WeTech's Seed Fund for Women + Girls in Computer Science is sponsored by:
Google<sup>TM</sup>

Seed Fund

The Seed Fund Network consists of a total of 33 grantees from 16 different countries throughout Africa. The fund provided small grants to invest in nascent networks, organizations and social enterprises, as well as individual champions already taking impressive steps to support women and girls in computer science. WeTech's work with the Seed Fund concluded in 2015, but Seed Fund Network members continue to meet and work toward increasing access for women and girls in computer science-related training, jobs and leadership roles.

The goal of the Seed Fund is to provide advanced computer science for women and girls and empower the next generation of women leaders throughout the continent.Grantee projects include hackathons, networking and outreach events, coding bootcamps, internships, mentoring programs, web and application development.

​Learn more about the grantees and their projects

Explore the grantee network in the interactive map below. Click the balloons to see where each organization is located:

Africa ICT Right

Seed Fund-Africa ICT Right

Project and Leader:

Girls in Technology (GTech)
Ghana
Awo Sika Quarshie – Awusah

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

Although careers in the ICT sector have become more accessible, not enough women are choosing these careers. Most young women still perceive ICT as reserved for men and as such, they are not pursuing ICT skills. I believe in creating an ideal environment which empowers and encourages young girls to embrace and consider ICT careers.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

I passionately quest to learn and grow by sharing my experiences and taking lessons from the experiences of others. I believe this network is an opportunity to increase my knowledge base about projects, people, and the external world. There is nothing more than strengthening each other in order to achieve a common goal: getting more women into STEM.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

A time where more women will lead and above all dominate the STEM fields in my country, on the continent of Africa, and in the world as whole.

What is the goal of your project?

In our communities we noticed that young boys are privileged to run out from home to game centers whilst young girls are kept at home assisting with chores. GTech was formed with the following goals:

  • To close the gender gap in the technology sector in Ghana.
  • To turn young girls from technology consumers to technology producers, enabling them to create their own interactive stories, games, music and animation for the Web.
  • To enable young girls to have a positive attitude toward technology usage that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.
  • To teach young girls to think creatively and solve problems systematically.

Who is the target audience for your project?

GTech is an after-school computer science club for school girls aged 9-14 from underserved communities in Ghana.

Anything else?

It is a great joy to receive support and be part of WeTech. This will enable us to expand our program to the Western Region of Ghana hence empowering more young girls in ICT.

Visit the Africa ICT Right Website

Akilah Institute

Sh-WeTech-SeedFund-Asikana

Project and Leader:

Information Systems Diploma Program at Akilah Institute for Women
Rwanda
Faustine Soroncho

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

Rwanda is a land of opportunities, especially for women in technology. I saw this when I was a computer engineering student in Kigali and afterwards running a software company. During that time, I noticed that there are very few girls in the technology field, mainly because they do not have the needed skills to take advantage of the opportunities given to them. It appeared to me that the only way to bridge this gender gap in STEM is to educate women with the right material thus empowering them to become players in the Rwandan and East African tech environment. I later on learned about the amazing work that Akilah Institute for Women does for young women and the Information Systems diploma program that the organization was about to launch. I did not think twice before getting involved with the organization because I believed in the short and long-term impact of the Information Systems program for young women and for the society at large.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

I hope to learn about experiences that similar programs have had in the past and exchange curriculum ideas with the network to build a very successful program. Additionally, I hope to learn about their success factors in recruitment so we can reach even bigger audiences for the Information Systems program. Finally, I would like to know about the challenges that the above programs faced and implement measures that would allow us to prevent such challenges.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

My biggest dream is to see a day when women are seeing STEM as a career path that is open and welcoming to them and as a field that they can flourish in. I dream to see women well represented in all engineering, software development, robotics, etc. and occupying leadership posts in those fields.

What is the goal of your project?

Our goal is to educate women to pursue careers in technology as information systems professionals with a strong background in software development. We are aiming to provide students with a market relevant diploma program that leads to employment upon graduation. We believe that the program will enable the students to easily dive into their workplace as successful employees or tech entrepreneurs.

Who is the target audience for your project?

We are targeting women of 18-22 years of age who have completed their high school studies.

Anything else?

We believe that a market relevant education is key to addressing the issue of the shortage of skilled professionals in the workforce, particularly in STEM fields. Akilah would be happy to partner with any organization that shares the same vision thus addressing this issue at a larger scale. The partnership would be in terms of curriculum content development, exchange programs and creating a network for women in technology.

Visit Akilah's Website

Akirachix Association

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Project and Leader:

Akirachix Association
Nairobi, Kenya
Judith Owigar

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

We aim to empower women using technology. We plan to do this by nurturing generations of women who create solutions using technology. As a woman in technology, I was inspired to found Akirachix with a group of friends, colleagues and former college mates. Our passion for Akirachix comes from our shared experience of being the very few women in the technology industry – we want to create more equal representation of women in the industry. All our activities are designed to attract and retain women into STEM careers.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

I hope to gain connections from women and organizations that share our vision. From this network, I hope that we can further the cause of women in STEM and encourage full participation of women in the industry. This network can be one of the ways we can energize each other in our respective countries and work, and also a way to encourage women from other countries that don't have similar initiatives to start some.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

I would like to see more women represented at all levels in STEM, from developers, to managers, leaders, entrepreneurs and policy level. In all honesty, I would like to see a day when we do not have to talk about the problem of few women in STEM because there would be no problem of representation.

What is the goal of your project?

Our goal for this project is to create a generation of solution creators. We aim to do this through our design, programming and robotics trainings. We will further nurture these young women through our networking events.

Who is the target audience for your project?

We are targeting high school girls and young women from urban and low socio-economic areas. We plan to reach 160 girls from four high schools through our trainings, and 500 young women will participate in our networking events including the interschool competition and the women in technology conference. We will conduct outreach activities among Kenyan High school girls aged 13–18 years and organize a networking conference targeting women aged 18-35 years.

Anything else?

Apart from just working in Kenya, Akirachix is looking to work with people and organizations in Africa that are trying to increase the representation of women in STEM careers. We are looking to mentor and partner with these people. We believe that being in the WeTech Network gives us an opportunity to reach out and work with such women who are not just in Kenya, but also Africa and, ultimately, the world.

Watch a video from Akirachix

Visit the Akirachix website

Asikana Network Ltd.

Sh-WeTech-SeedFund-Asikana

Project and Leader:

Asikana Network Limited
Lusaka, Zambia
Chisenga Muyoya

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

I am a proactive leader with a deep passion for social change and mentorship for young women and girls. In line with my vision and passion, I co‐founded Asikana Network, a youth led technology organization to empower young women in Zambia. I wanted to address barriers faced by women and girls and encourage more of them to be creators of technology.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

We hope to learn from the experiences of kindred organizations, share successes (and failures!) and build a strong network of solidarity.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

My dream for girls and women in STEM is for us and those around us to be confident in who we are, in our capabilities, and what we have to offer the world.

