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Our Story

the story of our founder, blaise amani

The Global Innovation Valley (GIV) story started in 2019. After graduating from the Business Administration Department of Customs and Excise, Blaise Amani (our founder) had to go to Kenya due to the ongoing violence and political instability in his home country, DRC. As a result, he became a refugee.

Arriving at the Kakuma Refugee Camp one year later, he started volunteering in different organizations. He volunteered at Innocent Ntumba Tchilombo’s company, Kakuma Ventures, as a marketing manager and ICT Specialist. From there, he got an opportunity to join the Social Innovation Academy (SINA), founded by a German guy named Etienne Salborn in Uganda through Innocent.

In January 2019, he joined SINA as a scholar. Six months later he started volunteering work at SINA and other SINA communities across Uganda. Blaise, while at SINA, started to think about the life of his fellow refugees in the camp. Over the year, he regularly returned to Kenya to care for his refugee status in the camp. He started organizing different youth training on self-discovery in Kalobeyei Settlement and Kakuma refugee camps.

He later realized that many young refugees like him face a lot of challenges in their camps – such as language barrier, lack of job opportunities, and many more, and as a result, many young refugees become victims of drug abuse, early pregnancies, and crime. Even worse, some who are highly traumatized and frustrated end up committing suicide.

He started to think about what could be done to improve life in the camp and as well support his fellow refugees to become independent and sustainable. He founded Global Innovation Valley (GIV) (with a team of 5 friends) with the aim of empowering marginalized youth and young refugees to become social entrepreneurs and job creators.

We Have Achieved Many Things, But Many Others Remain to be Done.

Through workshops and training in Kakuma and Kalobeyei, we have achieved many things in Kakuma Refugee Camp and Kalobeyei Refugee Settlement, but so many others remain to be done. We have already empowered more than 100 youths through different online and offline workshops on self-discovery and purpose alignment.

Global Innovation Valley's Impact

Our scholars have created 5 projects. In addition, we are in the process of supporting 2 scholars to establish their enterprises successfully. We continue to empower young refugees by volunteering for the project/program. So far, we have two GIV Centers, Kakuma and Kaolobeyei, 300 young refugees empowered, 10 enterprises formed, 50 job opportunities created, and 100 project ideas formed by our scholars.

In our We Are All Connected program, 15 schools are connected to the internet, 16 hotspots are installed, and 100 teachers and 500 disadvantaged youth and refugees are trained in ICT and digital learning. In 2024, 40 scholars were selected and 60 are now in the ICT and digital learning program.