Launch of Innovative Code Clubs for Girls

Photos by Theirworld/Adriane Ohanesian.

This International Women’s Day, businesses are demonstrating how they can use their core assets to close the gender gap in technology by #RewritingTheCode. Through an innovative pilot project launched by GBC-Education partner charity Theirworld, girls and women in Africa are presented with a unique opportunity to learn vital technology skills in a safe space.

Working with GBC-Education member Kano and #smartinvestment Network members Codecademy and Africa Gathering, this pilot is setting up Code Clubs designed to empower girls with technology through creativity and learning. The clubs will run once a week after school for six months. During this time, girls will be taught how to code online with the support of a trained teacher and mentor.  Girls will build, learn and create in a safe environment through technology and coding. The Code Clubs, the first of which is being funded by Facebook, are initially being launched in Kenya, Uganda and Senegal and will expand to three more countries later this year.

Sarah Brown, Executive Chair of GBC-Education, shares the excitement around this launch: “With a safe space to learn and play, a mentor to inspire, and access to technology to be able to explore, create, and code we can increase learning opportunities and empower girls to fulfill their potential.”

This exciting partnership between Kano, Codecademy and Africa Gathering demonstrates how innovative collaborations can effect change for girls. Kano is providing the technology to power the hubs with its DIY computers which are low-cost, easily transportable and usable in contexts where connectivity is low; Codecademy is providing the course and skills base; and Africa Gathering will ensure that implementation is carried out effectively on the ground.

Yonatan Raz-Fridman, co-founder and President of Kano, urges others in the private sector to take action to help to empower girls and provide them with 21st century skills necessary for today’s workforce: “If we want to bridge the education divide that prevents 63 million girls around the world from accessing education, more leaders, especially those from the private sector, need to step up. I’m proud to lead Kano’s work to empower girls with technology through new Code Clubs launched in partnership with Theirworld.” 

GBC-Education brings together companies through its Girls’ Education Task Force, focusing on closing the gender divide in education and working towards improving education for the 31 million primary school age girls out-of-school girls across the globe. 

This announcement coincides with a new campaign launched by Theirworld called #RewritingTheCode. The campaign aims to raise awareness about the prejudice girls face globally, making this the moment we change gender stereotypes and discriminatory values for a generation of young women.

Learn more about the #RewritingTheCode campaign.