Oando Foundation, an independent charity with a mission to radically improve the quality of teaching and learning in Nigerian schools has announced a partnership with Theirworld a global children’s charity to empower vulnerable Nigerian girls and young women by giving them a unique opportunity to learn important technology skills in a safe environment through an innovative pilot project – Code Clubs.

Over 600 girls aged six to twenty-five in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania will join the Code Clubs in its pilot phase with the aim of reaching thousands more with its self-sustaining model – where girls who have completed the course will return to mentor the next cohort of girls, with community support to augment the scalability of the project.

Code Club Nigeria is being launched ahead of Africa Code Week in collaboration with the Oando Foundation. The Code Club’s are low-cost, sustainable and scaleable safe spaces where girls can be empowered by learning to code, foster creative thinking and increase knowledge and skillset for the future.  Oando Foundation is using this strategic partnership to enhance its commitment to ICT education particularly for the girl child; with a medium term target of having Code Clubs in every Oando Foundation adopted school across Nigeria impacting over 60,000 girls lives.

Sarah Brown, President of Theirworld said “With a safe space to learn and play, a mentor to inspire, and access to technology to be able to explore, create, and code we can increase learning opportunities and empower girls to fulfil their potential. Every girl should have the opportunity to go to school, learn, grow, and have a future they choose.”

“At Theirworld we know that investing in a girl has social and economic returns that go beyond her, extending not only to her family and future children, but also to her community. We don’t shy away from challenges and are prepared to tackle the big problems that stop children from learning” added Sarah Brown.

Despite thousands of jobs being created in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) industries across Africa- gender discrimination, lack of access to education and technology means girls are often kept out of the work force and unable to break the cycle of poverty.

“To remain competitive in today’s global world, technology skills are vital, hence our desire is for young girls in Nigeria to develop sustained interest in ICT and increase their proficiency in this field. A key area of focus for Oando Foundation is the establishment of ICT centres in adopted schools and building the competency of young children in practical application of the ICT curriculum. We aim to empower Nigerian girls to develop technology skills that will lead to their ultimate financial empowerment and prepare them with skills relevant to the 21st century workforce” said, Ade Adegoke, Head, Oando Foundation.

Kano computer kits, which will be used in the clubs are low-cost, easily transportable, can be rebuilt multiple times and are highly applicable in countries where connectivity is low. The project aims to aid future mentors to set up and run their own Code Clubs.