Meet Lesarge Simpanoi

Mobile Developer, codeHive Class of 2020

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Lesarge Simpanoi, codeHive Class of 2020

Lesarge,25, hails from a village in Marsabit County nestled on the shores of the breathtaking Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya. But despite the beauty, the county didn’t offer much work opportunity for her Mother and Father.

At the age of four, Lesarge’s family moved south to the bustling Riftvalley town of Nakuru where her grandparents raised her while her mother worked in expansive flower farms to make a living.

“Mum worked most of the time, I only saw her once a week on Tuesday, which she spent cleaning and shopping for the house. …

Meet Phionah Ayinembabazi

Software Developer, codeHive Class of 2020

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Phionah Ayinembabazi, codeHive class of 2020

At Bright Future High School, in Kanungu, Uganda, Phionah was drawn to her Chemistry teacher’s smartphone and tablet. She was fascinated by what he was able to do with it. His ease of access to the internet for information and his navigation of applications intrigued her. She would ask him questions about how it operated and he would explain it to her. It was at that point she decided she wanted to be a software engineer.

It was also at this time she was introduced to the Girls Lead Africa club in school which she eventually led as President. …

Meet Wendy Orengo

Software Engineer, codeHive Class of 2020

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Wendy Orengo, codeHive Class of 2020

When Wendy, 20, completed her primary school education in 2015 in a private school in Nairobi, she was super excited to go to a boarding high school across the country. But to her shock and dismay, her mother couldn’t afford her high school education at her school of choice.

Her mother had closed a lucrative business in entertainment due to a change in her religious stance and opted to run a grocery store. The family income took a dip.

“It was the worst feeling ever. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t live my dreams because my parents didn’t have money,” Wendy recalls. …

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codeHive Class of 2020 during an Ask an Alumnus Zoom session with codeHive alumnus Joy Wahome class of 2019

At AkiraChix we genuinely believe in the age-old saying, “Each one, teach one,” which we sum up in our vision as #SheServes.

We believe that all the young women who graduate from our codeHive program need to give back to their communities in various ways. From building sustainable technology-driven solutions, to simply providing basic mentorship to others. This is all to break the cycle of poverty and bridge the gender gap in the technology sector.

Normally, through the year these driven young women, in the codeHive program, would have hob-knobbed with some of the greatest minds in the East African technology space, attended devthons and other workshops for young minds in the software development space. …

Meet Tracy Baraza

User Experience Designer, Inuua Tujenge, codeHive 2019 graduate

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Tracy Baraza, codeHive 2019 graduate

Growing up in Nairobi’s low-income neighbourhoods of Kaloleni and Makongeni, Tracy knew her only way out was through hard work. Her father passed away when she was young and her mother did the best she could raising money through casual labour to care for her five children.

Tracy and her siblings were in and out of school for most of their formative school years as Mum sought bursaries to ensure they completed their primary and high school education. Tracy studied her hardest in school despite these odds. …

Meet Regina Wanjiru

Telecommunication Technician, Fireside Communication Group, codeHive 2017 graduate

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Regina Wanjiru, codeHive 2017 graduate

“We are four sisters, so when anything was busted like the TV or radio, the four of us had to fix things when Mum went out to work odd jobs to make ends meet. I grew up seeing my mum struggling to make ends meet,” Regina Wanjiru recalls. Regina is the second born of four girls.

This was the beginning of Regina’s interest in electrical engineering. She never knew it at the time, but when she was introduced to Physics in High School and explored circuitry and mechanics, she slowly started to see a connection with what she was learning and the DIY she did at home. …

By Veronica Thamaini

Africa Regional Coordinator, Creative Action Institute and Navigating Your Journey Instructor, AkiraChix

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I met the AkiraChix founders through a network of startups where I used to work, I was interested in tech and would attend AkiraChix events. In 2018, the AkiraChix team realised the girls needed something more than tech. The girls were not able to voice their opinions which challenged the #SheLeads aspect of the AkiraChix vision. Working with young women to help them become powerful changemakers is right down my alley; that’s how I began instructing at AkiraChix.

Meet Asha Abdulrashid Ali

Android Developer, Open Institute, codeHive 2019 graduate

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Asha Abdulrashid Ali, codeHive 2019 graduate

When Asha graduated from High School in 2017, she looked forward to going to University. But she knew her mother wouldn’t be able to afford the tuition fee for her education. She wasn’t quite sure at the time what career she wanted to explore, so she immersed herself in what she loved most at the time; baking. When she wasn’t baking she would go to a cyber café, which also had a gaming facility, to break the weekly monotony.

While at the cybercafe Asha noticed the owner would get various jobs to design posters and develop logos as he made money from other services. That caught Asha’s eye. The cyber café owner took her under his wing and soon she was designing logos and taking on graphic design. …

Meet Edith Chepleting

Creative Designer, SCAN Group, codeHive 2019 Graduate

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As a little girl in nursery school, Edith loved to draw her favourite cartoon characters, and this continued as she grew older.

“I also loved drawing houses and I thought I would be an architect someday because of this,” Edith recalls.

In 2015, following her high school graduation, she was called to study medical laboratory science at the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) in Embu county, 400 km away from her home in Nandi County. …

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Screenshot of the AkiraChix team during the Zoom Fireside Chat

On June 10 2020, we had a fireside chat with our girls through the guidance of Michelle Wanjiku, Consultant Psychologist. A huge shout out to codeHive classes of 2016,2018, 2019 and the current class of 2020 who made it for the chat.

It was an interesting two-hour chat exploring Emotional Intelligence. It was an extremely powerful lesson on understanding our emotions and how best to address them. Here are a few lessons we walked away with, we thought it would be great to share especially as we all learn to cope with our new normal (sigh).

Here are a few keywords we came across which come in…


AkiraChix Kenya

Provide hands-on technical training and mentorship to young women & girls to increase the number of skilled women in tech and positively impact the community

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