Sunday , June 13 2021

Poor girls change their communities by code

Rickety shacks are split into contaminated waters. The canals demand the transport of a narrow canal through the maze. Okpo's father is a fisherman and his mother sells smoked fish to live a far-flung city of Africa.

Lagos has a lively economy based on oil, finance and manufacturing. And the city is now in Nigeria's Silicon Valley, Facebook and Google inauguration offices earlier this year.

However, as two thirds of the city's 21 million inhabitants live in reliable households, clean water and sanitation.

"When I first went to Makoto, I was surprised to see the human life conditions," recalls Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin, a computer programmer at Lagos. "Most of the girls are trapped in the cross-cycle of poverty, many of which are not thinking about education, the future plan."

Several times a week, a girl like Okpoe gets to see another world in GirlsCoding, a free program directed by the Pearls Africa Foundation to educate and make excitement about computer programming girls. Since 2012, the team has helped more than 400 girls to contribute to the technical skills and confidence of their lives.

It is Ajayi-Akinfolarin's vision because he has left a successful career in this work. She noticed that some women worked in a growing field – a 2013 government survey found less than 8% of women in Nigeria in professional, managerial or technological jobs. She wanted to fix gender gaps.

"Technology is a space that dominates men. Why do we have to leave the guys?" he said. "I think girls need the opportunity."

Now, from school to summer, boys and girls aged 10 to 17 have trained with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python and Scratch. Students experience poor neighborhoods or other challenging environments, such as orphanages, rectors, and Boko Haram escaped.

"You can still find diamonds in these places," said Ajayi-Akinfolarin. "They have to show another life".

In this way, its program is to visit students' technology companies, when it comes to explaining the technologies that can make technology, but it helps them to enter the industry.

Okpoe, for one, has taken that heart. He created the Makoko Fresh application, this summer he went straight to the market for fishermen selling their father to sell to their customers directly. He wants to become a software engineer and he expects to learn computer science at Harvard.

"There is something that my wife wants to keep up with, where they come from, they can do it," he said. "They are coders, thinkers. The future is bright."

The CNN talked about Ajayi-Akinfolarin about his work. Below is an edited version of the conversation.

CNN: How did you know the love of your computers?

Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin: Life grew tough for me. When my mother was 4 years old, (father) after beating my dad, life was crazy. I learned to defend myself.

My first experience with a computer at the age of 10, during a break in school, in a business center run by a friend of my brother. Learning to change and write Microsoft Word text was great. But computers found my love when I joined a computer as a high school institute. When I entered the computer programming world, it was a natural thing with him. He was doing the results It is capable of solving problems. I never even learned to find solutions to the problems of privileged girls.

CNN: Is not there a problem with your heart program?

Ajayi-Akinfolarin: That's GirlsCoding. We also want girls to be leaders and change agents. We encode a goal, so try to solve problems related to what they see.

For example, a project that I like is called Hope Saskies. The girls wanted to go scapegoat through the streets, so it was a bridge between the rich and the poor. Someone wanted to declare a house and make calls. Then they take what they are taking away: food, clothing, educational materials, and needs.

We have another project called Break the Blade, about stopping female genital mutilation. These girls think they are very ignorant and want to be an ambassador in this matter. In the end, they want to have a bracelet band, press a button and call local FGM authorities.

Because they can create problem solutions, they feel bold. It's no longer coding.

CNN: What do you expect in the future?

Ajayi-Akinfolarin: Right now, we are spreading in different nations of Nigeria. One day, we also expect the "Girls Village" organization. All types of training for young girls would be given. We also work on and elaborate on ideas for how to solve problems in their community. You can call a larger version we are currently doing.

CNN: This profession has given you a growing industry career.

Ajayi-Akinfolarin: We want to be the creators of girls technology, not mere users. Reading the written code is beautiful. Many of them did not touch the computer before they ever arrived. It's the matter. Poor in their faces, it's more than money. I can not buy

Want to get involved? Check it out The Pearls Africa Foundation website and see how to help.

To donate to the Pearls Africa Foundation, click on the CrowdRise widget below.

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