Fall 2014 Pass-It-On Award Winners


Announcing our Systers Anita Borg Fall 2014 Pass-It-On award winners who are from USA, Burungi, Canada, India, Rwanda, and Uganda. Read about their projects and how they intend to “pass on” the benefits of their awards to impact their communities.

Farzana M. (USA)

Project Title: Diversity Camp for CS: Diversifying the Computer Science K-12 Pipeline through special programming workshops

Project Description: The “Diversity Camp for CS” is intended to be a sustainable project to organize series of workshops delivering Computer Science (CS) concepts to diverse K-12 students throughout the state of Virginia. Each workshop will be organized in two phases. In the first phase, diverse high school students will learn programming viavarious hands on activities. In the second phase of the workshop, the trained high schoolstudents will work as mentors/role models and deliver pre-designed hands on computerscience programming activates to diverse middle school students. By “diverse” we refer to underrepresented, minority, international, and female students who most likely will be the first generation college going students.

Daphne W. (USA)

Project Title: The Daphne Project

Project Description: Daphne wants to become a full-stack software engineer. Despite the socioeconomic challenges that preclude most African American Women from learning to code, she taught herself. Right now she’s focused on Ruby on Rails. In order to reach her dreams and launch her career in computer programming, it is imperative she goes to a coding school to receive an accelerated education.

Daphne knows she’s good at coding because she’s been accepted into some of the best coding schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. Unfortunately, she’s had to defer her acceptance because she did not have the financial means to attend them.

Only 3% of the US computing workforce is African American. The barriers to entry for a woman of color in software engineering are incredibly high, but with your help Daphne overcome them. Daphne loves coding because she loves problem solving. Daphne states,

“ I’ve come so far in my journey as a developer because the problem I’m most passionate about solving is to be what she can’t see. I promise, with your donation to meet my goal of covering the costs of my software developer education, I will dedicate myself to mentoring other women of color who want to learn code. It’s my mission to change the ratio and improve diversity in tech- thank you so much for helping me get there.”

Nazziwa C. (Uganda)

Project Title: Improve ICT Skills to young Women Librarians

Project Description: Cissy will pass it on with the assistance from fellow staff members as they volunteer in the training of the young women.

The training will include: introducing the trainees to internet basics, the good things that you on the Internet, shall enable each to create an email address and later on to login to Facebook. 1) They will be trained on how to look for Information on the Internet like e-journals and books in the open access to down load and create databases on the computer or on storage devices like flash discs CDROM; 2) They will train them to disseminate information to others as librarians; and 3) Finally they will be introduced to KOHA Library information System they will be helped to perform practical catalog within the system. The trainee will motive the girls by sharing with them experience of how it has solved issues in the Library of Multitech Business School.

The team will assist in mobilizing trainees by the way of giving out brochures to girls, place posters on the notice boards of the East African School of Library and Information Sciences (EASLIS) where they study, and they will be briefed about the training opportunity and its aims and objectives. More training shall be mobilized in future and plans to train librarians working in primary and secondly Schools to empower them with the same ICT skills.

Kesha S. (India)

Project Title: Workshop for Imparting Basic Computer Knowledge

Project Description: Kesha was born and raised in Gujarat, a state in the western coast of India. India is still a developing country in different areas, including technology and computing and this is a right time for shaping the future of women in India.

Kesha has a vision that every kid in Gujarat, like her should have a broader mindset and help their mothers learn and use technology. So, her project is to organize one day full workshop plus a 10-day coaching program for learning basic computer skills. Basic computer skills include computer parts recognition (e.g. identifying hardware, familiarizing GUI, etc.), offline applications (e.g. word processors, spreadsheets, etc.), Internet and online applications (e.g. searches, maps, media, etc.) ande more.

Kesha hopes to motivate young females in her area through diligence and perseverance. She strongly believes we need to reduce communication gap among women, inspire, motivate them to move out of their bounds, do something creative, be bold and take up positions traditionally occupied by men.

Linda Alexia M. (Burundi)

Project Title: ICT Women Empowerment Project

Project Description: ICT Women Empowerment Project is new pilot project aims to teach women community health workers from 30 villages of Bwiza commune of Bujumbura Mairie Province in Burundi. ICT in Burundi are development in cities than in rural area where remote villages are no or little computer illiteracy in young women. Many of those women have finished their schools in primary level where in those decades there are no computer education existed in Burundi.

