In a bid to encourage more girls to take up ICT-related courses, TechWomen Rwanda, in association and GIZ (German International Corporation), teamed up with corporate companies to help girls sharpen their skills through mentorship and apprenticeship.
The programme is tailored to give girls opportunity to learn from a workplace under mentorship of experienced people. Under the programme, each girl is given a mentor within a participating company. Rwanda Development Board, Airtel Rwanda, Axiom Network are some of the companies that offered mentorship.
Naila Kirezi, a student of economics at University Of Kigali and Vanessa Umugwaneza a student at Mount Kenya Universty are some of the girls who got a chance to be part of this programme and received mentorship at Airtel Rwanda.
“The training was very helpful and I have seen how much IT is important in a telecom company; everything done there needs IT and almost everyone needs some background in IT so as to accomplish their tasks. The IT and network team is connected to every department and therefore it’s a very useful tool,” Kirezi said.
“We were taught about devices which make it possible for people to communicate via phones,” she added. She encouraged girls to take up ICT, saying it is an amazing course.
Umugwaneza thanked TechWomen for doing a wonderful job. “We girls need to be empowered to take up such courses now dominated by men. The training was really helpful; we got a clearer picture on ICT and also got a chance to get a picture of how things are done in other departments like marketing, finance,’ She said.
“Girls shouldn’t be intimidated by such courses like Math or Physics, because it is through the challenges faced in studying them that one’s mind is opened to become a greater thinker,” Umugwaneza added.
Angel Bisamaza, an ICT expert and an alumnus of the TechWomen Rwanda said: “the whole mentorship was about providing exposure to what happens in the real world in terms of opportunity as far as IT is concerned and with that, the girls would be able to know which type of career choices they would like to take once they have decided to move forward.”
Denise Umunyana, Airtel head of Corporate Communications and CSR said that company took part in the programme so as to share knowledge and expertise with the young girls. “We are glad to have participated in this mentorship programme and we pledge to do more and contribute to an experienced future workforce for Rwanda.”