Girls in refugee camps empowered through coding

As part of the International Day of the Girl Child, the UN Women gave an impact overview of the project which empowers young girls, currently in refugee camp in Kenya, through computer coding. This initiative is a part of a regional program ‘Women’s Leadership, Empowerment, Access and Protection in Crisis Response’ (LEAP). The Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya has over 186,000 residents, including young girls. Some of them are given the opportunity to learn computer programming at the Angelina Jolie Primary School, the only boarding school in the camp. Girls noted facing gender stereotypes, nevertheless along with other classmates they have learned to design websites, computer games, and free online programming language. The school’s ICT hub has 30 members in total. Three girls, Umohoza, Nyamam, and Mumina, have coded a computer game and have plans to create an app which would teach other girls in rural areas how to code. Umohoza sees technology as a way to solve problems in her community: ‘If we can use technology to teach English, even if the girls are not going to school, that would help them’. This UN project aims to empower women in the camp and other host communities with ‘livelihood and leadership skills’. It also includes advocacy efforts to prevent violence against women and girls, and improve girls’ access to technology.