Akirachix Graduation – Class of 2014

It has been a great one year and 3months. In September 2013, we began searching for girls who would join and benefit from the training program. As compared to the two previous classes, we managed to accommodate 30 girls most of whom were between the age of 19 – 24 yrs. The girls came from Kibera, Kabiria in Kawangware and Deepsea in Westlands.

October 2013, classes began; most of the girls had never used a computer before therefore the first 1-month was quite a rough one. From learning how to boot a machine, to typing and just getting comfortable with computers.

Fast forward to December 5th 2015, these girls are graduates and can now add a title to their names i.e. Graphic Designer, Web Design, Mobile Applications developer or Entrepreneur.

Apart from attaining a Diploma, the 26 graduates excelled, I can proudly say this was one of the most promising class and they did prove me right. In May this year, the students participated in a girl’s Hackathon organized by ACM-W in partnership with Akirachix. Participants were from the tech community including university students. We encouraged our girls to participate and their groups emerged winners and runners up.

It did not stop there, in October, a competition dubbed “INCYoubateIT” organized by Making All Voices Count; an Ushahidi led initiative was launched. The girls submitted their group projects based on their business plans and also other projects they were involved in during the year. There were 2 groups of students in the finalists list and On November 6th, the winning group was the girls who participated in the April Hackathon and the 2nd runners up was a class project.

This class has been exemplary and that is due to their hunger to learn, innovate and make it in life. By the time of their graduation, 5 of them had already secured internships in different organizations and one of them has a business running.

We are still working with the remaining girls to find placements for them, therefore if you or know of an organizations looking for interns specifically in graphic design, web design or mobile development, send an email to, lkamau@akirachix.com with the requirements and we will match that up with the graduates.

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Lots of thanks to the trainers for their tireless efforts to get these girls to where they are, the iHub for giving the girls the space to network, the tech community at the iHub for readily assisting the girls when they needed help, our motivational speakers, our mentors – you have all been a great asset to us.

Wishing the graduates all the best in the endeavors, the opportunities are endless and we are sure they will utilize them.

 

We are currently finishing up selection for the next class that starts in January 2015.

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!

#IncYOUbateIT Competition: Including Women in Social Impact Technology

Together with Making All Voices count we held the IncYOUbateIt competition on November 7 that served to provide a platform through which women’s voices experiences and narratives are included in the conversation about social impact of technology. The participants in the competition had presented their projects at the inaugural Akirachix Women in Tech Conference on November 1.

ThePitchers

The #IncYOUbateIT participants with the MAVC and AkiraChix Teams.

There were six pitches on the day of the event:

  • Kona Mbaya, an application to that sensitizes Kenyans on the level of insecurity by highlighing safe and unsafe spots
  • Taka App, which offers a linking service to garbage collectors and recyclers that will enable them trade in plastic and metal.
  • PaireD -  a social network that will help link women & girls to opportunities and solutions.
  • Abero[dot]com – which provides access to information to marginalized women living in Turkana through very feminine information centres and gadgets
  • Rendile Girls Foundation who are helping create awareness on the problems facing the Rendille Girlchild and also seeking for solutions to these problems
  • S.K.I.R.T.S, which is a platform that offers a voice to speak out against violence on Women and Girls within our society.
  • Adding Women’s Voices to Land Legislation in Kenya – putting women’s voices at the center of legal reforms by supporting a Women’s Rights Task Force to advocate for progressive provisions in national/regional land laws,and ensure regional consultations address women’s rights and include their perspectives.

Two winners emerged from the completion Kona Mbaya and S.K.I.R.T.S. The team from Kona Mbaya is wholly composed of students from the 3rd Akirachix Training Program. Woop! Woop!

Kona Mbaya – An application that will sensitize people on security matters within Nairobi by mapping black spots and high insecurity places for women. The ideas was selected based on the fact that app can be scaled to focus on a number of security areas including alerts to relevant government authorities on incidences of violence and robbery. The idea is also practical in the sense that it can be linked to the justice system in Kenya and barriers to women accessing justice in Kenya following incidences of insecurity.

The Kona Mbaya team with the judges

The Kona Mbaya team with the judges

Socially Keen Individuals Redefining the Tech Space (S.K.I.R.T.S)- An initiative to address cyber bullying and cyber insecurity within the Kenyan online space; following increased cases of online spaces being used to perpetuate ethnic hatred and to attack ordinary citizens, celebrities, and politicians especially women. The idea addresses a central problem in the current Kenyan context on cyber bullying and perpetration of hate speech in Kenya. The idea could be scaled for legislative lobbying around online spaces.

Yvonne Aluoch of the S.K.I.R.T.S.

Yvonne Aluoch of the S.K.I.R.T.S.

 

Information Security Meetup

The Information Security meetup is a forum that brings professionals and curious minds in the industry to network as we highlight the challenges present and opportunities available for exploitation. The theme is “Demistifying Information Security and Careers in InfoSec”. The meetup will take place at iHub on July 15th from 5:30pm-7:00pm.

The meetup will be graced by leading lecturers in the field of Information security, experienced professionals from financial institutions and governing bodies such as the ICT authority. The shared experience will serve to enlighten the minds of the attendees on how Kenyans are interacting actively with technology in terms of creation and development, actual application and dissemination of products and services more than ever before and how this has brought in great gains but also exposed institutions to costly risks.

The meetup has been organized by Akirachix and iHub on the need to address Information Security training. Akirachix has high regard for the technology adoption that is driving business innovation and growth in Kenya and it is with this in mind that we have created this forum. Quality education and tangible skills in this field is paramount in winning the battle in information warfare and curbing cyber terrorism in our institutions

Sign up for the event here

Kids Tech & Arts Camp commences

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.

Kids getting to know each other - "Breaking the ice"


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.

Trainer with the kids


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.

Kids at the playground


We still have 4 days to go, looking forward to the last day – Demo of what they have been learning.

Scratch lesson in session


“Teaching in the Internet age means we must teach tomorrow’s skills today.” – Jennifer Fleming