Press Release

Press release - Voith and Theirworld launch Code Clubs in Tanzania (October 19, 2017)

Vulnerable girls and young women in Tanzania are being given a unique chance to learn vital coding and technology skills.

VOITH AND THEIRWORLD JOIN FORCES TO LAUNCH  INNOVATIVE CODE CLUBS FOR GIRLS IN TANZANIA

EMBARGOED 00:01 THURSDAY 19 OCTOBER 2017

Vulnerable girls and young women in Tanzania are being given a unique chance to learn vital coding and technology skills in a safe space through a low-cost, innovative pilot project - Code Clubs, launched by Voith and children’s charity Theirworld.

Code Clubs in Tanzania are being launched during Africa Code Week. It is estimated that over the next 25 years, Africa’s working-age population will double to one billion, exceeding that of China and India. In the meantime, the digital skills gap is widening: while coding has the power to put millions of young Africans on the path to successful careers and empower them to build sustainable growth, companies in Africa are struggling to hire enough qualified IT talent.

These clubs will help girls and young women develop vital communications and leadership skills, and learn technical coding skills that prepares them for entry into an expanding tech sector across Africa.

Sarah Brown, President of Theirworld added, “We know that investing in a girl has social and economic returns that go beyond her, extending not only to her family and future children, but also to her community. Engaging the private sector and mobilising its resources are key to scaling these approaches to as many girls and young women as possible.”

Despite thousands of jobs being created in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) industries across Africa- gender discrimination and lack of access to education and technology means girls are often kept out of the work force and unable to break the cycle of poverty. On average, women make up less than 30% of the people working in STEM.

The Clubs are located in Dar es Salaam within the Temeke district where many girls have dropped out of school and the risk of teenage pregnancy is high. Code Clubs provide a safe space for girls to learn coding, foster their creative thinking and increase important business and health-related knowledge and skills to help transform lives.

“This innovative initiative for education will help girls and young women to learn technical coding and develop vital communications and leadership skills, which prepare them for entering the expanding technology sector across Africa. We are proud to support this,” says Hubert Lienhard, President and CEO of Voith Gmbh & Co. KGaA. He explains that social involvement and innovative spirit have been part of Voith’s history ever since. In the150th anniversary year of the company, many of the 19,000 Voith employees around the globe participated in sporting events such as running or cycling and every kilometer achieved by the Voith employees was then transferred into euros for a total donation in an amount of 150.000 EUR to the Theirworld organization.

Girls aged 11-25 years learn how to build a computer, make games and artworks and express themselves with code. The older girls also learn how to create their own websites using HTML, CSS & Java as well as gain skills for future employment and business. All girls are provided with a healthy snack.

The new Voith Code Clubs in Tanzania will expand and complement Theirworld’s existing Code Clubs in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, contributing to a higher amount of women working in the area of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

ENDS:

For interviews please contact Jessica Bryant on [email protected]

Notes to Editors:

  • Code Clubs run once a week in nine month cycles. Girls will be taught a bespoke programme of online coding content by a trained teacher, and given access to numeracy, literacy, art and music to support their formal education. The Kano computer kits used in the clubs are low-cost, easily transportable, can be rebuilt multiple times and are highly applicable in countries where connectivity is low.

  • About Theirworld: Theirworld is a children’s charity that believes all children everywhere deserve the best start in life. We work for a future where all children are born safely, have a quality education and the chance to change the world. For more information go to www.theirworld.org
  • About Voith: For 150 years, Voith’s technologies have been inspiring customers, business partners and employees around the world. Founded in 1867, Voith today has around 19,000 employees, sales of €4.3 billion and locations in more than 60 countries worldwide and is thus one of the largest family-owned companies in Europe. Being a technology leader, Voith sets standards in the markets of energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transport & automotive. In addition to its work with Theirworld and GBC-Education, Voith is supporting local social initiatives of its employees. The 150 Good Causes are local projects supporting schools, education and science, social matters, sports and culture.
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