International Day of the Girl 2018

Girls in a computers class at Lunjika Adventist Secondary School. A Skilled GirlForce

In 2011, as the result of youth advocacy around the world, the United Nations declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. Its mission is “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” It’s a day when all stakeholders come together under the same goal to highlight, discuss, and act to advance rights and opportunities for girls everywhere.

This year, the day is commemorated under the theme, With Her: A Skilled GirlForce, a great opportunity to address the gender divide in access to digital skills.  The Day of the Girl marks the beginning of a year-long effort to bring together partners and stakeholders to highlight, advocate for and invest in girls’ most pressing needs and opportunities to attain skills for employability. Digital skills are of immense importance in day-to-day life.  Over 90% of jobs worldwide already require digital skills according to the International Telecommunication Union, and most jobs will soon require sophisticated digital skills.  We recognize that girls continue to face a technology gap that prevents them from accessing, using and creating digital tools at the same level as boys. Without equal access to technology and the internet, it is challenging for girls to be able to participate in the digital societies and the global community on an equal basis.

Today we reminisce on our collective efforts with our partners The Turing Trust in the work we are doing of bringing ICT Skills in Northern Malawi. Most importantly we recognize;

  • Improving ICT skills in Malawi Project: With the overall aim of ensuring that every student has the opportunity to get the digital skills they need to make the most of the digital world. Through the project we are;
    • Creating IT labs in schools with donated IT equipment and each school receives around 20 computers which are loaded with our offline e-library software.
    • Supplying maintenance and training to schools, and
    • Providing training for teachers and headteachers on how to use e-learning resources in lessons, computer maintenance and troubleshooting, and how to get the most from our e-library.
  • Solarberry: A self-financing, community-owned, off-grid computer laboratory powered by solar energy and delivering educational resources with low energy raspberry pi computers intended for use by the local schools who will be able to offer Computer Studies as a subject for the first time and also by the community who will be able to access digital skills, IT resources, but also use the excess energy generated to recharge small electrical devices such as mobile phones and lamps.

We look back and recommit ourselves to the mission of providing technology-enabled education for all. If we can all do our part in providing digital skills to girls, we will ensure girls thrive on the job market.

If you would like to get involved in the work that we do, please do get in touch info@cydmalawi.org