CHARITY ETC LEADING THE PATH TO DIGITAL ACCESS FOR YOUNG WOMEN IN EAST AFRICA IN A POST COVID WORLD
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Celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2020, Educating the Children (ETC) is a UK-registered charity whose mission is to empower young women in East Africa by providing education and training which leads to formal employment. The charity was traditionally involved in “bricks & mortar” investments where it built the first secondary school in the Masai Mara in Kenya. However, as the future of education and work evolves, so has ETC’s strategy – through a newly introduced innovative programme called “Code Queen” which it piloted in July 2019. Code Queen allows young girls in East Africa learn code and connects successful graduates to an ecosystem of partners that includes businesses, head-hunters, universities and youth-based organisations. As schools have been forced shut, Code Queen has still allowed students to continue to help themselves through online learning. Students even recently showcased their talents through completing a hackathon which solved a real-life business challenge for Safe Boda, known as the “Uber of Uganda”.
Although Africa has only around 1% of the total reported deaths and 3% of cases, it will have 50% of the global population being pushed aggressively below the poverty line as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) predicts 29 million Africans could be pushed into extreme poverty. Given that so far the crisis in Africa is more economic than it is health, such programmes have become even more necessary. With UN projections showing Africa as having the world’s largest potential workforce, larger than both India and China, education and training are critical to ensuring the future of not just the continent, but the interconnected world we live in.
Code Queen is an opportunity for the unemployed in Africa to empower themselves by taking part in the growing global digital economy, regardless of location. With the remote working trend continuing – the demand for global tech talent is set to rise. Software engineering is now one of the world’s most in-demand professions and there remains an acute shortage of ICT professionals, especially women.
Given the growing demand and success of this programme, only accelerated by COVID-19, ETC is looking to scale in order to bring this opportunity to even more young women.
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Sonal Kadchha is Founder of ETC. Sonal set up ETC 10 years ago in parallel to her corporate career in the city in London. She left 2 years ago to focus on ETC’s future strategy from which Code Queen was developed.
Source Quite Great
June 17, 2020 7:42am ET by Quite Great