What is the goal of your project?

Our goal is to expose young women to the possibilities and opportunities in the mobile world and to see an increase of their participation in the tech space. We also want to build these young women’s confidence through the enhancement of their technical skills.

Who is the target audience for your project?

We are targeting high school girls, university students, and young women working or seeking to work in the ICT industry. Our participants are based primarily in Lusaka.

Visit the Asikana Network website

AZUR Developpement

AZUR DeveloppementProject and Leader:

Girls Leadership in Education and Technology Careers
Brazzaville, Republic of Congo
Belvina Loundou

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

I have always been fascinated by the way technology keeps changing and improving. This is why I decided to study ICT. I have a degree in networking and telecommunications and I am always looking at ways to further my knowledge. This project is a great opportunity for me to strengthen my skills but it is also a great way to help girls realize their full potential in the STEM field.

This project fits well for me as I have a degree in networking and telecommunications. I am currently taking Cisco courses, furthering my knowledge of the network. This project will also strengthen my own capacity and it is an opportunity for sharing and encouraging other female students involved in this sector.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

Through the network, I hope to learn more about leadership and best practices for getting more girls into technology careers. I want to develop skills in leadership and support other girls to engage in technology careers so that they may be empowered at a personal and financial level.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

My dream is to see more girls enter STEM fields. I would like to encourage girls to persevere and no longer assume that this sector is only for men or that it is harder than other fields. I wish to see more women in leading positions advocate for closing the gender gap.

Whatis the goal of your project?

We hope to inspire young Congolese girls to sign up for and push through computer science, networks and telecommunication courses at the university level.

Who is the target audience for your project?

We are targeting 350 female high school students taking sciences classes and 50 female students studying computer science, networks and telecommunication.

CITAD

CITADProject and Leader:

Empowering women and girls on ICT-based small scale entrepreneurship
Nigeria: Kano, Dutse and Bauchi
Yunusa Z. Ya'u

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

Our organization has been focused on reducing the gender disparity in society. When we realized that there was limited access to computer training and education for women in Nigeria, we designed a project that would focus on ICT.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

We are hoping to learn about innovative and sustainable ways of getting more women into STEM careers, especially in the IT sub-sector.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)?

Our dream is to achieve gender parity in STEM fields in Nigeria.

What is the goal of your project?

Our goal is to provide 200 women and girls with ICT-based entrepreneurial skills, after-training enterprises development services and help them build their networks.

Who is the target audience for your project?

We are targeting female teachers, secondary school students and women in rural areas.

Visit the CITAD website

CoderGirls

WeTech, Coder Girls

Project and Leader:

CoderGirls
Sfax, Tunisia
Semya Elaoud

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

I started my studies with a bachelor degree in Commercial Studies then I started a master’s degree in Operational Research and Production Management. This is when I first learned how to code and fell in love with it. If I had known about it before, my study path would have been different. Now I have a PhD in Engineering Science and I am an assistant professor in a computer science Institute. Through the CoderGirls project I want to expose young girls to coding and computer science from an early age so that they can figure out what they want to do early on. I want them to choose a career that they really know about and love. I want to provide the opportunity for every girl to enjoy writing her first computer program. By teaching the girls computer programming, web design and game development basics, we hope to build a network of strong technologists, to develop in them a true love for computer science and to give them the confidence to broaden their ambitions for future careers in technology as leaders and founders.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

I am confident that together we will build an important platform for cross-fertilization of knowledge and innovative skills. This program is a great opportunity to be part of intellectually engaging group, to know and probably meet open-minded women with the same passion for technological innovations, to establish international networks and to develop durable partnerships with African women. I know that together, we can point out the real problems we are facing as African women in technology and better reflect the current state and needs. As part of the WeTech community, I would add valuable testimonies and share my opinions and analyses but also request for advice and assistance.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)?

Together we will prove to the world that girls can code and can be successful technologists and computer scientists.

What is the goal of your project?

The aim of the project is to expose school-age girls to technology, as creators, not just consumers.

Who is the target audience for your project?

We will increase the number of women in the digital space by empowering girls ages 8 to 18 to become innovators.

ELiTE

Seed Fund-ELiTEProject and Leader:

NSBE-GH Girls are Emerging Leaders in Technology and Engineering (ELiTE)
Ghana
Imoro Abdulai

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

ELiTE has been facilitating engineering and computer science camps free of charge for public school students in Ghana for the past 6 years. During that time however, the programs in Ghana have been dominated by male students. A Google RISE partnership with Working to Advance STEM Education for African Girls (WAAW) Foundation this past year allowed ELiTE to work with one of the largest and most successful organizations in Africa geared towards engaging girls in STEM. The learnings from our partnership with WAAW have inspired us to become advocates for girls’ education throughout Africa and encourage our partners such as the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) to join us in these efforts.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

We hope to learn best practices for creating positive and encouraging learning environments for girls. The WeTech network is composed of incredibly courageous leaders who are transforming Africa by empowering young women to be leaders in the 21st century. We hope to learn strategies and frameworks employed by other organizations which we can use to better serve our girls.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

Our big dream for girls and women in STEM is for all girls to have the opportunity to pursue what they are passionate about and to feel safe and confident knowing that they will soon be leaders in this field.

What is the goal of your project?

The goal of our project is to empower young women from high schools across Ghana to become leaders within their school communities through computer science and engineering education. We provide our girls with the tools, resources, and training to lead clubs on their school campuses that will provide opportunities for countless more young women to explore the fields of computer science and engineering.

Who is the target audience for your project?

Our target audience for our camp is senior high school girls from schools across Ghana. We will invite at least two girls from up to 15 schools to participate in the camp.

Visit ELiTE's website

Global Minimum Inc.

SH-WeTech-Global-Minimum-Inc

Project and Leader:

Global Minimum Inc.
Cape Town, South Africa
Emma Dicks

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

I am passionate about seeing South Africans creating sustainable solutions to problems we face. It's not difficult for young people to identify problems, but few believe they have the power and agency to make any change. I believe that Global Minimum is a mechanism for developing self-efficacy among youth so they feel empowered to create change in their communities. I believe that if youth feel they have the ability to create change, a sense of great hope and purpose will grow among young people.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

I am excited to meet like-minded people in other African countries. Outside of my South African network, I am better connected with networks in the U.S. and Europe than I am with entrepreneurs and educators in other African countries.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

I hope that young girls will see STEM as a powerful toolkit for solving problems. I feel there is a disconnect between many women's desire to make social change, and pursuing skills in STEM.

What is the goal of your project?

