Breaking the yoke of digital divide – Kilifi Girls

Kilifi Girls join the Techie space

Another story comes from our Kilifi, thirty girls all assembled by Moving the Goal Post Kilifi –Kenya, a girl based organization working towards empowering girls from the un-privileged Kilifi community. Girls with divergent views on what computers are and with an expectation to only learn how to type and how a computer is used for communication spent a week studying the computer technology. An introduction of the week’s curriculum by Jonathan Mativo (Project Manager -Kilifi Kids) leaves the girls lost of words with added expectations.

An overall goal to develop a local “TV Station” run by the girls does not seem to sink in well till day one is gone and the girls realize the power of imaging and videos in media work. A slow step by step facilitation leaves the girls with no other option other than to do it themselves as some of them start seeing themselves in a different way.” A TV station is just but a collection of video and image material from a community unit”, exclaims Mativo. With basic imaging and video equipment the girls will easily be in a position to collect lots of videos and images of what is happening in their community and arrange them in a timeline of about 30-45minutes. Every week the girls would then display their material “news” on a daily basis in the market centres.

Jonathan Mativo the trainer engages with the girls in training

This idea seems to augur well as the girls hurriedly group together and ideas start streaming on how to go about it.

This notwithstanding, a day three makes computers a relevant training for the girls as they start engaging the facilitators with more innovative ideas of improving their livelihoods. “I can start my small business for creating documents and saving data for people for future reference e.g. scanning their certificates, title deeds etc”. This idea leaves me with huge hope for the girls.

The digital divide has not taken cognisance of access of ICTs by women and girls as it has for years dwelled more on those that have access and those without, with no particular focus to this gender. A close scrutiny clearly shows that “educating a girl is like educating a whole society” and the same goes without saying that girls have the potential to even be more constructive when it comes to technology issues that require innovation.

ICT for Development Kenya, the facilitating agency runs an Innovation Incubation Center in rural Eastern Kenya that focuses on bringing together communities and individuals who otherwise would not have had an opportunity to have access to a place to develop their ideas. At the Center innovators are grouped by sector and their ideas given the weight they deserve. ICT4D Kenya is not only a computer/ mobile technology based organization but it is an organization that makes use of technology to intervene at different development sectors. “We nuture any type of idea to completion regardless of its nature for as long as it has a positive impact to the generator” says Mativo.

A call to all willing supporters both in-country or in the diaspora is made to re-awaken the giant and pull more girls out of poverty by embracing technology and supporting them to make use of it as an economic activity.

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