On 11th February the world marks International Day Of Women And Girls in Science. The United Nations declared this day for the empowerment of women and girls and in order to achieve equality in the science and technology world which is vital for the achievement of development goals. Akirachix is at the forefront in ensuring that girls and young women have the opportunity to venture into the male dominated tech world.
Akirachix was founded by four women, Angela Lungati, Judith Owigar, Linda Kamau and Marie Githinji who, being in the tech sphere themselves, realized its importance for the country’s future as well as how underrepresented women are in the sector. Akirachix came into being to help young women and girls discover the tech world and realize their potential in excelling in it.
Akirachix runs several programs to ensure that their vision of developing a successful force of women in science and technology becomes a reality. They have a technical training program where they pick about 30 young women from low income areas and take them through a one year intensive course teaching them about technology – programming, web design etc. – and other useful skills such as entrepreneurship. The young women also get a chance to be placed in different organisations to get a feel of how technology is implemented in the real working world. The training program not only introduces the young women to science and technology but also gives them the tools to attain financial independence and even self-employment.
Given that most students in Kenya decide on their future career paths while in high school, Akirachix runs a High School Outreach program to encourage female students to pursue careers in science and technology. It is always best to spark the interest in science and technology as early as possible. To this end, Akirachix has a kid’s camp that targets children from 7 to 13 years of age to expose them to technology.
Akirachix is all about creating a force of women in technology. They organize meetups, hacathons and Women in Tech Conferences to help build a network of women technologists who support each other in the male dominated field as well as nurture the next generation of women in science. The days of technology and science being a male dominated world are numbered.
Crossover Kenya had an opportunity to speak to Co-founder and Outreach Director Marie Githinji to find out more about Akirachix. We also spoke with one of their trainees Taspin, who spoke about her experiences with Akirachix and science and tech in general. Catch both of them by tuning in to our YouTube Channel to watch their interview.