On January 4th 2016 Tech Needs Girls partnered with Tuares in Burkina Faso to start Girl Tech in the capital Ouagadougou. Girl Tech is a mentorship program where female mentors from Tuares trained by Tech Needs Girls teach girls to code using an innovative curriculum developed by Tech Needs Girls. In Burkina Faso, there are several challenges for women and girls. Gender discrimination touches many aspects of women’s lives with unequal Inheritance rights between men and women, violence against women is pervasive and women have lower literacy rates. According to UNICEF, Burkina Faso has a child marriage prevalence rate of 52%. Averagely almost one out of two girls will be married before the age of 18. It is important the woman and girls are empowered to break the cycle of poverty and develop their full potential. Technology can be a tool and a relevant skill to help empower women and girls with critical thinking skills and economic independence.
Tech Needs Girls is a movement and a mentorship program to get more girls to code and create technology. Their mission is empowering girls to lead and innovate by learning to code. They have impacted over 2065 girls in 5 regions in Ghana through mentorship, teaching them to code and internships at software companies. Tuares is a non-profit organization that helps to educate, empower and improve the lives of girls in Burkina Faso. With this new partnership, Tech Needs Girls expands its impact to Burkina Faso.
Delphina Agyare the Project Coordinator for Tech Needs Girls took 9 female mentors through the curriculum which is for girls between the ages of 6-18. The curriculum consist of courses on technology, internet security, blogging, robotics, Human Centered Design and on the main course which is coding. The training took places for 2 weeks and in the third week she observed her trainers teach the girls to code. The trainers graduated to become Girl Tech Mentors and they all received a certificate from Tech Needs Girls and Tuares. They also learned to build functional websites and how to blog.
The training of the girls took place at a public school (Lycee) computer lab where there were 16 computers available for the training. There were 60 girls from Tuares that went through the training. When Delphina was interviewed she said the 3 weeks training was a success. The girls were excited and eager to learn. She is looking forward to Girl Tech being a successful mentorship program where the girls become technology savvy and learn to code.
Source: Soronko Foundation