Women to learn coding and business skills free of charge through Google’s supported #40forward initiative

#40forward WOPA Uganda

Outbox hub Kampla, this month, is launching the Women Passion program (WOPA), an experiential based learning program, supported by Google for Entrepreneurs under the #40Forward initiative.

The initiative seeks to train up-to 100 women in programming and entrepreneurship skills. The mission is to foster the creation of women entrepreneurs that address the intersection of opportunities/problems in community with their passions and interests.

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For the past one year and eight months that the initiative has been operational, they have been trying to find various ways on how to increase the number of female participants in their programs. To this end, Outbox founder Richard Zulu then worked together with a number of interested individuals to startup the Girl-geek kampala initiative, an independent initiative to celebrate and promote women and girls in science and technology in Uganda with its home at Outbox.

Under Girl-geek Kampala,  a number of trainings and networking sessions were hosted. However, what stood out during the trainings was the high number of girls that dropped out. Ampaire Christine, a co-founder of the Girl geek kampala initiative, was at the helm of organising and overseeing these trainings and shared these as the learnings.

This has since inspired WOPA in rethinking it’s approach from previous experiences.

Lesson 1: Setting expectations for the participants and from the participants is very important. In our first training, the expectations from both ends were not stressed enough hence girls came and went as they pleased.

Lesson 2:  Let all trainings be personal and highly involving. One way trainings led to a high number of dropouts.

Lesson 3: Patient (and diligent)  trainers who can also demonstrate clearly as well as inspire participants.

Lesson 4: Let the girls see their goals come a step closer to reality every week. If they do not see this, they will leave early.

WOPA has partnered with WOUGNET and are looking more partners to support this initiative. We are joining 39 other Google for Entrepreneurs partners to rethink the gender gap and build more inclusive networks. Follow and participate in the conversation using the hashtag #WOPAUG #4OForward on twitter and Google+

H/T: Outbox hub blog