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Tech Needs Girls : The Begining!

techneedsgirls2How did this even happen? Well back in 2012, Regina Agyare posted something on the Ghana Developers Google groups and I complained about such programs always being in Accra and never held in Kumasi, so females over there do not have the same opportunities as those in Accra (don’t even get me started on the Northern part of Ghana).

Well, I guess my concern was heard, my friend and mate Charisma Naa-Achere Buxton replied and supported what I said. Ato Ulzen-Appiah and Bobby Okine (co-founder of mfriday) told me to organize one in Kumasi, and they will fully support me. Regina Agyare also replied and said I should go on, they will all support me, but guess what? I chickened about and kept postponing it because I felt I wasn’t ready.

My friend, Christopher Amanor urged me to go on and talk to mfriday about organizing the program and he tried to make me feel more confident, deep down I wanted to but my nerves kept kicking in and taking over. So two weeks before Regina Agyare called me, I approached Charisma and asked her to join me in organizing a Girls in ICT event in Kumasi since we both have the same vision about females in ICT. Charisma agreed and we decided to set a date to talk to Bobby Okine about what we wanted to do and how we wanted it to be an mfriday initiative. We kind of delayed because of mid-sem exams and wanted to pick out the perfect time to do it.

Two weeks later, Regina Agyare called me, somewhere on the 15 of April 2013 to organize a Girls in ICT event on the 26th of April, since the Ministry had adapted that and set aside the 25th and 26th of April every year to celebrate Girls in ICT.I was really excited, this was the first time we were going to work together, and we were going to organize a program we all felt connnected to and really wanted to be a part of.

We started planning, I was able to secure the TechHub, and we wanted to train about 30 girls from SHS, but we had a problem with getting the schools on board. The schools were on vacation and we couldn’t organize the program without the students.
We therefore decided to postpone the event to the 1st of June, 2013. We had ample time thereof to look for sponsorship and make the program more productive as possible.

Regina and I worked closely together in getting things in order. We looked for sponsorship and a lot of people got interested in the initiative. Let me tell you, it was very difficult getting sponsorship, it was always go come, go come and Regina can tell you more about this since she was the one getting tossed about. hmmmm. But at the end of the day, we got some incredible organizations and media houses on board who were ready to ride with us and support the movement. We then changed the name to Tech Needs Girls to set it up as a more interactive workshop.

I approached 7 of my mates and told them about the workshop and how I would love them to be a part and mentor the ladies, they were jsut as excited and signed up right away.

Hannah Kumah, Charisma Buxton and I set out to visit 4 high schools in the hope of getting them to attend the workshop. We spent the whole day walking about Kumasi and being asked to wait for hours to talk to the Heads of the school (……St. Louis Secondary School, lol). We spoke to them about the initiative and movement and how we will love to have their school take part in the workshop.

Approaching the Headmasters was very easy and smooth, however the head misteresses were eeeei, *coughs* (Women, paaa,hmmm, I will leave it here). We were very tired and exhausted at the end of the trip, bus rides and taxi rides, pweeeew! But we bonded and kept going cuz we were doing it for a good cause. 🙂 . We visited Elite College, KNUST High School (didn’t meet the headmistress, which is even a whole blog on it’s own), St. Louis Secondary School (flexing be what? ), and Kumasi Anglican Secondary School ( a smooth one).

We felt fulfilled at the end of the day!

That however was just the begining. :). I had to follow up on the schools and update them on the workshop and to entice them with out sponsors list. After all that, some schools still *browned*, some assured us of comming and others just found everything negative with what we were doing (St……. , i won’t mention any names).

Other positive people like the US embassy called Regina and asked to get 15 of their students on board! We felt honored to have the US embassy on board and believe in what we were doing. 🙂

Well, that sums up getting the schools and ………………. , I will write more on my experience and how the program actually went :).

Thanks for reading,

Love,
Rashkeed.

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4 comments

  1. St. Louis. I know how you suffered. We (NSBE) tried to do something similar; an engineering/tech-y program for the students. It was hell. Sigh.

  2. Well done Sheeda . It was a great opportunity and thanks for getting the siano girls involved. Good job
    thumbs up

  3. The programme was very successful so i guess it was worth the trouble and struggles #techneedsgirls

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