Code4CT introduces high school girls to web design skills and designing for social impact. Code4CT aims to show young girls the possibility of using coding and web design skills to create useful solutions and develop the girls as future professionals and problem solvers.

The intensive 3-week program sees girls working in teams to tackle a challenge posed by clients. The clients are local organizations whose online presence fails to communicate effectively with their beneficiaries. The girls are required to design a platform to allow the beneficiaries to access valuable information and resources offered by the organization.

The program includes development of HTML and CSS proficiency, a rigorous human centered design process, creating mobile focused websites in WordPress as well as pitching and presenting skills. These hard skills are supported by soft skills development and a series of inspiring speakers and mentors from industry and academia.

Who is the target audience for your project?

Code4CT targets high school girls in grade 10 and 11 from Khayelitsha in Cape Town.

Watch this video from Global Minimum Inc.

Visit the Code for Cape Town website

iLab Liberia

SH-WeTech-SeedFund-iLabLiberia

Project and Leader:

Girls in ICT
Monrovia, Liberia
Luther Jeke

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

I believe that through technology we can create a better society in Liberia. Studies have proven that today in a class of 100 computer science majors, only 12 will be females. iLab and its Girls in ICT Program has been a powerful player in Liberia, working to help close that gender gap in ICT.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

I hope to learn best practices from the WeTech team and other Africans WeTech grantees working in getting more women into ICT. I also hope to hear about their unique challenges, exchange knowledge, ideas and resources to all work toward the goal of helping women and girls enter and succeed in technology careers.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

My dream is to get more Liberian girls interested in ICT careers and get more Liberian women into ICT related jobs.

What is the goal of your project?

The goals of the project are as follows:

a) Give young Liberian women access to computer programming classes, an opportunity that is nearly non-existent in Liberia;

b) Introduce Liberian females with an IT interest to various career paths in the field beyond basic networking and hardware repair, which are the most common IT careers currently available;

c) Provide quality instruction as well as state-of-the-art IT equipment, curriculum and internet connectivity in a context where all of these resources are scarce;

d) Focus on young women's professional growth in a society that does not generally encourage their participation in IT or other fields that are considered "men's work."

Who is the target audience for your project?

We are targeting high school girls, female university students majoring in technology related fields, and female entrepreneurs. We are working in the Montserrado and Margibi counties in Liberia.

Anything else?

We are excited about being able to provide a chance for iLab Liberia’s past program participants to act as training assistants for our 2014 program. They will be Girls in ICT Ambassadors – serving as role models for the 2014 participants and showing them that the skills learned during trainings have use in the job market. Furthermore, we believe it is important for us to expand our geographic reach and empower girls in different locations in the coming months and years.

Visit the iLab Liberia website

Imagination Afrika

Seed Fund-ImagiNation AfrikaProject and Leader:

ImagiNation Afrika
Sénégal
Oumou Gueye Sagna

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

Our mission at ImagiNation Afrika is to lead Africa's youth to learning spaces and programs where creative thinking and leadership skills can develop. With the help of our partner organization, Jiguene Tech Hub, we want to increase the leadership capacity of girls through greater participation in science and technology.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

We hope to learn more about the work of others on the continent working in the field of science and technology. I think we can form a great support network for each other and exchange ideas relating to our varied project objectives.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

We look forward to continuing to expose girls throughout Senegal to technology skills to help them become change makers within our society and lead them on new career paths.

What is the goal of your project?

The ultimate goal is to increase the number of girls and young women who enter careers under the STEM banner. We also hope to improve the leadership capacity of the young women we train.

Who is the target audience for your project?

We are targeting high school girls between the ages of 15 and 19, from urban and low socio-economic areas. We plan to reach 150 girls from four high schools through our trainings

Anything else?

"Since the Girls in ICT Day, my entrepreneurial spirit has grown day by day," Aminata Diambo, from the Lycée Saidou Nourou Tall in Dakar said when describing how our coding camp inspired and led her to work at Jiguene Tech, "…I am now thoroughly trained in HTML5 and CSS3 to deepen my knowledge and be able to implement my plans with a young, dynamic and above all innovative team." We hope to continue to inspire girls like Aminata throughout our project and beyond.

IMPACT Incubation

Project and Leader:

IMPACT Incubation Center
Malawi
Madalitso Zelda Chidumu

What inspired you to get involved in this project/organization?

I got involved with this project to help young women become leaders in agricultural research and development through enhancing their ICT skills. Malawi's economy is heavily depended on agriculture, over 35% of its national GDP comes from agriculture, yet agriculture faces a lot of challenges. Agricultural research and development is one of the ways that the country can exploit to tackle its agricultural challenges. However, most women lack the necessary computer skills to enable them to take up research positions and make a significant contribution to this Nation. With modernization, data correction, data entry, and data analysis, are done using IT tools which requires excellent knowledge and skills. The project will train female University students in computer software packages that would enable them to take up research roles, be able to correct data, analyze and make significant recommendation that would bring solutions to agricultural challenges faced.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech network?

I am looking forward to network and share ideas on how we can achieve the common goal which is to empowers young women in technology.

What is your big dream for the women and girls in STEM?

My dream is to see women driving change and development. Women becoming leaders, more girls participating in science starting in primary school up until they get to influencing and leadership positions in STEM as well as in the society.

What is the goal of the project?

The goal of my project is to use ICT for Agricultural development and create a generation of young women with vast ICT skills taking positions in agricultural research and development.

Who is the primary target audience for your project?

The project is targeting young female university students from ages of 18 to 25. The students will not only be trained in these softwares but will also be mentored.

Anything else?

IMPACT will ensure that the students that are trained are also used to train other students in order to pass on the knowledge and to empower them. IMPACT works with partners and all other stakeholders that are interested in partnering with us.

Makerere University

Makerere UniversityProject and Leader:

Technovation Challenge Uganda
Kampala, Uganda
Dorothy Okello

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

I believe that there is a great need to promote and support more women and girls in the area of STEM. Through my work at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Makerere University, and at Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET), it has become clear that programs dedicated to this goal are required for a holistic approach to getting more women and girls in STEM – hence the STEM Women Initiative. This initiative was developed together with the Technovation Challenge Uganda, which seeks to adress the under-representation of women in technology fields.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

I hope to learn and share experiences within the network of promoting women and girls in STEM, particularly from a developing country context.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)?

My dream is that girls and women in STEM are considered the norm and the impact of this involvement is gender equity in the opportunities and benefits from science and technology for all people.

What is the goal of your project?

The STEM Women Initiative seeks to promote and support the entry and growth of careers by women in the STEM fields . One of the means to do this is to participate in the global Technovation Challenge. The goal of the Technovation program is to inspire girls to see themselves not just as users of technology, but as inventors, designers, builders and entrepreneurs. Technovation Challenge 2014 witnesses the first entry of teams from Uganda in a competition organized under the auspices of the STEM Women Initiative.

