Here is a presentation of an awesome African initiative and project from women in IT, that William Quiviger had the opportunity to encounter during his Mozilla Trip to Africa. They are based in Kenya, and it would be great to find ways to collaborate with them (and I’m sure we will 🙂 ). Please don’t hesitate to leave thoughts and ideas in comments below if you’re interested as well!
My name is Judith Owigar and I am the president of Akirachix. I also work as an IT Engineer in a Peace Building NGO in Kenya. Akirachix is a forum for women interested in technology. In our membership we have developers, system administrators, computer science students, digital marketers, graphic designers and ladies who are just interested in technology. Our objectives are: networking, mentoring and sharing knowledge.
How do we achieve our objectives?
- Encourage women in IT to participate in IT activities these include competitions, round tables and trainings.
- Train younger girls in the use of basic technology.
- Train women in business how to use technology for their benefit.
- Encourage girls in high school to pursue careers in technology.
Current running project: the Akishika Training project
The aim of this project is to give technology skills to youth, mainly girls, who live in poor urban settlements. The current class has 30 students. 80% of the class is female. This is in line with our goal to empower girls through technology. The students are taught both programming and graphic design so that they may get jobs or start their own businesses at the end of the course. The planned duration of the course is one and a half years but this depends on the availability of training facilities. Currently the students are being trained in the Craft Silicon Foundation computer bus. The bus is a mobile classroom that moves to different areas of the city. The Akishika project is one of the projects it assists. Once we get class space the students will move from the bus which is not stable and fraught with damages to a more stable environment where they can be taught the more complicated courses like programming. In the future we would like to incorporate more wholesome education that includes extra-curricular activities like sports.
Read more about AkiraChix on their website here: http://akirachix.com/
Thanks Judith for this intro to AkiraChix! And thanks William for putting us in contact.