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IT TAKES A VILLAGE AFRICA CORPORATION's Fundraiser:

Girls in Technology

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THE STORY:

It Takes A Village Africa, Inc. (ITAVA), is seeking funding for the establishment of a technology and resource center for her signature project “Girls in Technology” to train young business women, less privileged girls and promote technology entrepreneurs, providing a technology hub and training the next generation of girls in ICT in Liberia. We are requesting: Thirty Seven Thousand Seven Hundred and Twenty ($37,720.00) United States Dollars to be able to jump start the girls in technology project by June 2017. Project proposal: Girls in Technology, Liberia A project proposal for the promotion of technology entrepreneurs, providing a technology hub and training the next generation of technology entrepreneurs by empowering women and girls with adequate skills to access the job market and create access to learning and opportunities. Amount Requested: USD $37,720.00 We are requesting: Thirty Seven Thousand Seven Hundred and Twenty ($37,720.00) United States Dollars to be able to jump start the girls in technology project since we have very limited resources available to quick start the project. We will use this amount to buy at least 15 computers, pay for 6 months internet services, stipends for trainers and equipped the facility to a more functional level. Background It Takes A Village Africa, Inc. (ITAVA), is a nonprofit organization founded by Erica Davies purposefully to tackle most of the crumbling blogs and issues we face here in Liberia and Africa. Today, more than 1.1 Million children are out of school in Liberia that’s according to UNICEF 2015 Education Report. 64 percent of young women and men living in Liberia face challenges brought about by limited access to resources, disasters, healthcare, education, training, employment and economic opportunities. They often have little or no opportunity for education and technology, few possibilities to improve their living conditions, face poverty or multiple forms of discrimination. There are only 5181 total schools across Liberia’s fifteen (15) counties catering to more 1.5 million boys and girls currently enrolled. There are only 600 thousand plus girls enrolled in school across Liberia. We want to ensure by 2017, with a focus on ensuring girls’ full and equal access to technology where they can acquire quality education that would prepare them for future endeavors. At the primary level in Liberia, 450,000 girls are out of school, of whom 47% are expected never to enroll. Almost a quarter of young women aged 15--‐24 today (250 thousand) in lee war counties – rural poor communities have never completed primary school. (Sources: www.moe.gov.lr www.unicef.org www.gbce.org The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were signed September 2015 at the historic 70th United Nations General Assembly. The 17 goals also seek to empower young women and girls with skills and technical expertise thereby involving their full participation in the implementation. As we consider innovations and global historic events inspired by youth, we recognize the energy, vision and potential for trans formative change that youth bring to the table. According to the United Nations, young people account for about 65 percent of Liberia's population of 4.1 million, and youth unemployment is estimated as high as 85 percent. It Takes A Village Africa (ITAVA), Liberia chapter since 2013 has been working for and with more than 50,000 children and young women and boys in 36 communities in three (3) of Liberia’s 15 counties: Montserrado, Bomi and Grand Bassa. Our focus as ITAVA has been on delivering campaigns, speeches, collecting signatures, youth, community and media engagements all gear towards creating awareness on access to quality education, better healthcare and access to market for all Liberian children, working in partnership with communities, local and national government and civil society organizations. Why women in technology project is essential? In 2015, ITAVA undertook an assessment across three of Liberia’s fifteen (15) counties to understand why most girls were leaving school and what best could remedy the situation. We found out during our focus group discussions that an introduction to computer programming, internet usage and social media blogging were interesting topics that girls wanted to explore. Some mention training in computer science specifically typing, business proposal writing, IT skills, introduction to computer and blogging as major areas of interventions. The focus group was meant to also create awareness among women and girls on the essence of computer programming. The engagement lasted for two days. We had an introduction in computer sciences and programming using our existing resources and techniques. Computer programming, social media access, internet usage are very rare assert within the Liberia society. In October 2015 we launched a one month program where we trained twenty (25) women and girls on the introduction to computer, how to use the internet and business proposal writing; using the internet and other existing resources. These courses were attended by many young women and girls in the city of Monrovia and surrounding communities where our office is located. Based on the interest of the girls, we have decided to expand the center to purchase more computer and equipped the center to accommodate more girls. The community population is growing very rapidly and made up of age group ranging from 14 to 29 years old. It is vastly populated by young people. Benefits to the Community Firstly this project will begin a new community of young women and girls highly skilled in the usage of new technologies in Liberia. The project will increase the amount of skilled women in business proposal wiring, leadership development, social media bloggers, internet users and social media marketing experts. Through this program, national and international organizations looking to hire experts in the field of social media marketing will hire these young women. The young women will create business opportunities for themselves upon graduation. Deliverables There will be a weekly report that will be sent to our donors and partners including details of what is going on with the project and at what stages we have arrived, the difficulties and the progress which will be made. This report will include videos, pictures, case studies and success stories from beneficiaries with detail account of every progress of the project. Project Details INFORMATION ON THE PROJECT PROPOSAL History of ICT & Internet in Liberia In Liberia, information is power; traditionally this power has been concentrated among a few. Increasingly, Liberia citizens and organizations are seeking access to information and to platforms that allow them to share their experiences within and beyond Liberia. Thanks to iLab a local nonprofit organization that is assisting IT professionals, aspiring technologists, newcomers to IT, as well as organizations and institutions in their effort to more readily share information using information and communication technologies (ICTs). In 