Who is the target audience for your project?

We are targeting female students in secondary schools and at the university level in Uganda.

Anything else?

With Technovation Challenge Uganda, we are planning to reach out to students in secondary schools and universities, companies, and other institutions with a focus on communication technology and development. In this round of the Technovation Challenge, we were able to attract female mentors from Accessmobile, SyncHub innovations Limited, and Women in Technology Uganda (WITU).

Mobile Web Ghana

SH-WeTech-SeedFund-Mobile-Web-Ghana

Project and Leader:

Females in Mobile Entrepreneurship (FiME)
Accra, Ghana
Florence Toffa

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

Generally, there is a huge gap between female and male participation in STEM related jobs, academics, events and projects in Ghana. Female participation in jobs, research and tech events can be increased if they are trained, empowered and aware of the opportunities available to them. It has always been my desire and interest to guide like-minded females and help them transform their lives through technology.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

I hope to learn much from other female project leaders in the community: how they are implementing their projects, their impact, KPIs they are using, how they are tracking progress, fundraising, and strategies to scale and make their projects more sustainable. I also hope to share news and updates about my project with the community.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

My big dream is to be able to support a variety of tech female entrepreneurs who will develop apps to improve the lives of 20,000 Ghanaians in the next 3-4 years.

What is the goal of your project?

In the first year, the goal of this project is to train and empower at least 16 females in mobile app development and entrepreneurship.

Who is the target audience for your project?

The target audience for FiME is female students/graduates from tertiary institutions who are pursuing STEM related courses or entrepreneurship. The girls will be given training, resources and mentorship to collaborate and build a mobile app that is relevant to solve a social need.

Anything else?

Mobile phone penetration in Ghana is 92% and app development – just like any other skill – can be taught and learned. We believe that the lives of the participants will be improved and new opportunities will be created for them through this program.

Watch this video from Mobile Web Ghana

Visit the Mobile Web Ghana website

Nairobi Developers

SH-WeTech-SeedFund-Nairobi-Developers-Association

Project and Leader:

Nairobi Developer School
Nairobi, Kenya
Martha Chumo

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

Last year, I turned a personal disappointment into an opportunity for greater good and social impact. I was admitted into the New York City Hacker School, but visa challenges ensued and I was not able to attend after all. This was the birth of Nairobi Developer School. I felt a responsibility to bring similar opportunities as the Hacker School to my own country.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

I want to meet other women in Africa working in STEM and learn and share with them. I believe that the collaborative effort of this network will increase opportunities for girls to get into STEM.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg. An inspiring list, but there is a big problem for me; they are all men, and they are all from America. My big dream for girls and women in STEM in Kenya is to see other names in this list. Names like Wanjiku, Fatuma, Atieo. These are the names of Kenyan women. I want to see women technical leaders, speakers at tech conferences, and founders of successful tech companies. I want Africa to get to a point where every girl could get into STEM if they so desired.

What is the goal of your project?

We are working to grow the tech industry in Kenya through training. We offer 3-month trainings on entrepreneurship and mobile app development for youth in Kenya.

Who is the target audience for your project?

Our primary target is youth, with an emphasis on young girls’ participation. We work with students in high schools, universities and youth organizations. For the next cohort, we are going to open 10 tech clubs in high schools and run a training program for 40 young people in Kenya.

Anything else?

We want to work towards opening more opportunities for women in Kenya. We are thrilled that WeTech is partnering with us on this project.

GetReady

SH-WeTech-SeedFund-NathalieTekamProject and Leader:

GetReady
Yaounde, Cameroon
Nathalie Tekam

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

Throughout my engineering studies and my career in field of ICT (for nearly eight years), there have always been very few women involved, and often I was the only one. With my professional responsibilities increasing, I realized that the problem is deeper than just the number of women in STEM fields. It is also a matter of believing in their innovation potential and taking the necessary steps to create and lead, instead of just being present, even for professional women already working in STEM.

I was motivated to act to change girls’ mindset regarding STEM fields as soon as they enter primary school. By giving them access to IT educational tools, a tailored training content and discussions with women in STEM role models, I hope to encourage them to choose and persevere in STEM fields, while considering innovation as a natural goal.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

Through the WeTech Network, I hope to learn from the experiences of other grantees as well as WeTech. I hope that this network will give me a chance to meet new people and organizations who share similar beliefs.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

My dream is for girls and women in Cameroon and other countries to really believe that they are able to achieve anything, and taking initiative to become change agents and leaders, especially in STEM fields.

What is the goal of your project?

Our goal is to first change young girls’ mindset about STEM fields and careers by presenting them as accessible and attractive. Secondly, we aim to increase their innovation potential via an early computer literacy and adoption of ICT tools as problem solving utilities.

Who is the target audience for your project?

Our primary target is girls between the ages 8 to 18 who do not have access to computers or do not consider ICT tools as educational and who are still in the limitless possibility phase regarding what profession to enter later.

Anything else?

We want to thank WeTech and their partners for allowing us to expand our project and help more girls to be equipped and encouraged to choose STEM fields! With this Seed Fund grant, we are able to multiply our reach this first year. Most importantly, it will allow us to target girls in schools that would have not had the possibility to provide ICT educational tools to their students because they could not previously afford to buy computers.

Visit the GetReady website

Outbox

Sh-WeTech-SeedFund-Outbox

Project and Leader:

The Women Passion Program
Kampala, Uganda
Richard Zulu

What inspired you to get involved in this project/organization?

I started a technology co-working space about two years ago, focused on supporting entrepreneurs. However, I have consistently noticed a low turnout of women and girls who make use of the space or attend our events.

We tested a few programs that targeted girls, but have ended with very low attendance rates. As a result, I decided to take another approach that teaches girls about entrepreneurship and how to program, with an added element of fostering independence and building capacity.

I have partnered with Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) and Girl Geek Kampala to make this possible.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech network?

Through sharing experiences on how various network members are running their programs, I hope to learn from the different approaches, mistakes, learnings and results achieved by each one.

What is your big dream for the women and girls in STEM?

My dream is to create a self-sustaining community of women and girls in STEM, learning from another’s experiences, encouraging each other, and acting as role models to one another.

What is the goal of the project?

Our goal is to train women and girls in programming and entrepreneurship through experiential learning.

Who is the primary target audience for your project?

Our target audience is women and girls who are currently enrolled or have graduated from college.

