Happy New Year from the AkiraChix Team! We hope your 2014 has gotten off to a great start 🙂
Sometimes, its hard to believe that its been more than three years since an adhoc meeting of a few women tech gave rise to the AkiraChix we have all come to know and be a part of today. During our 3rd anniversary last year, we gave you a run down of what we have achieved so far. This is just the beginning.
At the end of 2012, Sida launched a global Call for Proposals to increase women and girls’ access to and use of information and communication technologies, ICT. In April, 2013, after having gone through 300 applications, AkiraChix was selected as one of five grantees who won in this call for proposals. This grant will go a long way in helping to support our core activities, and expansion beyond Nairobi.
Our 3rd class begun in October of 2013, after a rigorous selection process that saw us pick 30 girls out of 60 amazing applicants. One semester is already complete, and the girls are well into their second semester.
Space had been a major concern for us as we completed the second round of the training program. Our friends at SODNET had been so kind to host us, but it was time for us to seek space of our own. We’ve recently secured space on the ground floor of Bishop Magua building, that will double up as the training program class venue, as well as the AkiraChix office.
As we work towards creating a replicable model for the training program across the country, and across the continent, we’ve begun talks with the ministry of education to have our training program accredited, and have also held curriculum development talks with out trainers in the past months. Some of you have also been in touch about us offering certain short term courses at a fee. This paid version of the training program class is set to begin in the first quarter of the year. Stay tuned to our blog and other channels for more details in the coming weeks.
High School Outreach
We’ve been doing relatively well with our outreach in Precious Blood High School, and hosted a bootcamp in December 2013 that attracted students from various parts of the country, including Mitaboni A.B.C Girls High School, Our Lady of Consolata Migoiri Girls High School, Kiburia Girls, and Rungiri High School.
This year, we’re taking it a notch higher, with plans to possible visit other schools within Nairobi and even in places as far as Laikipia and Samburu.We also want to develop a forum for girls who join AkiraChix clubs or participate in bootcamps to interact with each other, as well as drafting up a curriculum for high school visits this year. Ping us if you’d like to help or have contacts in schools that you think would benefit from our high school program
Last year, we made a visit to Kibera School for girls, and also hosted them at the iHub. From this initial visit, it became clear, that a need exists for students in primary schools to get exposed to technology.
In line with this, we’re making plans to host a series of Kids Technical camps during the school holidays. Stay tuned 😉
A number of you have been in touch recently, asking about how you can get involved in our core activities. We’ve been listening :).We started off with building a mentorship program, which has already kicked off. We’ve got about 10 women within the tech industry who have been paired up with students of the AkiraChix training program. We plan on expanding this to the entire AkiraChix network within the coming months.
We’re having an informal get together on the 25th of January, 2014 to share our plans with members of our community, in a bid to get you involved.
This is the first of several meetups we’re to host this year, so do feel free to join us, and tell your friends too! 2014 is set to be a great year, and we hope you can join us on this journey :).