So much happening now!
The Geek Girls 2015 Festival happens next weekend (April 25) hosted by the fabulous Akirachix and we have 3 really special attendees making the trip from central Kenya, Kiambu county, Kikuyu consitutency. A tiny place called Kamangu where the biggest problems, aside from health and basic water & food supplies, is connectivity. If you're lucky enough to own a reasonable text-only phone and can reach Facebook's basic message platform, your next problem is getting enough airtime, affording airtime (sometimes over food). Your next NEXT problem, the one that eclipses all others, is having enough charge on your old phone to stay in touch.
You know that feeling when you're mid-conversation and your battery dies and you're out, you're nowhere near your car - sheesh - these amazing folks don't have cars!?? But they are learning to code!
We're setting up the first code club in rural Kenya. We're still negotiating but it will either be in an existing internet cafe, or a new one or the local Girls School ... either way it will happen. Heading the campaign is a force to be reckoned with. Irene.
One of the strongest women I know. She's been through more than you'd ever wish on a person and you know that phrase: "whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger" - she takes it to the next level!
Once the event is over the girls start to learn code. They will go to a local internet cafe, bump the gamers out the booths and log in to Udacity or Coursera or any one of the Ivy League US colleges now offering free online courses in every aspect of coding, from introductions to the basics, to deep machine learning with GPU's.
With just a few shillings these girls can learn to code and teach others to learn to code, or even just to access more vital information.
Irene and her daughter and niece will go to Nairobi next week and mingle will some of Nairobi's tech crowd, and industry experts, bridging the gap between tech and those that REALLY need it most. Tech can literally save lives. Tech can definitely change lives. Tech is enabling progress. But what if there's no electricity?
"Only 19% of the population of Kenya have access to electricity which means 34 million people are living without power. 92% of rural households rely on kerosene for lighting but it is expensive, unhealthy and takes up a huge proportion of family budgets".
Because girls are so good at multitasking the Tekkie Three will also become agents for SolarAid's Sunny Money startup, distributing solar lamps that have the capability to charge phones freely. They'll be eradicating kerosene from their own homes - and the fumes from their lungs - and enabling others to do so too.
All in a days work x
If you'd like to help then a small donation in western currency goes a long long way.
SolarAid's country report gives incredible results that you can help improve even further:
£3 pays for hours of mobile airtime
£10 pays for hours of internet time spent learning to code
£20 pays for a Mobile Sunking
Any contribution will enable others to prosper. Simply click the donate button top left of the website if you can help.