Impact Highlights from Team4Tech’s 2019 WITU Project
74% of Ugandans between the ages of 15-25 are unemployed. The majority of them are young women who have either dropped out of school due to poverty or lack digital skills for better jobs because public schools do not use technology for instruction and learning.
Women in Technology Uganda (WITU)’s mission is to support young women and girls to become leading innovative technologists and entrepreneurs of Uganda.
In October 2019, Cadence Design Systems sponsored a Team4Tech project and Cadence employee volunteers helped launch the first community-based makerspace in Uganda with WITU. The Cadence Team4Tech team provided maker equipment (3D printer and Micro Bits) and built capacity for WITU’s staff’s to train even more young women with technology skills. The goal of the makerspace is to provide a space of empowerment – where young women and girls can innovate, learn collaboratively, and co-create to build solutions for their communities.
- 109 young women were introduced and trained on the makerspace technologies
- 105 young women were trained in entrepreneurship and business in tech (10 of them have started a new business and 15 of them have already seen improvements in their existing businesses)
- 101 young people engaged in a hackathon
- 101 beneficiaries engaged in a business clinic event that was done online due to the pandemic
- 56 beneficiaries were trained in 3D printing
- 43 beneficiaries were trained in Micro Bit
Additionally, Ruth and Harriet are considered ambassadors for this project:
Ruth always had an interest in programming but even at the university level, Ugandan students barely incur real, applicable skills. However, Ruth was able to learn how to code through WITU’s makerspace program and applied her skills to create her own website! She uses her website to teach others how to code. Moreover, her website has garnered the interest of even more young people to join WITU and get additional IT training.
Harriet was one of the women directly trained by the Cadence team in the use of 3D printing and Micro Bit. Harriet has always had a great interest in technology and was immediately hooked by the practicality of both technologies after the workshops. Since last year, she has remained at WITU as a volunteer under the makerspace program to train others. Harriet works tirelessly to interest young people in these technologies since, through the simple application of them, they are able to make an extra shilling.