishoga

In the society where do I live, as place like Dzaleka refugee camp, where people do not have jobs, and the ones working are called volunteers, so the majority of people are interested in the online work as one can be his/her own boss, but unfortunately in online work, there is a lot of scams, as it is not easy to be in front with the person you are dealing withThere was once a program where people could learn about digital skills Such as computer skills, internet navigation, email communication, online collaboration, digital literacy, social media, and data management, which assisted the local community to update their abilities and knowledge so that they could work online; for instance Chikondi completed the course and has started working online as a translator (English to Chichewa and vice versa).

The class then began with over fifty students learning a program delivered onsite at Jesuit Refugee Service, and online when it comes to some of the subjects, such as opening the upwork account. It was called “Freelancing course”; it was stated that after obtaining skills, people would be working online and earn money, so the course began with enthusiasm.

The program attracted a large number of students who came from Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, but the ones who were accepted in the program must have at least a MSCE certificate or its equivalent from those who finished their secondary education in another country. Since it aimed to alleviate poverty among those who are skilled and those who want to learn. Dobe and Matipa were curious about online work. One day  a certain organisation called “Crowd one”, where it was said by one of his friend Mbonekube that one invests one’s money and would be generating revenue. Dobe and Matipa invested in “Crowd One”, they tried to welcome more people as in their account the money started to increase, because the more people adhered on one’s link the more money one would get.

The procedure was in a way, that the money would go directly in your account, and the amount was shown on the screen, so people were excited by the numerical numbers they would see, and starting to adhere in the business, they tried to find a big number of people who became members on their link. In spite of working hard by Dobe and Matipa, they could claim weekly rewards and no access to withdraw the cash. It was said, “We are experiencing a maintenance problem, so wait we will update you later, up to a level of not having the one to ask. said that we are experiencing a maintenance problem, so wait we will update you later, up to a level of not knowing the one to ask for the money.” People were strongly engaged in the plan because it was a good way of generating income without much struggles. Months passed but the withdrawal process was still complicated.

Days passed, and those who invested through Dobe and Matipa’s link went to the police station, claiming that the guys had stolen their money. They were summoned to report to the police, and they justified that we did not take the money for anyone; they invested their money as we did, and we are still in the process of regaining the benefit; they showed them emails from their bosses, which gave them hope, but without a specific date of restarting.

At the beginning they were showing them that it is easy to gain money, later they exclaimed, “oh! It is a terrific opportunity to realize all of our dreams in life, which was almost a decent strategy.” Through “Crowd method”, the process of withdrawing the money was almost impossible. The internet portal where they were entering their login details to complete the assignment was not accessible, giving them little possibility of returning their investment.

“The future of work will be done online. Accept the freedom, flexibility, and limitless possibilities that it gives!” said Dobe and Matipa. Nevertheless, there came another link from a different online investment company whereby Dobe and Matipa also invested their money and continued to be scammed. Dobe and Matipa were very disappointed, they accepted to spare themselves from some of their requirements, waiting to execute the project after a decent return on their money and doing the large project. For them the online deals could not have any thought when it came about the online stuff up to a level where they were not any more listening to any proposal which was in regard to online bidding, then call reached them out for application of a new program Advertise in a written post at “Jesuit Refugee Service” called “Digital Inclusion Program”, whereby people was learning about how to work remotely and earn money. At the time Dobe and Matipa were best friends, and they were among the first ones who registered themselves for this course.

The learning journey began..

Students were first expected to learn from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM with one break at Jesuit Refugee Service, the program was delivered onsite and online, which was difficult for the majority of them because they were used to two or three hours of learning per day. In Dzaleka Refugee Camp, this became difficult, because some must look for food and other necessities, that is why many do not study the entire day, it became a battle for some to quit before the finish bar, it took 6 months to end the program, then because the opportunity was a good one not to miss as we are living in an environment where there is no jobs, some dropped out. Others began to be discouraged because they were hoping to start earning money in a few moments, while it required skills to learn and some professional courses, to confront the online journey. Saying that we tried many times online working by suggesting products to customers via email earning up to two thousand dollars which was not withdrawable, so, the number continues to fall due to the uncertainty of the online stuff. However they must Check the source study of the company or individual behind the offer. Looking for a reliable website, following them on social media, reading and reviewing the feedbacks from people who have engaged with them. Being cautious of offers from unknown or unconfirmed sources, and paying great attention to the offer’s contents, was the main part of the work.

Working online was like a lie to most of the students, because they were not familiar with people doing online work, but some of them started believing and worked differently on the way of commitment  at school, the first to be committed was Dobe, and the second one was Matipa. Dobe was the first to arrive at school and the last to go back home. Yet, he was committed to finish his work while some of his mates could have failed to work on the exercise or assignment given by the facilitator. Dobe was not like any of them, and he was also the first to ask for help from his classmates on a topic when he would not understand it very well.

Matipa was initially committed, but not in the same way as Dobe did. On her side, she was working in an average class where she could work on her stuff but not enough. Sometimes she was in trouble as getting physical pains, suffering from an eyesore, which would made her unable to concentrate on her studies.

As they were introduced to the online works, it came another opportunity for which some one does not have to spend the money, but he have to spend the time, but without success they became victim of scam on an online platforms again, where Matipa was asked to provide her Bank details and send some money for her to withdraw the money earned on advertising product online and referring people on the website.

Dobe, found a woman on Facebook, which told him that she was already aged and she was looking for someone to become the inherit of her property, and she suggested that he should send her the details which she needed so that she could be able to complete the document required, following the procedure Dobe rich a certain level where he was asked to send the money to someone who will provide one among the documents they were looking for before he receive the amount promised.

Fortunately, Dobe refused to provide other money the time he was asked. After accumulating the lessons on how to behave in the online world and learning about different styles of scams, Dobe and Matipa understand and remember their cases of being the victims of such kind of online activities.

Then, the learning process was completed, Dobe and Matipa worked hard; they could only be seen at home at night, they ate lunch at work, the main problem they encountered was when the internet connection was poor, causing them to fail to complete the task they were working on, they were blessed by their school, which also supported them with connectivity and other materials before they would become independent workers. They began earning money while being trustworthy to clients by completing the work well. Sometimes he could even pass the whole night without sleeping doing some work such as transcribing languages, translating novels and making some lead generation works, all he needed was to respect the deadline, for him to gain trust from clients. He was also a good communicator, keeping the client up to date on the progress of the task through emails.

Dobe’s life changed as a result after a few months of being visible on the platform; he bought a plot, a car, and eventually decided to be married. Earning to many of these skills, needed hard and smart work, in order to actively work online without being scammed like Matipa and the way Dobe paied off.

7 June, 2023