From refugee camps to cybertech

Meet the students who received an opportunity to change their narrative, and took the leap

Cybint CEO Roy Zur (photo credit: PR)
Cybint CEO Roy Zur
(photo credit: PR)
There is an inextricable link between poverty and education. When living in poverty, able members of the family are put in the position to put their education indefinitely on hold to work. In order to fulfill basic needs for survival, they forfeit the chance to pick up on the skills needed to advance their careers. In turn, that places their own children in a similar position, and the circle continues.
But is the traditional education system enough, especially when you factor in the many shifts that have taken place in the workforce following the pandemic? Yes and no. Endless research indicates education is one of the most significant ways for people to be lifted out of the poverty threshold. But what if their aspirations go beyond simply escaping poverty? What if they have the ambition and drive to take things to the next level, and establish a successful career in cybertech, one of the hottest, in-demand, recession-proof industries? This places universities in a position to go above and beyond in an effort to ready future cybersecurity professionals for the workforce in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
It’s not everyday that we get to see firsthand the impact of how education can specifically become the bridge from a difficult starting point in life, to a career in cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is one of the most promising and financially rewarding areas in tech. As reported by CNBC earlier this month, the cybersecurity industry in the US was facing a talent shortage prior to COVID-19, and at this point, nearly half a million workers are needed in cybersecurity roles around the country.
With this in mind, universities are beginning to step up and give students the opportunity to change their narrative, especially those that hail from refugee camps. These students routinely walk miles for a reliable Internet connection, to study and connect with the class. They complete class and home work during a compressed set of hours because they don’t have access to electricity at night. They are motivated, determined, and driven to change their lives, and the lives of those around them.
Sebakungu Tuyisenge is a teacher in one of the refugee camps in Rwanda, as is Consolee Amina, who is originally from South Africa, and Ajak Mayen Jok. Tuyisenge, Amina, Mayen, and 15 other students participated in a joint collaboration of Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) and Israeli start-up Cybint. The Gem Program, which is a part of SNHU, is working in collaboration with the Cybint Bootcamp to help refugees obtain degrees, and ultimately career paths, all within a cybersecurity track. The Cybint Bootcamp is a three-month training program for those in IT toward a cybersecurity career, which ultimately opens a door to a world that otherwise would have been out of reach. This is the first remote cybersecurity bootcamp for refugee and displaced learners abroad.
The global cybersecurity education company that developed an unparalleled learning methodology. Cybint tackles cybersecurity’s two greatest threats: the talent shortage and the skills gap. The engine that runs the Cybint Bootcamp is the chance of equipping students in refugee camps with the proper knowledge and tools to lead a better life; and this all while solving a desperate need in the workforce.
Tuyisenge attests to the impact of an intensive program in cybersecurity. “I’m currently enrolled in a 480-hours cybersecurity bootcamp accredited by Cybint,” Tuyisenge said. “These skills changed my life because I have potential skills to protect myself, family, country and world from hackers. With this, my goal after the bootcamp is to get an internship and job in the cyber industry field because it is my passion.” Tuyisenge went on to add, “My community is not aware about cybercrimes, and it is a critical thing to know. With the skills I got from the cybersecurity bootcamp, I will do my best to let them know how dangerous it is.”
The cybersecurity bootcamp has also given people like Amina the knowledge and confidence needed to do a career pivot. “I was born in Rwanda, where I grew up, and currently live in South Africa. I recently completed my bachelor in healthcare management with a concentration in global perspectives from Southern New Hampshire University. I am currently doing the cybersecurity bootcamp with Cybint Solutions,” says Amina. “I have three years of working experience in different hospitals as a senior health technician in Togo and in Rwanda. With my BA in healthcare management, and thanks to the course of cybersecurity with Cybint Solutions, I started to search for a job in cyberspace because I am dedicated to supporting my community.”
Mayen has also been inspired to take his career to the next level. Mayen spent most of his career working for nongovernmental organizations, such as Jesuit Worldwide Learning, as an IT coordinator. He also helped establish a new learning center for them, and maintains the organization’s information technology infrastructure. Mayen is already actively searching for entry-level positions in cybersecurity, to make use of all he has learned from the program.
Programs such as the Cybint Bootcamp equates to financial independence for many of these students, as it enables them to support their families and leave the life of refugee camps far behind. Others simply want to leverage the job and financial security to strengthen their refugee communities, and others yet seek to pave a path for women in technology. All-in-all, these students view intensive programs, such as the Cybint Bootcamp, as a godsend to succeed in the post-pandemic workforce, and their successes will collectively break the circle of poverty for their communities.
Refugee Camps to Cybertech networking.Refugee Camps to Cybertech networking.