Girls Got IT shows 400 Lebanese students the path to technology
Some of the students and speakers at the Girls Got IT event
The first Girls Got IT event in Lebanon was such a huge success that the organisers have promised to hold it every year.
More than 400 students from public and private schools attended and several of A World at School’s Global Youth Ambassadors were among the volunteers who helped to make the day go smoothly.
The successful event was held just days after a Women Empowerment Night in Lebanon heard about the #RewritingTheCode campaign launched by Theirworld, the children’s charity behind A World at School. The aim is to change the embedded values that keep 63 million girls around the world out of school.
GIRLS GOT IT EVENT
Held at the Dbayeh Convention Center on March 12, it was organised by five women’s groups, including the Digital Opportunity Trust – a partner of Theirworld.
The theme was empowering girls to get into technology through school and university. There were 21 workshops focused on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and design, and Mathematics).
They included hands-on training sessions in mobile and web development, 3D printing, gaming and graphic design, renewable energy and robotics.
Global Youth Ambassador Rozanna El Eid was one of those volunteering. She said: “During the first part of the event, speakers addressed the girls as innovators, as future leaders in the field of engineering and as individuals capable of making a difference in society.
“I could really sense the excitement amongst the girls. Many of them were surprised by the successful examples of women in engineering fields that were given by the speakers.”
The 10th and 11th-grade students clapped and cheered the speakers and moved on into the workshops section of the event inspired and energised.
Rozanna said:”I toured most of the stations and rather than seeing a bunch of uninterested teenagers, I saw young girls actively engaging with the instructor, taking notes, asking questions and intensely working on practical, hands-on projects.
“I came out of this event having learned how such an intervention in one day can change the entire career path of a young girl.
“All these girls need is a chance, an opportunity to get to know how much the world has evolved and how many different career paths there are at their feet.
“I hope this becomes an annual event and grows bigger to encompass all high schools across Lebanon.”
The event was organised by the Lebanese League for Women in Business, Arab Women in Computing Lebanon Chapter, IEEE Women in Engineering Affinity Group – Lebanon Section, Women in IT and Digital Opportunity Trust.
Girls Got IT founding member Mona Itani wrote in a blog published yesterday: “We promised the girls and the attending guests that the Girls Got IT would be an annual event and would only become better year after year.”
WOMEN EMPOWERMENT NIGHT
#RewritingTheCode campaign is explained at the event in Beirut Picture: Facebook/MKS Room
This event was organised by Make Sense, which connects social entrepreneurs with people ready to take up their challenges.
Four women panellists included Beirut-based writer and photographer Tabitha Ross, who has worked with A World at School.
This pilot project, which will spread to three more countries, allows vulnerable girls and young women to get a unique chance to learn vital technology skills in a safe space.