Technology skills are changing the lives of these girls

Grace Raymond and Leonia Paul took part in the Skills for Their Future programme at Temeke secondary School in Tanzania (Theirworld/Imani Nsamila)

To mark International Day of Girls in ICT on April 27, our new film shows how Theirworld’s Skills for Their Future programme is helping girls in Tanzania prepare for technology careers

Leonia Paul, a schoolgirl from Tanzania, was excited to take part in a pilot for Theirworld’s Skills for Their Future programme in 2021. She wanted to learn information technology skills such as graphic design, databases and coding.

Leonia said at the time: “I wish to use these skills to help my society. I want to be good in coding, especially in making websites.”

Two years on and that programme – run in partnership with BRAC Maendeleo Tanzania – has changed the course of 18-year-old Leonia’s life. With her heart set on a technology career, she finished school and went on to study for a certificate in computer systems and IT.

Leonia said: “Technology is becoming widespread. It’s made me have a good CV. My plan is being a good web software developer and a good programmer.”

To mark International Day of Girls in ICT (information and communications technology) on April 27, Theirworld visited Leonia and fellow Skills for Their Future graduate Grace Raymond to find out how they’re progressing.

Watch our film

The gender divide in many sub-Saharan African countries means too few girls are taking STEM subjects and less than a third of science researchers are women.

Theirworld is helping to narrow the gap through the Skills for Their Future programme, which teaches technology skills and entrepreneurship to girls in several countries. Run in partnership with local organisations like BRAC Maendeleo Tanzania, it helps girls build careers in technology.

Leonia and Grace completed the course at Temeke Secondary School in Dar es Salaam.


Of girls enrolled in higher education in sub-Saharan African countries study information and computer technology

After finishing the Skills for Their Future programme, both enrolled in a separate three-month boot camp, where they learned coding, graphics, video editing and entrepreneurship skills. Another programme expanded their skills in web development and technology entrepreneurship.

Grace, 18, said the Skills for Their Future programme helped her “so much”. She added: “Now I’m studying at university to become a database administrator. My family are so, so proud of me.”

Leonia said at the beginning of the programme she didn’t even know to open or shut down a computer. She added: “But as the days went by, I got more skilled.

"Leonia does not want to study anything other than technology.”

Grace Raymond, Skills for Their Future graduate

“My family has benefited because my sisters came to me so that I can teach them about computers, because when they are going to university they should have some computer skills.”

Lemmy Lucian, ICT Officer at BRAC Maendeleo Tanzania, said: “I feel proud to be part of a team that unlocks changes for the young generation in exploring technology opportunities.”

Skills for Their Future is made possible by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Learn more about Skills for Their Future