Empowering the Future: Vodafone Ghana Inaugurates ICT for Girls Project in Walewale

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Preba Greenstreet, Mr. Adama Akanguti and Ms. Salaam Habibatu at ICT for Girls project
Preba Greenstreet, Mr. Adama Akanguti and Ms. Salaam Habibatu at ICT for Girls project
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The town of Walewale in the North-East Region of Ghana has been the site of a groundbreaking project aimed at empowering female students with crucial digital skills. The ICT for Girls initiative is led by Vodafone employees through the company’s Employee Volunteer Programme and a dedicated team of local stakeholders. It aims to narrow the gender gap in technology education and open up new opportunities for female students at the Walewale Model Girls Junior High School (JHS) school and, potentially, other schools in the West Mamprusi Municipality.

A Digital Divide: Girls Left Behind in ICT Education

Gender disparities in STEM education have long been a global issue, with girls often lagging behind boys in acquiring the skills to excel in the digital realm. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), this divide is not due to innate discrepancies in aptitude but rather a lack of resources, affordability, and gender-biased sociocultural norms.

Walewale Model Girls JHS was a prime example of this disparity. Despite being one of the best government schools in the West Mamprusi Municipality, it had struggled to provide quality ICT education because of inadequate resources. The school previously lacked a computer lab or library for computing literature, making practical ICT lessons nearly impossible.

A Community Effort for ICT for Girls project : Collaboration for Change

The ICT for Girls project has been a collaborative effort, bringing together local stakeholders such as the headteacher of Walewale Model Girls JHS, Ms. Salaam Habibatu, Municipal Director of Education Mr. Adama Akanguti, Vodafone Ghana Foundation, and the Vodafone Ghana ICT for Girls team. Their shared goal: to transform the lives of young girls in the region through the power of technology.

The Vodafone Ghana Foundation sponsored and financed the project under its Kindred programme, a staff volunteer initiative focused on addressing community challenges. Vodafone Ghana staff also contributed to the project’s funding.

Ms. Salaam Habibatu expressed her enthusiasm for the project: “This initiative has given our students the opportunity to gain invaluable digital skills, opening doors to new possibilities and empowering them to become active participants in the digital world.”

To achieve this, the project renovated and equipped a state-of-the-art computer lab with proper flooring, air conditioning, and painting. The project also provided a whiteboard for lessons and desktop computers.

The Ripple Effect on ICT for Girls project: Unlocking Opportunities for Young Women

By providing access to quality ICT education, the project has the potential to greatly impact the lives of the students in Walewale Model Girls JHS, and potentially more girls in the municipality. With digital skills becoming increasingly important in a wide range of careers, this initiative could set these young women on the path to economic independence and inspire a new generation of tech innovators. As part of the project, the female students at the school had the opportunity to participate in Vodafone Ghana’s Code-Like-A-Girl programme, a free coding initiative for girls between the ages of 7 and 18 that aims to address this issue and empower more girls to pursue STEM education and careers

Speaking on the project, the Legal and External Affairs Director of Vodafone Ghana, Preba Greenstreet, said, “We are committed to doing all we can to close the STEM gender gap. Projects like these are one of the ways we reaffirm our commitment to that objective. This project illustrates our commitment to creating lasting change through technology for young women in Ghana and beyond.”

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