Visit Outobox's website

PROWOCAVU

Protecting Women & ChildrenProject and Leader:

Tech University Female Students Ending Violence Against Women and Girls Through Innovation
Uganda
Michael Kakande

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

As a systems administrator volunteer, I have actively engaged at both the secondary and primary school level to address the importance of girls education. We believe that girls education is a key element prevention from violence. At the same time, it gave me the opportunity to encourage girls to consider STEM fields. What surprised me most was the negative attitude I received from most of the girls. Two secondary school girls even approached me and told me that it sounded too much like a dream and better suited for their male counterparts. I also noticed the low turnout rate of female participants during the software development sessions I was leading at Raven Technologies. This triggered me to actively engage in this project to build the next generation of female role models at higher education institutions, who will in turn inspire the young girls in secondary and primary schools to take up STEM fields.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

The WeTech Network will be a platform for us to share ideas and innovative solutions to increasing women and girls' participation in the STEM fields across the African continent, which has been identified as a regional challenge. We hope to meet with a variety of individuals who will enable us to push our vision forward.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

My big dream is to see women and girls becoming technology innovators in finding solutions to real community problems and also to be the change the community would like to see rather than being only users.

What is the goal of your project?

Our project goal is to address the imbalance within the STEM disciplines, where women and girls are more likely to be users of technology rather than innovators, by encouraging them to build, design and invent solutions to end violence against women and girls, which is a real and prevalent community problem.

Who is the target audience for your project?

Our target audience is Makerere University female students studying Computer Science, Information Technology or Engineering. We plan to reach 60 female students who will form and work in groups of either 2 or 3 students. We plan to recruit mentor volunteers from institutions, technology companies/business sector to offer their time to meet with the participating student groups to guide and coach them during a 12-week period of developing their mobile and web-based apps. We will also identify and recruit a five-member volunteer team of experts from the institutions and technology companies/business sector to review and rank submitted applications. This team will also preside over the "Pitch Competitions Event and Award Giving Ceremony" that will be organized in Kampala. We plan to establish working relationships with different stakeholders, especially technology companies, to provide support in all possible ways such as contributing to numerous prizes to be given to participants ranging from notebooks, tablets, phones, airtime etc. for a successful project implementation.

Anything else?

PROWOCAVU takes this opportunity to welcome members, organizations and institutions within Africa and the international community passionate about empowering women and girls through technology and supporting them to take-up STEM fields to network and collaborate with us in building a just world where women and girls also enjoy their rights to the fullest.

Visit the Protecting Women and Children Against Violence website

Sci-Enza

SH-WeTech-Scienza

Project and Leader:

ICT: Girls who dare to be there!
Pretoria, South Africa
Irene Schoeman

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

As a hands-on science centre, Sci-Enza is involved with various science awareness and enrichment projects. I noticed how some of our visitors fall behind and fail to benefit from our initiatives if they lack basic computer skills. We have conducted several science awareness projects aimed at girls and women before, but never with a specific focus on technology and computing. This is such an exciting field with many opportunities and I realised that Sci-Enza should be involved! I must confess, I am a bit of a technophobe… so I thought to myself, what better way to face your fears? Become a women engaging in technology, dare to be there!

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

I hope that as a network we can share ideas on how to improve computer and technology literacy among African learners – girls in particular – especially in communities with limited resources. Personally, I wish to better my own utilisation of technology and I hope learn from the network how to reach and engage new audiences using technology.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

I dream that STEM will become more popular, trendier and more exciting than MTV or Hollywood! I dream that all girls will be exposed to inspirational STEM role models who can help them to aspire to a career in STEM. I dream that all girls will have access to high quality education, technology and career guidance.

What is the goal of your project?

With this project we want to expose girls and women to role models and opportunities within the field of computing and technology. We also aim to improve girls’ basic computer skills. Our goal is to truly inspire and excite girls and women about technology.

Who is the target audience for your project?

Our various project activities, such as the Women in Computing Role Model Day and Speed Date the Computer Scientist event will target teenage girls,young female students and women. An emphasis will be placed on reaching girls from underserved schools from informal settlements around Pretoria.

Anything else?

I look forward to being an active member of the WeTech network. Thank you to IIE for this wonderful opportunity to expand Sci-Enza’s reach and enable us to help girls and women engage in technology!

Visit SciEnza's website

Women in Engineering

SH-WeTech-SAWOMENG

Project and Leader:

GirlEng
South Africa: Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Polokwane, Port Elizabeth
Naadiya Moosajee

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

When I was a female engineering student, I noticed that there was a lack of women getting into engineering and technology due to the practically nonexistent mentorship opportunities and little awareness about these fields. Motivated to change this reality, I co-founded this organisation nine years ago.

I wanted to create a platform that attracted, developed, mentored and nurtured the next generation of female engineering leaders in Africa.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

I think it is crucial as a collective of influencers that we learn best practices, share resources, and collaborate on projects across the globe.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

My dream is to create an open and accessible society that achieves gender parity and where girls can realize their full potential in whatever field they desire to be part of.

What is the goal of your project?

The goal is to create awareness for girls in engineering careers and to mentor these girls to enable them to apply and study in the engineering field.

Who is the target audience for your project?

Our target is high school girls in grade 10 – 12 who study math and science. They are located across South Africa – the program currently operates in 8 out of the 9 provinces in South Africa. We work with about 2,000 girls across South Africa annually.

Anything else?

WomEng has created a strong intervention pipeline for girls and women in engineering. We have created GirlEng, which attracts high potential math and science students, nurtures and mentors them to enter the study of engineering. Our WomEng Fellowship is a week-long leadership & business incubation program with a technical innovation challenge for the best and brightest female engineering students to find solutions to global challenges and develop and prepare for industry. Finally, @Network has created a platform for both male and female engineers to not only network but also engage in pertinent topics affecting the engineering industry, as well as looking for new opportunities. Passionate volunteers who are developed and groomed for leadership run all divisions. Check out the video on how our program has been running and interviews with our first group of GirlEngers who came to fellowship this year and are about to graduate as engineers. Due to the success of the program, we will be rolling out similar interventions in Kenya this year.

Watch this video from Women in Engineering

Visit the Women in Engineering website

STEMbees

CITADProject and Leader:

STEMbees Organization - Coders Hive
Ghana
Linda Ansong

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

My cofounder and I received our undergraduate degrees in Actuarial Science and Civil Engineering and found there were very few women in any of our classes. It was then that we first became aware of the significant gender gap in STEM majors. After graduating from university, we were both accepted to the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) to learn software entrepreneurship and the gender ratio there was just as staggering. We then realized how important it is to introduce STEM to girls at a young age in an effort to develop an interest and awareness for STEM career possibilities. As a result, we launched STEMbees to encourage, mentor and empower young girls to pursue careers in STEM. I believe by interacting with women who have excelled in STEM careers, these girls will feel more confident and empowered to pursue STEM related fields.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

I hope to be connected to individuals and organizations that have a similar goal. From these connections I hope to learn strategies on how to scale and improve what we have started and to help build STEMbees into a sustainable ecosystem for women and young girls in STEM. Also I would like to collaborate with these organizations, share ideas and hopefully organize joint events to push our agenda of bridging the gender gap in STEM further as well as raise funds to organize more workshops.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)?

