First Girls’ Code Camp takes off in Ghana.

A new dawn breaks on the continent of Africa with the promise of revolutionizing the future of its women. About fifty girls from various sections of the capital city of Ghana converge at the Methodist University College Campus in Dansoman to immerse themselves in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, what will become the first girls’ code camp in Ghana spearheaded by STEMBees.
The five-day residential camp treats the young ladies to various challenging and inspiring sections in computer programing, engineering and basic technology experiments with the intent to expose them to the fascinating world of Science and Technology. The idea here is to dispel the myths that the extreme difficulties of science and its associated female-unfriendliness. This notion has plagued the continent for several decades leaching away the priceless human resource particularly among women. “It is our hope to dispel all such myths and give these girls the opportunity to experience first-hand, the fascinating world of science, hopefully, they may have a different perspective when they step out of the camp to their schools”, added Ms. Linda Ansong, one of the directors of STEMBees organization, Ghana. Ms. Ansong is an alumina of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology where she obtained her degree in Actuarial Science, continued to the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology and currently a co-founder at Vestracker, a software startup in the heart of Accra.

“I think it’s very important to get more women into computing. My slogan is: Computing is too important to be left to men.— Karen Spärck Jones, Professor of Computers and Information at Cambridge Computer Laboratory

The morning of the first day got them immersed in code. They were introduced to basic web development for the tech section. Every girl in the camp built her first webpage (our own version of “Hello World!”). After a much needed rest in the afternoon the fun continued as the damsels got elbow deep in all kinds of tech/engineering experiments playing with basic circuit boards and other experiments from the MakeyMakey, Lily Pads and CanaKit Projects.

I have learnt how to create a website and also how to walk. This little knowledge has changed the way I see myself and I feel more confident and positive about myself now. I hope to build more websites and make some money in future”- Silvia Oppon

An empowerment night consisting of two sessions of personal branding and public grooming was scheduled for the girls on the first evening. A professional model was invited to take them through the public grooming and she touched on the proper way to walk, sit in public, table manners among other essential social skills. The core of the evening empowerment session dealt with identifying their talents and being proud of what they can do as that will be the source of their confidence, an essential, if not the most essential thing they needed, to progress in life.
“I have learnt how to create a website and also how to walk. This little knowledge has changed the way I see myself and I feel more confident and positive about myself now. I hope to build more websites and make some money in future” says, 14-year old Silvia Oppon from St. Mary’s RC Basic School, Korle-Gono. She hopes to be a medical doctor and an entrepreneur.
The event caught the attention of the editor of the Tuesday 6th January edition of The Ghanaian Times.
With the able partnership of DevCongress, WeTech, Centerlink, Liberty Professionals, and Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) the five-day camp will prove to be the life transforming camp it is intended to be.