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Girls Code Club:

As part of events to mark the International Girls in ICT Day, MindAfrica Leadership Initiative, a not-for-profit organization in Port Harcourt, held a 1-day workshop for secondary school girls of Holy Rosary College on the 26th of April, 2018. One of the highlights of the event was the official launch of the “Girls Code Club”, an after-school program that is designed to inspire and empower girls within the ages of 10 – 17, with the skills to become creators of technology in order to enhance their potential, improve their lives, and impact their community.

The goal of the program was to educate young girls on the range of possibilities offered by the knowledge of coding and to build their skills and confidence through hands-on learning. It was also aimed at getting them to take their first steps in coding and to experience for themselves just how interesting coding is. The event featured plenary sessions, workshops and interactions with women in the ICT profession including Ekima Osifo, Team Lead, ICT/Media & Communications in MindAfrica and Esther Smart, CEO, Smart Tek, who were speakers at the event. 50 students from SS1 and SS2 participated in the program.

Launching the Girls Code Club in the school, the Executive Director of MindAfrica, Olere Iluebbey, said that this is a cross-cutting program strategy that is central to MindAfrica’s effort in using ICT to empower and improve the lives of adolescent girls in Nigeria. She said that as the first Girls Code Club to be established by MindAfrica, all efforts would be made to ensure that it enhances the experience of the students. She also advised the students to take advantage of this free opportunity to learn and advance their career aspirations.

In her response, the Principal of Holy Rosary College, Barr (Mrs) Veronica Efika, thanked MindAfrica for choosing Holy Rosary College as the first school to launch the club. She commended MindAfrica for the initiative in ensuring that ICT education, skills building, and empowerment of the girl-child were given focus. She assured MindAfrica and the students of her utmost co-operation in ensuring that the objectives of the club are achieved.

Using a creative curriculum, the Girls Code Club will enable girls with minimal computer skills to learn the fundamentals of programming and creative expression through code. Establishing Girls Code Club in schools will motivate girls to explore new ideas and skills which previously seemed unattainable. It will also increase girls’ interest and achievement in Math and other STEM subjects.

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