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Raymond Rafa

Raymond Rafa

26 years old
Raymond Online @learning
The Democratic Republic of the Congo
WhatsApp: +265-997716776
Biography collected and written by Primo Luanda Bauma


My name is Raymond Rafa. I am a Congolese by nationality but I was born in Tanzania because my parents fled tribal war. I’m married and a father of one child. I’m the Chief Executive of Raymond Online @learning. Raymond Online @learning is a movement whereby people learn English, community and development, journalism etc. online via WhatsApp. Apart from education, we have different programs like business and entrepreneurship. Raymond Online is a movement because we are not based only in education but in various fields like social welfare and so on.

I started this project in 2018 because we recognized the need of people to learn English was high. Secondly, in the camp, we have organisations that provide education like Jesuit Relief Services and Higher Education at the Margins. Yet, these organizations don’t provide all the courses needed, like journalism. A lot of youths in the camp are engaging in deviousness such as prostitution and drug abuse. That made me realise that if I bring up a unique project, it is going to help the community at large and more specially, youths. Moreover, people in the camp and in the whole of Malawi are living in very critical conditions. Some have physical disabilities and some have economic crises. They have no opportunity to attend colleges to learn, so it’s a hindrance for them to realise their goals. Many also don’t have computers, so online education is not possible. So for us, we see that we can act and help them reach their goals by enabling them to join our courses using only a cell phone.

The challenge that we faced at first was public awareness—people didn’t consider us to be legitimate and were doubting that we were accredited to offer such courses. Sometimes it was discouraging us to continue doing what we were supposed to do. Some people were demanding a lot, like diplomas and degrees. Until now, the only challenge we have is accreditation. We are doing everything to show people that they gain a lot through our courses.

Before developing our courses, we asked qualified people (university lecturers) who lived in different countries to help. They are offering their services for free as volunteers. For us, that’s a big strength. Their expertise helped the quality of our courses.

Lack of enough materials and finances remain our weakness and threat. Also, a lot of people are willing to study, but they have no cell phones. We cannot afford to buy cell phones for everyone, which is the basic requirement for our online courses. Some students drop the courses because they don’t have phones.

The biggest things we believe in are people. As long as people are on earth, we will continue to provide our courses. We have big visions like reaching a large number of people in the country and outside the country. Lastly, I ask people to help and support our project.