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33-Year-Old Heads Organization that Connects the Impoverished with Digital Jobs

33-Year-Old Heads Organization that Connects the Impoverished with Digital Jobs

By Victor Ochieng

Leila Janah, the founder of Sama Group, is giving her time to the service of humanity, with a focus on those living below the poverty line. The organization is a nonprofit that works in three segments: Samasource, which is focused on connecting people of South Asia and those of Sub-Saharan Africa to digital jobs; Samaschool, which offers digital skills training, and Samahope, which is a crowdfunding effort to help in offering medical treatments.

At 33, Janah has accomplished a lot and is still going strong. She has also started a skincare line called Laxmi.

She says her job excites her since it provides her with an opportunity “to work with the best people in the world” who share in her passion. “The 22-year-olds in our office blow me away,” she says.

Janah dedicates her time to service. She spares 6-7 hours to sleep. However, she says if she had the power to shorten her sleep time, she would.

Asked whom she would pitch for if she had the opportunity, she didn’t hesitate to say it’s Melinda Gates.

But even as she gives her life to servicing society, she doesn’t forget to take care of her physical health. Janah reveals she exercises every day “even if just for 20 minutes.”

Her mental health and knowledge are equally important and so she spares time to read. She revealed she’s currently reading “Paragliding: a Pilot’s Training Manual.”

She remembers her grandmother with a smile, having set her life motto. She says her grandmother’s was the best advice ever. Her grandmother apparently told her to “trust the world” after the grandma hitchhiked the world in 1948 on a mere $5.

She has a strong drive to deliver solutions, driven by the fact that “at least 1 billion people work extremely hard and still earn less than $2 a day for toiling away in mines, on fields and in homes.”

Janah says that’s a disgrace and believes that her efforts will serve to make a difference, however little.

Asked what she’d advise her 18-year-old self, she says she would advise herself not to take the LSAT and to purchase Facebook shares as soon as she graduates.

Samasource’s motto is “Give Work” and that’s why the organization is opening doors to people of different backgrounds to access work. Some of the countries where the organization has its operations are Kenya, Haiti, Uganda, and India.


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