As part of efforts to groom the next generation of female tech leaders in the South East, the BEMORE Summer Boot Camp 4 girls Naija moved the train to Owerri, the Imo State Capital as 50 girls drawn from different areas of the state were trained in basic digital skills.
In partnership with SeedDev, the girls were drilled on introduction to computer skills like the Microsoft tools, graphics design and basic software development using Scratch in a one-week training boot camp at the Owerri TechHub.
While speaking at the closing ceremony of the training, the Ondo State First Lady, Betty Ayanwu-Akeredolu expressed excitement that the training in ICT and solar technology which has benefited over 700 girls in Ondo State was being replicated in Imo State. She expressed optimism that the initiative would go a long way to improve opportunities for young girls to be better-equipped players in science and technology in Nigeria and the continent at large.
She congratulated the girls and encouraged them to build on the skills and knowledge that they have acquired during the training period. The First Lady who is the backbone behind the BEMORE initiative challenged the girls to explore various opportunities available in technology to solve societal problems in their different communities.
In a chat with the SeedDev Programs Manager for the Middle East and Africa, Watti Boaz, he expressed excitement that the quest for the not for profit to extend its outreach to different parts of the country is coming to fruition as the goal is to reach 1 million underserved kids by 2020. He emphasized that the training exercise was seamless, as well trained curators tutored the girls on the need to adequately participate in the digital revolution including the many possibilities of a career in technology.
Coordinator for the 2018 BEMORE Summer Boot Camp, Ijere Nkem added that the training equipped the girls with the necessary skills to fully participate in the development of the society.” For me, I believe that the most inspiring story of this program is having to expose young girls to the greater possibilities of life… the possibility of becoming more than some of them earlier dreamed of”, she added.
The Valedictorian of the training period, Odeh Victoria appreciated the Ondo State First Lady for her efforts and greatly commended the patience of the trainers especially the SeedDev curators for the patience and grit with which they taught the girls. “I want to be a doctor, but with what I have learnt during the boot camp, I think I can pursue a career in HealthTech—leveraging technology to solve different medical issues and pioneering next-generation solutions”, Victoria excitingly explained.
Another student, Onyeakagbusi Ivana, who before the boot camp hated computers explained that the experience has changed the way she views technology, as the basics were properly explained to them.
At the end of the event, the girls went home with Laptops courtesy of Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu and other partners/sponsors; hence, not only would the girls have an opportunity to continue to practice what they learnt during the training, the entrepreneurship part of the 1-week boot camp—arts, music, bead making, communication and leadership skills—means they have been holistically spurred to be a part of the development of the society.
In the words of the First Lady, partners in several other states are already asking “When will you bring this to our state?” and it would be societally beneficial to see more partnerships geared towards properly preparing young Nigerians to be a part of the technological development of the country.