My big dream for girls and women in STEM is to see more pursue careers in STEM and have young girls know exactly what they want to be. I believe by setting up a STEM center with the right resources and a career guidance program put in place, it is achievable.

What is the goal of your project?

The goal of this program is to take these girls through the full product development cycle: from identifying a problem to brainstorming a solution and finally building an application to solve that problem. Also, we plan to take them through an empowerment exercise to help boost their confidence and bring out the best in the girls. We would also visit some big tech companies like IBM, Google and Vodafone so these girls can see technology in action.

Who is the target audience for your project?

We are targeting girls from grade 6 to junior high. We believe at this stage the girls will be curious and excited to learn new things and this can influence the courses they take in high school and potentially college.

Anything else?

At this time, STEMbees only reaches in 1 of the 10 regions in Ghana. We are looking to expand to the other 9 regions so we can reach more girls. We want to potentially organize Pan African event by collaborating with organizations from other countries in Africa and we believe the WeTech network is the best place to be.

Visit STEMbees' website

Street Level Initiative

WeTech, Coder Girls

Project and Leader:

The Tech Divas
Kenya
Naomi Chepchumba

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

I was one of the founding members of the organization. While visiting a neighborhood on a photo-shoot session, I met a group of young girls whose interest in photography intrigued me. Following it up, I realized their curiosity went a little deeper than just asking questions. Talent. Hope. Creativity. Most had very little access to technology yet they had big hopes and dreams. A few months later, we introduced the first mobile STEM class in the slum area of Nairobi. It identified existing gaps and gave the girls their first opportunity to play around with laptops, mobile phones and tablets. Since then, I have never looked back. These young girls are simply amazing!

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

We hope to interact with other key players in the STEM industry who will guide us in sharpening our strategies to be more effective. We also hope to join an esteemed group of emerging African STEM enthusiasts and ensure that our contributions play a role in adding a significant voice to the multitude of new ideas taking shape in facilitating the development of STEM in developing countries.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

Our dream is to see a high number of young girls comfortably utilizing computers and tablets that will enable them sharpen their app development skills, understand the career opportunities involved in taking the STEM path and generally develop a solid network of STEM enthusiasts that will provide a continuum of support to emerging app developers.

What is the goal of your project?

The project seeks to expose, motivate and mentor girls in their pursuit of rewarding careers in STEM related fields through networking, weekend mentorship opportunities, motivational talks and grassroots-based activities that will the encourage girls to adapt innovation by taking up STEM-related courses in college.

Who is the target audience for your project?

The project will target young girls between the ages of 15-21 years old living in an urban slum in the agricultural town of Eldoret. Most of the participants have little access to technological resources therefore hindering young girls’ from fulfilling their STEM dreams. Most of our project beneficiaries come from poor families earning less than $1 a day; living in dilapidated slums. Most have to travel for long distances to attend school. Over 70% of the participants’ only access to computers is through the public library which not only charges users to use the computers but is also located in the town center where most of the girls cannot access frequently.

Tassah Academy

SH-WeTech-SeedFund-NathalieTekamProject and Leader:

STEM Your School
Cameroon
Fofang Bih Janet Shufor

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

As a female STEM teacher with 15 years of experience in teaching, I can understand how difficult it is for girls to emerge and succeed in STEM careers without support from mentors and role models. My dream of founding my own school that could make a difference finally materialized and I knew I had a good opportunity to give back and create positive change for so many girls and women in a school community. Stereotyping has been a big factor in the STEM equation and I knew I could have a chance in balancing up the equation by offering an opportunity for competence and skill to rule over gender and let girls and women have their say in this ever changing world of technology.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

The WeTech network will be a resourceful platform where likeminded peers will work together and share ideas on how to decrease the gender gap in STEM. We will collectively mentor and inspire each other through a support system, rich with diversity that will empower our respective projects, making the impact even bigger. We cannot underestimate the power of diversity in any given project.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

My big dream is to create a shift in mindset for girls and women who can freely choose and thrive in STEM careers and bring forth their contribution as STEM professionals to the table. I would like them to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities these fields offer.

What is the goal of your project?

Our project goal is to win back gender parity in the school setting, by empowering female STEM teachers to take advantage of their status quo as role models and mentors to female students through girl STEM clubs, create awareness and ignite creativity in young girls to choose STEM careers in the future.

Who is the target audience for your project?

We are targeting young girls K-12 and female STEM teachers. They will be selected across chosen districts in the city of Yaoundé and we intend to impact 20 STEM teachers and 120 girls this year through this project.

Anything else?

STEM Your School intends to create a huge impact in building self-confidence of both the STEM female teacher and female student at the same time. Building a synergy of likeminded people within a given community can foster a culture of role modeling and mentorship that seem not to exist in our communities. It is not uncommon to see the science teacher hand the laboratory keys to a male student who may stay back and run experiments and try other activities in the lab but hardly a female. Most female teachers themselves seem to be held back by their self-esteem, giving total control of the Labs to the male teachers. By creating female STEM clubs in school we will enhance an ecosystem of female STEM (ers) who can support each other and create positive impact in their community.

Visit Tassah Academy's website

TechWomen Rwanda

SH-WeTech-TechWomen-Rwanda-Alumni

Project and Leader:

Technovation Challenge
Kigali, Rwanda
Guillaine Neza

What inspired you to get involved in this project/organization?

After noticing how much the TechWomen program benefited a few of us female tech leaders in Rwanda, we brainstormed ways to make changes in our community and share what we learned. We wanted to decrease the stereotype that computer science is a male dominated field so we introduced a mentorship program that exposes girls to technical projects stimulating their interest in considering computer science as a career.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech network?

We hope to gain new insights and be inspired from other WeTech grantees. We hope to learn about best practices that will help us sustain the Technovation Program in our country and contribute further to the technical and development growth of Rwandan girls.

What is your big dream for the women and girls in STEM?

Our dream is to enable Rwandan girls to acquire strong technical skills, as well as a team spirit that will help them to dream up and implement solutions to problems in their communities.

What is the goal of the project?

The mission of the Technovation Program Rwanda is to promote women in technology by giving girls the skills and confidence they need to be successful in computer science and entrepreneurship.

Who is the primary target audience for your project?

We will work with two categories: the high schools division and the University division. We will be operating in two districts, Kigali City and Bugesera.

Anything else?

We believe in creating a more dynamic and sustainable program that will positively impact our community and increase awareness of the value of technology in our daily life. We are grateful to have support from programs like WeTech that empower and promote women's initiatives contributing to their community growth and development.

