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Mentoring Dynamic Young Girls



Code Girls MUBS undergoing a mentoring session

“I believe everyone in life has the same equal opportunities to succeed. What makes the difference are the steps we take to get there and mentorship is one of them. ” argues Brian Ndyaguma, a mentor and Operations manager at Hive Colab.”

Two months ago, my boss tasked me with filling a mentorship guide. Little did I know that it would reawaken dreams that had long seemed impossible to get a grip of. Amongst them, I’ve always wanted to counsel younger ladies, help them realize their goals and dreams.

Until only about 5-7 years ago, mentoring was considered to be the work of religious leaders, parents and grandparents to talk to young children about hard work, morals and living a spiritual life, now its rapidly becoming a necessity in academic institutions, workplaces, sports, music, leadership and many other careers.

In a few weeks, Women In Technology Uganda (WITU), will open its doors to its technology and business hub solely focused on the transformation of the girl child in Uganda. The team at WITU  is making it possible through the Code Girls Movement, a WITU  secondary school initiative. Young girls between the average ages of 12 – 19 are being availed an opportunity to gradually develop their dreams into realities through the various learning programs and activities in their technology classes under the mentorship of fellow women.

Barbara Birungi the founder of  WITU trained, counseled and coached more than 100 girls in 2013 alone in basic coding and programing; but that was not it, every 10 girls were assigned a mentor to help them discover their potential talents, passion, creativity portals and troubleshoot their weakness at a tender youth age. To Barbara , women posses traits that have long been thought of as particularly male strengths . They have the ability to develop and mentor others, build relationships as well as collaborations. She dreams of a world with technological gender equality.

This 2014, WITU targets to interact with at least 500 girls through its hub.

Time and again I question myself what career paths I would have taken only if I had a mentor early enough. Would I have realized my dreams at an earlier time? Would I have pursued a different career path? It goes without say that am proud to have one now and am more optimistic that I will change the world.

You might be reading this and your views differ from Brian’s opinion. My food for thought today is; do you think mentorship has a role bridging the technology gap? How best can we make technology be an equally shared opportunity?

Written by : Nuwaha Viola