This Christmas we are supporting girls’ access to technology

December 17, 2019 at 15:31

This year we wanted to do something special instead of traditional customer holiday greetings. We donated EUR 10,000 to support technology education for girls in low-income countries. Girls in low-income countries face many obstacles and prejudices in the field of technological development. Read how our donation can help improve the lives and livelihoods of girls in countries such as Uganda..

A coder from a home with no electricity

Fiona, a 19-year-old from Uganda, lives with her single mother about 10 kilometres from the nearest town. The farm she lives on has no electricity, so Fiona charges her smartphone in town.

I’ve always been interested in technology. The boys always ask me if I’ve ever heard of a woman with a successful career in technology. Even the person who developed Facebook is a man!

Such belittling comments could not keep Fiona down. Whenever she had access to the internet, she downloaded information about computers and programming. Fiona got to participate in Plan International’s Smartup Factory training programme and has now coded two apps. One is focused on offering safe motorcycle rides, the other improves home safety by turning on lights with sensors.

I want to be the best coder in the world! I want people to come to me for advice.

The world is rapidly becoming more digital, but technological development is not equal everywhere. Instead, it seems that the digital gap between genders is only increasing.

In developing countries, girls face many obstacles when it comes to accessing technology. If a family can only afford one smartphone, it is usually given to the man in the family. Providing girls access to technology would be important for the countries’ financial development as well.

Fiona is now teaching robotics and coding and acting as a mentor to other young Smartup participants. She is an example of how Smartup Factory opens up possibilities for young women in technology.

Smartup Factory is Plan International’s project that focuses on improving the lives and livelihoods of young people. The work is conducted in innovation centres where young people learn technology, entrepreneurship and life skills.

Read more about Plan International and their projects:

This Christmas Nixu is supporting girl's access to technology