Watch this video from TechWomen Rwanda Alumni

TechWomen Zimbabwe

SH-WeTech-Global-Minimum-Inc

Project and Leader:

Technovation
Zimbabwe
Aretha Mare

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

I am deeply passionate about the social and economic empowerment of young girls. As a young girl growing up in a patriarchal society, I noticed the unfair treatment of girls and purposed in my heart to challenge the gender stereotypes. This culminated in the formation of TechWomen Zimbabwe together with colleagues I met through the TechWomen program in 2013. There are so many opportunities available for young girls but there is limited exposure, especially concerning new and emerging careers. I saw STEM as a vehicle by which girls can tap into their capabilities, creativity and use these to innovate for the change they want to see. Technovation presented itself as the opportunity to fuel women- led innovations.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

The WeTech Network offers a platform for sharing knowledge and best practices amongst people of diverse backgrounds and expertise, it is an opportunity to connect, interact and build synergies with like-minded women. The platform also enables the sharing of both successes and failures in an open way. I am looking forward to learning, participating and transferring the same to my colleagues and project beneficiaries.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

Oh my! I see women and girls causing a technology revolution; leading from the front and churning out cutting edge innovations for socio-economic development.

What is the goal of your project?

To equip girls and young women with both technical and entrepreneurial skills and expose them to emerging careers in the industry and become solution givers.

Who is the target audience for your project?

Our target is a 100 girls and young women between the ages of 10 and 23 and we expect to reach more than 250 students as we help our participants to set up coding clubs in their schools. We have a focus on undeserved communities to bridge the gap in technology access, literacy and usage.

WITU

WITUProject and Leader:

Code Girls - Level Up
Uganda
Barbara Birungi

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

I was inspired to start WITU because of a desire to see and live in a Uganda where taking a career in STEM is not viewed as too ambitious for a woman, where role models and mentors for young women are widely available, where examples of women in top tech positions within corporate Uganda are so many we can't list all of them. Where my daughter will grow up to choose a career (hopefully in STEM) without the fears my generation has faced. I worked at a software consultancy and I was the only woman on the team. I wanted to see more women in tech and while attending many tech events, there were few women, I longed for a mentor, a place where as women we got together and inspired each other, learned from others and found mentors. We need to create a pathway for the next generation.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

My hope is to create some relationships with women individuals with the same passion and who want to make the technological gender gap history such that we can co-create, share ideas, collaborate on projects and events, exchange ideas, challenges and build solutions together. I know that when we work together we will achieve greater results in Africa and the world. The networking with others who share this vision will also be an inspiration to do more and aim higher.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

My dream is that girls and women will view STEM as traditional fields for women. With time, we will have CEOs, Senior Level and other top STEM positions held by women such that when our daughters grow up and you speak about the gender technological gap, their response would be “That actually happened in your generation?”

What is the goal of your project?

The goal of Code Girls Level up is to get young women confident, skilled up and ready to create tech solutions. While working with employers, we want young women employed into tech positions, climbing the tech corporate ladder and creating a generation of visible role models for younger girls in our society so that the technology gender gap in Uganda is history in the next decade.

Who is the target audience for your project?

Our target for this project are smart young women (18- 30 years) from under-served communities that have dropped out of school due to poverty and unemployed tech graduates who are lacking in skills and confidence. We will also target young women who have just started out in the tech careers through networking events.

Anything else?

I believe we must work together, as one front, building our skills and getting our confidence up as women who believe that we deserve to be in STEM and believe that we can be as good as men or better. Our daughters will grow up to dream of any career they want because we will have set a path for them. I want women to start creating solutions to problems in Uganda using tech because I believe that technology has the potential to create social economic benefit not just for women but Uganda and Africa as a whole.

Visit Women in Technology Unganda's Website

WOUGNET

Seed Fund-WOUGNETProject and Leader:

Girls Exploring Tech Solutions (GETS)
Uganda
Moses Owiny

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

For a long time my interest has been around the potential in which technology can benefit all citizens. Working with WOUGNET gave me a great impetus to understand the numerous opportunities ICT presents in addressing issues of sustainable national development. We have previously worked through different projects to empower women to use ICT to improve their farming practices as well as support agriculture and rural development initiatives. My primary interest, which is also in line with WOUGNET's mission and goals, is to empower women and girls to benefit from technology and this has really inspired me to apply for WeTech Seed Funding. Also WOUGNET's previous partnership with Outbox - a beneficiary of the WeTech grant also motivated me after realizing that we could compliment and fill in certain gaps.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

I hope to learn how other colleagues within the network are innovatively working to promote STEM for women and girls in their respective communities.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

I would like to see more girls take on Science related courses at Universities and Tertiary institutions including technology courses/degrees and be female developers, coding and identifying solutions for rural communities especially women.

What is the goal of your project?

The goal of this project is to empower women and girls in ICT use and application by identifying community challenges affecting women and developing solutions that addresses them.

Who is the target audience for your project?

Our audience is women groups in Central and Northern Uganda. Our other audience is the male counterparts associated with the women groups, and of course the female techies associated with partners such as Makerere University Technovation Challenge and Outbox – an innovation hub in Kampala, Uganda.

Anything else?

I look forward to learning from the rich experience of the WeTech network.

Visit Women of Uganda Network's Website

W.TEC

Sh-WeTech-WTec

Project and Leader:

The Women's Technology Empowerment Centre (W.Tec)
Lagos, Nigeria
Oreoluwa Somolu Lesi

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

I became interested in computers and technology around the age of 17 and quickly discovered how I could make my life more organized and productive using technology. When I was in college, I set up a technology-related business and saw the financial opportunities that technology could create. During my Master's degree studies, I came across countless articles that highlighted the huge gender gap in technology use and development. This eventually led to my establishing the Women's Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) in 2008.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

All of the grantees are doing incredible work encouraging and supporting girls and women in computing. I would like to learn from their experiences and see what we can apply to W.TEC's work here in Nigeria.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

W.TEC's vision is to help create a society where Nigerian women and girls are able to create and use information and communication technology for learning, activism, entrepreneurship, and professional activities effectively. I sincerely want girls and women to feel that they can use and even create the technology that they and others will use.

What is the goal of your project?

The afterschool technology club will provide technology education to high school girls by organizing weekly workshops throughout the school year to nurture an interest in computer science.

Who is the target audience for your project?

Nigerian secondary school (high school) girls aged 11 to 17 years, who show promise in their academic and extra-curricular activities. The girls targeted are from poorer socio-economic backgrounds and do not have access to consistent computer science education.

Anything else?

We are very excited to be selected as a WeTech grantee and look forward to learning from everyone within the network.

