Technology Skills for Women in Uganda: 2019 WITU Project
WITU Empowers Women to Learn Technical Skills
74% of Ugandans between the ages of 15-25 are unemployed. The majority of them are young women who have either dropped out of school due to poverty or lack digital skills for better jobs because public schools do not use technology for instruction and learning. Women in Technology Uganda (WITU)’s mission is to support technology skills for women in Uganda, empowering them to become leading innovative technologists and entrepreneurs of Uganda.
Collaboration with Corporate Partner Cadence Design Systems
In October 2019, Cadence Design Systems sponsored a Team4Tech project. Cadence employee volunteers helped launch the first community-based makerspace in Uganda with WITU. The Cadence Team4Tech team provided maker equipment (3D printer and Micro Bits). They also improved capacity for WITU’s staff to train even more young women with technology skills. The goal of the makerspace is to provide a space of empowerment – where young women and girls can innovate, learn collaboratively, and co-create to build solutions for their communities.
- 109 young women gained introductions to the makerspace technologies
- 105 young women received training in entrepreneurship and business in tech (10 of them have started a new business and 15 of them have already seen improvements in their existing businesses)
- 101 young people engaged in a hackathon
- 101 beneficiaries engaged in an online business clinic event (remote due to COVID-19)
- 56 beneficiaries trained in 3D printing
- 43 beneficiaries trained in Micro Bit
Students Empowered: Ruth and Harriet
Additionally, Ruth and Harriet served as ambassadors for this project:
Ruth always had an interest in programming but even at the university level, Ugandan students barely incur real, applicable skills. However, Ruth was able to learn how to code through WITU’s makerspace program. She even applied her skills to create her own website. She uses her website to teach others how to code. Moreover, her website has garnered the interest of even more young people to join WITU and get additional IT training.
Harriet was one of the women directly trained by the Cadence team in the use of 3D printing and Micro Bit. Harriet has always had a great interest in technology and immediately latched onto the practicality of both technologies after the workshops. Since last year, she has remained at WITU as a volunteer under the makerspace program to train others. Harriet works tirelessly to interest young people in these technologies since, through the simple application of them, they are able to make an extra shilling.
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