Youth Empowerment programme incorporates the ethos of Middle Billing within its online training module. We’ll speak to one of the course developers of the pilot digital literacy course which involved 60 youths across the country. We’ll find out from Melissa Stemmers how they’ve incorporated Middle Billing and why…

Melissa Stemmers, course developer, who emailed us about the inclusion of middle billing joins us on the line….

The digital literacy course was developed in partnership with an NPO called Dreamz whose mission is to inspire and motivate the youth of South Africa through Interactive Motivational Talks, Workshops, Training and Coaching. Considering the pressures of COVID, another NPO, Alternative Prosperity Foundation, (whose focus is also Youth Empowerment) decided to fund a pilot of this Digital Literacy course to be rolled out to 60 youth nationally.

The first module focussed on the basics of hardware and software, data etc and just basically showing learners how to identify features of electronic devices and how to get the most for their money when it comes to purchasing data and airtime.

The second module focussed on using the internet for education and here we introduced learners to MOOCS and showing them free educational opportunities online and free tools and resources for content creation.

The third module is where Middle Billing came in as here we focussed on social media, branding and representation. We taught learners what it means to have a personal brand, how much representation matters and how much their own stories of their communities matter. We brought Middle Billing in to show them that stories from the ‘hood’ don’t always have to be negative.