The project targets to reach 50 women community health workers of Bwiza commune and empower them on ICT and computing and internet use through 4 training classes. It also will increase the knowledge of young women community health workers in basic computing technology and internet use and basic computer knowledge in Office application (word, excel, power point, publisher, OneNote, groove, outlook, Access, microfot) officer tools and introduce them to the Internet which will help them to know how to search for constructive and development information that is in line with their daily health undertakings.

Women community health workers have numerous aspirations of advancing their knowledge and development initiatives but all these are paralyzed by antagonistic social and economic conditions they experience which include poverty family responsibilities and social norms that suppress women’s efforts to come to public and other forms of marginalization in many years ago. The project will contribute to the empowering of women community health workers to use computer and internet use to advance their health services using technology in reporting and internet communications such (email, Facebook, and what up) hence aid their performance in Bwiza commune of Bujumbura Mairie in Burundi.

Yvette N. (Rwanda)

Project Title: Computer Skills Education Promotion Project(CSEPP)

Project Description: Computer Skills Education Promotion Project(CSEPP) is a 6 months pilot computer education project that will be implemented in rural areas of Gisagara district of the southern province of Rwanda.

This project aims at empowering 3500 final year secondary schools students and unemployed young people with secondary degree in rural areas of Gisagara district.

Target will be unemployed young people and final year secondary school students because according to Gisagara district education board report 2012 revealed that more than 47.5% of students failed computer science in final exams and among these young people, female students failed at 87.5% compared to male students. In addition, in our rural communities, the number of unemployed female young people has raised considerably in 2013 because among 54600 people under 30 years old who hold secondary school degrees, more than 72% are jobless and among these 72% ,more than 89.2% people are young women and this has tremendously pushed us to investigate why our community women and young people continue to fail in final exams and even in job applications and we have expected that many female young people have insufficient or lack of basic computer education skills so that they can compete in final or job applications exams.

At the beginning, I will select and train 50 young women as computer education peer educators who will be selected at the University of Rwanda in computer science or engineering, after training of trainers, we will create and train 5 clubs in 15 secondary schools and organize 10 computer education campaigns in rural youth groups located in Gisagara district.
Thus the project will empower 3500 female beneficiaries on basic computer skills to enable them to compete in final exams as well as labor markets.

Birungi M. (Uganda)

Project Title: Training Female (Women) Prisoners in Computer Basic Knowledge

Project Description: The project seeks to train female (woman) prisoners in computer basic knowledge in Kigo prisons, Wakiso District.

This training will be done 4 days a week for a period of 2 months. will visit them with other IT personnel to train them in the basic computer knowledge like performing basic operations which includes using the mouse, key board .managing various window, opening and closing files, word processing involving typing basically, Microsoft word, Excel, Power point and the use of the Internet. It is important for female prisoners to have basic knowledge about computers in order to be employable individuals after serving there sentence in prison they must have at least a basic training and be competent in the use of technology and this would help them live a better life.

Rebecca M. (Canada)

Project Title: GIRLsmarts4tech

Project Description: GIRLsmarts4tech is a program aimed at inspiring girls to explore technology. Founded over ten years ago, this student-run program reaches girls in grades six and seven from around Vancouver, including those in lower-income areas. Each year, students run at least two workshops, each with around eighty participants. During the day-long workshop, girls learn about various aspects of computer science, such as programming and web design, as well as how computer science applies in other fields and disciplines. The purpose of the workshop is to inspire girls to begin or continue pursuing an interest in computer science, whether that manifests long-term as a career or as a hobby. The activities in the workshop are designed to be as fun and accessible as possible, in order to reduce barriers and maximize engagement.

For many girls, this workshop will shape how they view computer science as a field of study and work. Rebecca believes,

“it is particularly important to present a positive first impression to young girls because of the biased way society often portrays computer science as male-oriented. Although the field of computer science is male-dominated, I do not believe that it is oriented towards people of any one gender, race, sexual orientation, or other characteristic. I firmly believe that increasing the diversity of the computer science community will lead directly to more innovation and creativity than ever before. And that is the primary goal of GIRLsmarts4tech — to diversify the computer science community by encouraging young women to become part of it.”

Help Us Continue To Pass-It-On

We receive so many application to our Pass-It-On Award program, but we can only award what we are able to raise in donations. Please consider donating to our PIO awards program so that we can continue to “pass on” the benefits of Systers.

Donate to Systers Pass-It-On Awards program