Breaking Down Barriers for Women in Technology: Our Top 5 Break-Away Moments at ICT Boot Camp – Girls Only!

Breaking Down Barriers for Women in Technology:  Our Top 5 Break-Away Moments at ICT Boot Camp – Girls Only!

On April 22nd, five HHFL young women took part in a week-long technology camp for high school girls called “ICT Boot Camp”. The camp was led and run by AkiraChix, a Kenyan-based organization empowering African women in technology.

Faith, Jane, Bernadette, Philomena and Elsie were invited by Akirachix to benefit from an incredible learning experience that not enough young women are exposed to as a career choice.

This was the first introduction to computer programming for these young women. After hearing that only 15% of African women are working in the field of technology, they are more charged than ever to help break down the barriers for women in IT!

Another 16 HHFL high school girls joined to hear inspirational stories from women entrepreneurs and technology leaders in Kenya on the final day. Thanks AkiraChix!

Here are the top 5 break-away moments at ICT boot camp:

girlsictTechnology is not a man’s career, women can choose it too”

The whole experience was eye-opening and changed my career outlook. Because of this camp, I am now thinking of venturing into technology instead of pursuing nursing because women are just as capable. One of my highlights was the part when I connected the LEDs bulbs together with my group and programmed them using the laptop to light up like disco lights. It was simply an amazing thing! After hearing the speakers on the last day, I was even more motivated to pursue ICT as a career. I am motivated to see myself in a leadership role at a technology institution like Juliana Rotich, Executive director at Ushahidi.” – Philomena, Grade 12

ictgirls1“Programming requires concentration and passion”

After attending the camp, I now believe that programming is the basis of everything in life. Nothing can work without following a certain and detailed procedure. While participating in projects during the camp, I learned that teamwork, concentration, and passion were essential in what one was doing. I find coding very interesting and the camp made me more open-minded. Before I wanted to take medicine or economics, but now I want to be a programmer. I was particularly motivated by a group of kids younger than me, who were very intelligent. After seeing the younger kids also experiment with the technology, I would like to also inspire my brothers and sisters at HHFL. Lastly, I was very inspired by two successful programmers, Lina Kamau and Juliana Rotich. – Bernadette Nafula, Grade 12

elsie and jane“Women can become technology leaders by breaking down barriers and overcoming personal hardship”

We were so inspired, very touched, and changed for the better.  We know now that anybody can be what they want depending on their mindset and the fire burning in one’s tummy. The most touching part was how different panels of successful women in technology shared their personal and professional life experiences. We have come to know that hardship is part of life but it is a stepping stone not a stumbling block. Women who succeed in life overcome their personal hardship. We are so thankful for the experience and we felt so welcomed and positively impacted by the camp and the people that we interacted with. – Jane Muthoni, Grade 11 and Elsie Anyango, Grade 12

faith“Women can empower themselves through the use of technology” 

My highlight was working with LEDs. We used 27 LEDs to make a cube. We used an Arduino, a single-board microcontroller, to power and add data for the LED cube. We had to put pins in the right places so the LEDs wouldn’t blow up and used a transistor to reduce the amount of power being used. We learned to program the cube to display the letters of their names and change into many colours. Working on this project was really empowering making me realize that girls can do wonderful things in ICT and can become successful in life. I found out that women only make up 10% of the technology sector in the world. I would like to increase that percentage! – Faith Wanja, aspiring college student

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