The QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) has a new striking, user-friendly website, which was launched in June, with a lot of help from Life Choices – a non-profit organisation dedicated to investing in youth. The organisation provides a host of services (such as family stability, health and education) to low-income communities to help foster choices for youth.
Through its Academy programme, Life Choices offers a coding bootcamp; a six-month learning model with a six-month internship model. Recently, a division was launched that focuses on offering the students remote internships by providing the Life Choices network the opportunity to have their websites redesigned free-of-charge.
This offering was perfectly timed. When Life Choices approached QASA, the organisation dedicated to quadriplegics and paraplegics was already in the process of updating its website. However, the organisation was facing many obstacles.
“At the end of 2019, QASA decided that it was time to redesign its website,” says Raven Benny, QASA COO. “It was important to have something more streamlined, attention-grabbing and user friendly.”
“After numerous delays, Life Choices gracefully swooped in to take over the project. The team worked tirelessly and efficiently to bring the website to its feet in only a couple of months. Now, we are happy to be relaunching a new website that exceeded our expectations,” he adds.
Since the launch of the website, QASA has also signed with Life Choices to help manage the website. For Life Choice, the decision to assist QASA was simple.
Ryan Geel, academy placements and partnerships officers, notes: “Being part of our network and seeing the challenges that QASA faced, we wanted to extend our services to them.
“Their story appeals to us as we are also a youth development organisation and feel that it was crucial to assist QASA with getting their digital presence set up. Part of our strategy is to assist civil society with digital solutions as it’s so important to have digital presence in this day and age,” he adds.
The Life Choice Academy is aimed at upskilling youth with “future proof” knowledge – skills that will be in demand for many years to come. Ryan explains in more detail:
“Once we had done a fair amount of research, we came to see that the real opportunities were in the digital skills sector. Coding as a base allows our youth to gain experience in a sector that has many career paths. Also, knowing that coding is never going to go away, it made sense to develop a programme that spoke to this.”
For the candidates who worked on the website, there was an opportunity to gain invaluable experience. Ryan notes: “Our youth who started working on the project have gained valuable experience in the form of upskilling. They have gained on hand experience by working on a live project. They also are able to showcase the site on their digital CVs.”
The ultimate goal is to turn the internships into full-time employment. Life Choices has a dedicated team supporting the interns and the host companies where needed. The organisation has plans to further expand the programme.
“There are a number of ideas on the cards,” Ryan says. “But, the latest expansion is LC Studio, which is designed to manage internships internally by offering digital solutions to the market; thus giving the interns the opportunity to gain experience and earn and income.”
Services on offer includes website design, web application development, quality assurance testing and intern hire.
“LC Studio offers your business the opportunity to work with high potential junior developers that can add an edge to your staffing portfolio,” Ryan explains.
“Thank you to the Life Choices team for their hard work and assistance in our time of need,” concludes Raven.