Why these Kenyan girls love Code Club and their computer kits
Students at Kibera School for Girls build their kit computers Pictures: Theirworld/Adriane Ohanesian
The looks on the faces of the students at Kibera School for Girls told their own story.
Curiosity turned to concentration and then excitement as they opened and constructed their kit computers – giving them the chance to learn vital technology skills in a safe space.
The school was the setting for the launch of the first Code Clubs for girls by Theirworld, the charity behind A World at School.
Code Clubs will start in Kenya, Senegal and Uganda and then be extended to three other African countries. Theirworld is working in partnership with Kano, Codeacademy and Africa Gathering – and the Kenyan club is a project with SHOFCO (Shining Hope For Communities), which founded and runs the Kibera School for Girls.
Thousands of jobs are being created in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) industries across Africa. But gender discrimination, lack of access to education and technology means girls are kept out of the workforce and unable to break the cycle of poverty. That’s where Code Clubs can help to reverse the prejudice against girls.
We asked three 11-year-olds at the school what they thought about Code Club and their kit computers.
At the Code Club we opened the computers and we saw the machines we are going to use to make a computer and I am happy to fix a computer.
I thought that when I opened the box I would find a complete computer but I found machines and it’s like a tricky game to fix them and then you get a computer.
I think it is important for girls to know how to use computers because girls when they want to send a letter to someone who is far they don’t have to write it down and send it, they can write in the computer and send it to that person.
I want to type letters to my friends and can also have a dictionary in the computer if I do not understand a word I can look into my computer.
Girls should learn how to use computers because what boys can do girls can do better
I think it’s not right that when girls are denied their chance to go to school because everyone needs to have his or her own knowledge so they can know how to control their lives.
My favourite subject at school is Kiswahili because it teaches me about the language of Kenya and it is also helping me because when I grow up I want to be a journalist and communicate to the people of Kenya in Kiswahili.
Kitu chochote wavulana wanaeza fanya, wasichana wanaeza fanya zaidi. (Anything boys can do, girls can do better).
It is important to educate girls because in some communities they don’t allow any girls to speak, only they allow boys and men. And also it is important to educate a girl, because a girl is the future leader of tomorrow.
I hope to help girls from other countries and to educate them, because they can help other people in Kenya and help other people in other countries.
My favourite thing about the Kibera School for Girls is that we learn different things and different ideas, and we also have loving teachers that we can tell anything in times of troubles and in times of need.
When I don’t understand anything I can ask them and they can help me with the sum. Also if I have any personal problem I can tell them and they can help me solve it.
The mentorship programme at the school is about leadership and it encourages us to be leaders like our mentors. We have mentors so that they can support us and we can be great leaders like them.
I am excited to know about computers and know more about computers and how computers can help us. Computers are important because we can use it in research when we don’t understand our homework and we don’t have a dictionary, we can google and get the answer.
At the Code Club I would like to make a story and songs. I like gospel music, I would like to sing about our country, about myself and our school. I would like people to know what we do in our school and how I am unique in my own way.
In school we learn about maths, science, language, composition, interactive. My favourite is maths because our teacher teaches us until we understand. We are learning about fractions.
Learning maths is important because it will help you to be what you want to be in future. You can be a banker and be a shopkeeper and return change.
When I grow up I want to be a nurse or a nun. A nurse takes care of the sick people in the hospital and a nun helps the needy or the orphans.
I want to help people so that I can be known, like people knowing me from different places and people in other countries.
Kibera School is only for girls. We have free uniforms, we have free education and we have nice teachers who are kind. We have after-school teachers who are also kind.
It is important to educate girls more than boys because girls are more hard working. I am proud to be a girl because I am educated. Girls are the only one that will be mothers.