We wrapped up our very first Kids Tech and Art Camp last Friday. Apart from rediscovering the inner child in most of us(when was the last time you sang to “Head, Shoulders, Knees and toes”), it was amazing to listen to kids as young as 7 years old, earnestly explain how the built games using MIT’s scratch.
The artistic creativity in the room was pretty cool too.
The team at AkiraChix sends a huge shoutout to Nyandia Kamawe, for being a gracious host and trainer to group of energetic kids for 5 days without shaving her head, Abby Wangui from the iHub UX Lab for her help with co-ordination, Christopher Kanyuga and many other volunteers for taking time off on Saturdays to train other trainers on using Scratch, Kibera School for Girls for their amazing co-operation, and last but not least, our girls from the AkiraChix training program for helping out
One thing I love about being a part of the AkiraChix team, is the fact that we’re constantly evolving, and opening up new paths to impart tech skills to others. When we started off, our target was largely women in the tech industry, and women in University (like I was at the time we began).
Over time, we moved over to young girls in poor social economic backgrounds, to young girls in high school, and most recently, kids in primary school. The main reason why we keep going down this path is because we’re trying to see if we can get to the root of the problem, somehow: we don’t expose our kids to tech early enough, and the older they grow, the lower the chances of sparking any interest as they start to cement ideas on who they want to become in future.
It’s our hope that through camps like these, we get one step closer to getting more techies who will change this world
Monday 7th April 7:30am at the junction shopping mall parking lot, a Kenya Bus Service is slowly filling up with young children between the ages of 7 and 13. As is expected very few conversations since the kids do not know each other. One and a half hours later, we are in a house compound in Lenana and the noise, happiness and laughter is uncontrollable – camp day one has began with some team building activities.
Day one was fun, apart from getting to know each other the kids got introduced to scratch, first project “Felix and Herbert”. Based on the ages, speed of learning is different but the trainers are patient with the kids, making sure all are on the same page. The trainers are current Akirachix training program students, in addition to their school work, they went through a rigorous training of Scratch over the weekends.
Afternoons are dedicated for creativity and play time. Unfortunately the trainer who was to work with the kids on jewellery making got sick so we switched into story time, another fun activity. Later on in the day there were games and it was evident the kids did not want to go back home seeing as soon as the bus pulled over to pick them up, they all ran back to the house and some were heard asking whether they could spend the night there.
We still have 4 days to go, looking forward to the last day – Demo of what they have been learning.
“Teaching in the Internet age means we must teach tomorrow’s skills today.” – Jennifer Fleming
On Wednesday 2 April Akirachix received a gift donation of 20 laptops from SIDA/ Fujitsu. SIDA’s funding for our programs enabled us to carry out our third training program and secure space for our activities. These laptops will go into strengthening the High School Outreach Program. At the moment AkiraChix works with two High Schools: Precious Blood and Kenya High School. We are set to add Alliance girls to our project. We are also looking to expand our High School Program to schools outside Nairobi and these laptops will facilitate our expansion plans.
And now for a good team photo
Special thanks to SIDA/ Fujitsu for making this possible.
It’s been 6 months since we acquired space on the ground floor of Bishop Magua Centre, and we would like to celebrate our progress and success with our entire community, who have brought us this far since we begun.
For this reason, AkiraChix will be hosting a cocktail launch of our space on 16th April between 6:00p.m and 8:00p.m. It would be great to have you join us!
Please RSVP on our eventbrite page.
Incase of any questions or queries, feel free to get in touch with Angela Oduor via angela AT akirachix DOT com, or Judith Owigar via judith AT akirachix DOT com