[Kictanet] Career Workshop for High School Girls

Dorcas Muthoni dmuthoni at kenet.or.ke
Fri Sep 2 16:44:48 EAT 2005

On September 10, 2005 starting 9.30 a.m, members of LinuxChix Africa  
(www.africalinuxchix.org) who live in Kenya will to hold a Career 
Workshop for High School girls to encourage them to pursue careers in 

We believe that computing as a whole and Free and Open Source 
Software(FOSS) in particular, can play a significant role in empowering 
women. The copyleft nature of FOSS helps programmers to learn from 
programs or modify them so that they build on the innovations of others 
rather than re-invent the wheel: Great achievements can only be made by 
standing on the shoulders of giants.

However, IT innovations and the opportunities are ineffectual if people 
are un-aware of them. The lack of awareness goes a long way in 
explaining the notable dearth of women in the IT industry in Kenya. A 
situation, that exists inspite of the fact that they achieve as well as 
the boys in pre-university examinations. Due to lack of access to 
information about the opportunities in the ICT field, girls who do well 
in their O-Levels often opt for other disciplines. The purpose of this 
workshop is to provide them with information on computing and also 
answer their questions regarding computing as a career.

The team is composed of former and current Computer Science students and 
other players in the computing industry. Keynote speakers will comprise 
luminaries from various IT displines. We shall have women system 
administrators, system analysts, developers, academics, entreprenuers, 
CTOs and other computer scientists. The focus on women keynote speakers 
is a deliberate move that aimed at demonstrating success in the IT 
industry is not impeded by one's gender. It is hoped that the speakers 
will inspire and serve as role models to the girls.

We expect up to 450 students to attend. The event will be held at the 
Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Jubilee Hall Auditorium in 
collaboration with their Computer Science Department.

Although this event is in commemoration of the Software Freedom Day, the 
team intends to build on the gains of the day by setting up Linuxchix 
Africa affliated clubs in the schools in order spread the spirit of 
opensisterhood in computing.

In the afternoon starting *2.00 p.m*, we shall have discussion tables 
where industry players can freely interact with the students in order to 
share their experiences and inspirations. All are welcome.

We shall distribute CDs and leaflets to the girls which they will be 
able to carry and share with others.

This event will happen with support from Catholic University of Eastern 
Africa, KENIC, KICTANET and CATIA. We applaud them for their kindness.

Thanks and regards,
Dorcas Muthoni
Team Leader
Cofounder LinuxChix Africa
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