A Ghanaian non-profit organisation, Achievers is making strides in changing the disproportionate gender figures in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) learning, by raising awareness on empowering and encouraging girls in slums to consider studies and careers in ICTs through its Achievers Girls in ICT initiative.
The organisation is teaching girls coding programmes to prepare them for careers in the technology industry. According to the organisation, over 80 girls are enrolled for the ICT and Coding program and the girls are tutored twice in a week.
The organisation, Achievers, whose mission is to provide, “Education for all girls in slums in Ghana” was co-founded in 2011 by a young girl called Amina Ismail Daru, who was forced into marriage at the age of 12. According to their website, the organisation was set up, “to help prevent similar situations to be suffered by other young girls in the community,” and currently supports over 200 girls and provides educational scholarships.
The initiative faces a number of challenges, “Resources are hard to come by – so most of the class is taught on paper. Electricity is also a problem, as there are regular blackouts. There are a couple of laptops, which the girls crowd around to practise their skills,” the BBC reports.
Despite the challenges, the coding program remains popular with the learners and the girls are willing to study and learn more, according to the tutors.
It’s well-documented that there is a stark gender and racial imbalance in the global tech industry. Women are under-represented in technology companies and initiatives such as Ghana’s Achievers project aims to educate girls to change the disproportionate figures and attitudes which deny girls educational opportunities.