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International Day of the Girl Child: Babirye’s Story and a Timely Intervention

by Hanna Rabah

By Dr. Taroub Faramand, WI-HER President and Founder

Coding class in Uganda
Timely interventions, such as offering coding classes to young girls as Dr. Faramand has done, can be beneficial to a girl’s education and future.

Educate the girl child and you have educated the community.

Babirye is a 15-year-old, one of four girls in her father’s one-bedroom house. Her home is a next to the Silver Bolt HQ in Uganda. She has always shown interest in the work that we do with coding classes, but she has never had the resources to join.

Following the Government of Uganda’s directive to shut down schools during the Covid pandemic, she was stuck at home, too young to look for work but no money to facilitate private tutoring. She has resorted to joining the duukas (small shops) and spending her day around the women and men who work there. She recently picked up interest in frying cassava but does it to occupy her time and for free.

This environment is worrying as she is a teenage girl who is constantly exposed to grown men in an uncontrolled environment.

A timely intervention would be a diversion from what has become her normal routine; this intervention could be activities that are beneficial to her education and future. After all, one cannot survive with the chances they do not have. By giving her the opportunity to start her coding journey, she will not only have the knowledge required to survive in this world, it will also inspire her to aim for more.

Our coding classes are executed in six cohorts spread over one year.

She is perfect for this selection, because she is at an age where her current engagements are irrelevant, and this will possibly be a good diversion for her; additionally, she is located near us so she will not need to incur the cost of transportation or having equipment as she will attend her classes in-person and use our equipment in and out of class time.

Paying for her first cohort will open up her mind to the world of possibilities. With an open mind and ambition, the sky will be her limit.

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