IN an effort to assist women in taking up positions in technology and solutions-based coding and problem-solving, Trifinity Solutions Inc. recently teamed up with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) to host its inaugural “Code-Her” workshop at the University of Guyana and via Zoom.
The Code-Her project came to an end following one month of activities, including the hybrid workshop, a virtual stakeholders’ engagement forum, and the launching of a web development workbook.
The workshop, attended by 30 in-person participants and more than 120 young women on Zoom, enabled Trifinity, a digital media agency, to showcase its passion for creating more opportunities for girls to ‘code’ and to empower women.
“We believe that it is important for women to take up positions in technology and solutions-based coding and problem-solving. As such, we sought to improve training, skill development, and access to digital education in Guyana for women and girls between the ages of 12-25,” explained System Developer at Trifinity Solutions, Samantha Sheoprashad.
“One of the biggest challenges in Guyana is to eliminate gender-based discrimination in access to resources and opportunities and to promote a supportive family and community empowerment for our women,” she continued. The project was funded by COL, which focuses on empowering people through learning.
Sheoprashad said the team of skilled Information Technology professionals and civil society leaders leveraged their collective skills and passions to provide Guyanese girls with introductory coding skills and to introduce them to a world of endless possibilities through the World Wide Web.
While participants were largely from Georgetown, the programme also facilitated young women from Regions Two, Three, Six, Nine and 10 who were able to gain an understanding of how to code and its relevance to the world. They also learned how to work together towards a common goal, how to write their own code, and acquire new technical skills that they can take back into their community and discover opportunities outside their own field.
“Participating in this workshop was more than just getting a certificate at the end. It was about gender equality and the role women can potentially play in sustainable technological solutions to global issues,” Sheoprashad pointed out, adding: “Our future plan is to look at expanding the programme throughout the country and creating a more robust curriculum that will introduce computer programming and coding for girls at different ages.”
A Web Development Workbook has since been launched which will be able to teach other young people about some of the topics that were discussed at the workshop.
“This means that a young woman in Lethem, Anna Regina, or even the Corentyne can pick up this handbook and be able to learn introductory coding skills. Gender Equality in coding and technology can only be achieved if we make knowledge more accessible to our women and girls,” Sheoprashad offered.
At this point, she said they are hoping to develop more programmes to continue building coding and leadership skills. “We are happy that these young women had fun learning about coding and software development. The team is grateful for the impact amassed and we look forward to partnering with other civil society and private sector organisations to provide more opportunities like this in the future.”