2002 Internet began to be regularly mentioned in the speeches of Liberian government officials and other public and private citizens. The coming of a cellular companies to Liberia paved the way for internet connectivity in major parts of the country particularly in cities. According to research, Liberia is still lagging behind and not much has been done when it comes to information communication technology. The country is still very far behind as far as information technologies is concern. Even though competition is now in the sector with at least three (3) functional cellular companies with huge revenue generations, young women and girls are yet to feel the impact across Liberia and make meaningful contributions. Needs and Purpose of This project Education is a fundamental human right essential for the exercise of all other human rights. It promotes individual freedom and empowerment and yields important development benefits. Education has the potential to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor by increasing the chances of children from underserved and under privileged families attaining better skills, jobs and higher incomes that their parents. Education equips them with the knowledge and skills that enable them to make informed choices and decision. Yet millions of young women and girls including adults remain deprived of educational opportunities. The gap between men and women in the field of technology keeps increasing in Liberia. 90% of girls and women within my community consider computer and technology as a profession meant for men. Our communities are continuously facing major problems which can only be tackle by technology but we lack the skills to put this kinds of solution into action. Most of the institution don't offer computer programming courses and even those who offer don't own a computer lab and they end up teaching them theory making the students never able to use the skills they have acquired. 80% of students in my community and Liberia, go through school and come out having a degree without ever having anything to do with a computer. There are increasing problems faced by the communities that can be tackle by technology but we lack the entrepreneur skills and the technological know how to tackle this problems. The need for young women to express their ideas and fix problems within the community but lack the support to make their ideas come to live. 75% of all government offices are still dependent on very old traditional system of governance with no computer and software to tackle major problems. Many business women losing money in their business because they lack the technology solutions to better manage their business. We cannot overstate the importance of technology. Technology has transcended poverty, race and economics to become a driving force in the lives of people across the world. Increasingly, technology is being seen as a powerful development tool, used in the global battle to hit children and youth-focused targets in global education, livelihoods and health. Program Goals, Objectives and Outcome The main goals of this project is as listed below. 1. We are working hard to close the gender gap in technology by encouraging more girls and women to learn how to read and write using computer technology. 2. We are training girls and women the basics to advance programming for free enabling them to have the ability to build application by the end of the training course. 3. We are providing a technology innovation hub center were young people in the communities can come together, share ideas, build projects from scratch and start new companies. 4. We want young women and girls to utilize their full potential without hindrance and have access to put their brains to work thereby increasing their capability to function in today’s world and be marketable. Objectives 1. Train girls with the skills of Computer programming using the internet, social media and leadership development. 2. Train girls in introduction to computer technology to create jobs 3. Train in introduction to ICT for small business that will generate profit for their businesses 4. Website creation course, using open source tools 5. Introduction to computer programming 6. Intermediate internet usage The following activities will be carried out during this course. There will be a four instructors who will take each of the course for a period of 4 months.Selected Instructors and Erica Davies will take the introduction to computer, internet access and usage, social media marketing and communications and leadership development. An Selected Instructor will take the web development courses like HTML, CSS & JavaScript. Lectures will last for 4 hours a day, after which students will be given time do some practice on what they have studied for that day. Classes will begin from 8 am to 3pm. We are anticipating to accommodate at least 100 students for this session with a 50 computers available and two students per computer. The courses will be held from Monday to Saturday. The five instructors will spend 8 hours a day for lecture which will round up to 124 hours a week for all five instructors. The requirement for this course will be for less privileged girls and women with a minimum of A-level and who are willing to go into the field of computer technology, programming and leadership skills development. Period Basics to Intermediate First Six Months Chapter 1: Getting Started • What is Computer? • What is Computer Programming? • Social Media 101 • Marketing and Communications • Media and Blogging • Wiring for social media audience Six Months Advanced Computer Programming Course Description: • The course begins with a thorough treatment of packages, modules, and libraries. Applications, database, coding, access to control etc. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: Download, install, and use modules from the Comprehensive Networking (CPAN). Project Schedule Project Start Date: 30th June 2017 – Break – 10th December 2017 – Resume – 9th January 2018 – Project End date: 16th June 2018 Completeness Criteria During the course program, we will be giving the students exercises on a daily bases on any of the topic they have treated for that day. We will evaluate the exercises before the start of each class which will better help us track the progress of our program. And at the end of each class these exercises will be sent to the Director of Program for review and inclusion in his weekly report. Also at the end of the program the students will be divided in a group of six to come up with a final project that is actually solving a real problem within the community using the skills they have acquired from the training. Based on the result of this final project will determine the progress of the course and the achievement made. The project developed by the students will be evaluated by the Program Director and a final report written for donors and partners. Impact The number of girls and women this project will impact in one year will be about 500 girls and women for the twelve months we will manage this project. But with a long term impact this project will benefit about 15,000 girls and women in a period of 5 years.

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