Watch a video from W.Tec

Visit the W.TEC website

Nigeria Hackathon

Sh-WeTech-Yetunde-FolajimiProject and Leader:

Nigeria Girls & Women Hackathon for Social Change & Development
Ibadan, Nigeria
Yetunde Folajimi

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

My inspiration to get involved with this project came as a result of mentoring. A female Computer Scientist who came to deliver a career talk in my secondary school when I was a teenager inadvertently mentored me. That was the first time I had ever come across a female Computer Science Professional and I was really amazed that a woman could be so bold and intelligent. I wanted to be like her and decided that I was going to study Computer Science. Having realised my dreams, I decided to become a role model to younger girls and fellow women by reaching out to them through mentoring and ICT related activities. This project is thus an opportunity to give back to the community and mentor others since I am a product of mentoring. The Nigeria Girls and Women Hackathon for Social Change and Development will be an avenue for me to achieve this by diversifying the impact of Nigeria Geek Girls Collaborative Camp which took place in August 2014 and enable the alumni of this project to contribute to national growth and development by using computer Science and related tools, thereby preparing them as future role models in computing.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

By interacting with women from diverse background and communities who share the same vision than me, I hope to expand my network and obtain new and innovative ideas, which I can later use to impact my community.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

My big dream for girls and women in STEM is that soon the whole world will see the potential in women and discrimination against women in STEM will become a thing of the past.

What is the goal of your project?

The goal of this project is to improve female participation and involvement in Computer Science by enabling them to be creative. This will be done through developing android applications that are targeted to social change and development in Nigeria. It is hoped that the project will equip the participants with the necessary tools for future development.

Who is the target audience for your project?

The target audience are undergraduates and Senior Secondary school students in Nigeria. The hackathon will take place in Ibadan, Oyo State and participants are expected from Oyo state and nearby cities and states in South-Western Nigeria. The project expands the impact of Nigeria Geek Girls Collaborative Camp.

Anything else?

The hackathon is expected to boost the participants’ confidence and interest in Computing and prepare them as future entrepreneurs by enabling them create personal android application projects after undergoing hands-on Android app development training.

Visit the Nigeria Geek Girls website

Nigeria Geek Girls

Sh-WeTech-Yetunde-FolajimiProject and Leader:

Nigeria Geek Girls Collaborative Camp
Ibadan, Nigeria
Yetunde Folajimi

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

My inspiration to get involved with this project came as a result of mentoring. A female Computer Scientist who came to deliver a career talk in my secondary school when I was a teenager inadvertently mentored me. That was the first time I had ever come across a female Computer Science Professional and I was really amazed that a woman could be so bold and intelligent. I wanted to be like her and decided that I was going to study Computer Science. Having realised my dreams, I decided to become a role model to younger girls and fellow women by reaching out to them through mentoring and ICT related activities. This project is thus an opportunity to give back to the community and mentor others since I am a product of mentoring.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

By interacting with women from diverse background and communities who share the same vision than me, I hope to expand my network and obtain new and innovative ideas, which I can later use to impact my community.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

My big dream for girls and women in STEM is that soon the whole world will see the potential in women and discrimination against women in STEM will become a thing of the past.

What is the goal of your project?

The goals of the camp are to improve female participation and involvement in Computer Science and provide early ICT mentoring for participants.

Who is the target audience for your project?

The camp is targeting secondary school girls as well as female teachers in Oyo State and nearby cities in South-Western Nigeria. The camp will feature successful female leaders in ICT who will share their career experiences and serve as role models for the students. This project is an expansion of the Computer for Girls Camp. The grant is enabling us to increase the number of participants from approximately 30 in the past to 100 girls, who will be camped on-sit throughout. Secondary school teachers will also have the opportunity of participating in the event.

Anything else?

We hope that the camp will boost the participants' confidence by enabling them to create personal ICT projects after undergoing hands-on ICT training.

Watch this video from Yetunde Folajimi

Visit the Nigeria Geek Girls website

Youth for Tech

Youth for TechnologyProject and Leader:

3D Africa - A prototyping/engineering space utilizing 3D Printing technologies to ignite a passion for STEM in Nigerian girls
Nigeria
Njideka Harry

What inspired you to get involved with this project/organization?

Tomorrow's leadership depends on how we educate our students today—especially in science, technology, engineering and math. As a mother of three daughters myself, I have a personal interest in empowering girls and women around the world by closing the gender gap in education and by inspiring more girls and women to become creators of technology and not just consumers. 97% that enroll in Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF)'s programs say they want to help people and change the world. Girls want to solve a pressing problem and see themselves as agents of change. There are no limits to what can be achieved when we engage more girls in technology through making, creating and inventing.

What do you hope to learn from the WeTech Network?

YTF is excited to join like-minded organizations and female champions within the WeTech network that are equally committed to inspiring girls in STEM careers. We hope to share best practices with others, develop regional program partnerships and together create more impact for girls worldwide.

What is your big dream for girls and women in STEM?

Every year, the U.S. invests billions in STEM education and workforce development, knowing that over 70% of their jobs will require these core skills: science, technology, engineering and math. Today, no country in Africa has a clear policy or a framework for implementing STEM into the educational curriculum. Over the next decade, African employers can expect to have many thousands of job openings requiring basic STEM literacy, and more people will need advanced STEM knowledge.

Africa needs a world-class workforce in the next decade and girls/women in STEM must be a part of that human capital. Research shows that Nigeria can add as much as $13.9 billion to GDP if women are given the same opportunities as men*.

My dream for girls and women in STEM is an enabling STEM ecosystem that supports girls' education and is in partnership with the public, private and civil society sectors. This ecosystem must be supported and nurtured by African STEM women as mentors and advocates of the profession.

What is the goal of your project?

To increase the numbers of Nigerian girls interested in STEM careers while inspiring the next generation of tech entrepreneurs. The result is that girls will be more inclined to be inquisitive, ask questions which will lead to innovative work in the future. 3D modeling and manufacturing brings together all 4 components of STEM. The girls will learn that it takes the applied knowledge of scientific concepts to create durable 3D objects. Mathematics and engineering must be applied in order to create the 3D designs (jewelry, art, small parts) that will they will print and sell on marketplaces. 3D Africa utilizes a hybrid of local classroom interaction and online learning leveraging massive open online courses (MOOCs).

Who is the target audience for your project?

Girls between the ages of 13 and 18 years and who are enrolled in secondary schools in Nigeria are target beneficiaries. In its first year, 3D Africa's direct impact will be 300 girls from 10 schools and 20 teachers. Indirectly, the program's impact will be as many as 600 in the first year (including in-school, out of school girls mentored by our program participants) and their family members.

Visit the Youth for Technology Foundation website

*Chaaban, Jad, and Wendy Cunningham. 2011. Measuring the Economic Gain of Investing in Girls: the Girl Effect Dividend. Policy Research Working Paper. World Bank: Washington, D.C.

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