Soronko Solutions

Soronko Solutions: Empowering girls in ICT through coding

GhanaGhana
Year Founded:
2012
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Soronko Solutions is bringing women and girls in Ghana into the ICT space by providing them with the role models and tools to change them from consumers to creators of technology.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if we could equip young girls with the technology to break the cycle of poverty?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In many rural and low-income communities in Ghana, there is an alarming lack of representation of women in STEM fields. Societal pressures, lack of role models, and deeply-rooted traditions discourage women from pursuing work in the fields of science and engineering, despite the high demand for ICT skills.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Regina challenges the existing mentality towards the role of women in technology through an innovative education model combining community engagement, mentorship and skills training to ultimately give girls the tools to succeed in the ICT space. By providing girls with role models and introducing a creative coding curriculum that cultivates ownership, she is helping girls envision a future in ICT.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The program is centered on a unique coding curriculum for girls that emphasizes ownership and mentorship. In the course of six months, girls take weekly coding classes and are encouraged to identify a community or social problem which they can apply their lessons to. Regina partners with community leaders to gain support for the program and ensure sustainability. Volunteers studying coding at local universities or working in the ICT field help teach girls these courses and provide one on one mentorship. Because many girls come from rural backgrounds where tradition and lack of role models influence perceptions about girls’ potential in the ICT sector, having a mentor and being able to address a community problem is key to changing their perception of what is possible.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Through community and media outreach, partnerships with universities and engagement with local Muslim leaders, Regina has been able to expand her program to new areas in Ghana. With a host of 30 volunteers and 20 mentors who share stories and provide advice and encouragement to girls, the program has taught more than 465 girls and is anticipated to reach over 1500 by the end of 2014.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Regina has successfully replicated the program in three different communities in various cities across Ghana, and has plans to expand throughout West Africa. She is currently working with the Ministry of Education to build the curriculum into secondary schools throughout Ghana.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The mentorship model and reliance on volunteers means that much of program’s work is low-budget with the primary expenses being ICT equipment and salaries. Eighty percent of the revenues from ICT consulting and software development business are funneled back into the Tech Needs Girls initiative thus covering program expenses. Volunteers and mentors receive networking opportunities and potential job opportunities in exchange for their work while partnerships with businesses enable girls to get practical experience and continue their learning.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Computing jobs are among the fastest growing and the highest paying, yet few women are benefitting from these occupations. These trends increase social inequalities and barriers to girls’ advancement opportunities. Girls need to have technology skills in order to thrive in the 21 st century as more than 95% of all jobs have a digital component. With Africa being the fastest growing technology market, there is a demand to see more technology solutions designed to solve local problems. With the global gender gap in technology there is also a demand to get more girls and women in STEM careers and the potential to scale the idea globally. Tech Needs Girls has developed a unique coding curriculum specifically catered to girls that encourages problem solving and critical thinking.
Team

Founding Story

After her father brought home a computer one day, Regina developed a love for science. She dreamed of designing computer games and building rockets in the future. Her teachers in school discouraged her ambitions but she persisted in finding a way. She pursued her dreams of becoming a computer scientist by enrolling in a computer course at the beginning of her university studies. After learning computer coding and programming, Regina went on to help develop ICT departments and e-banking systems in several banks. When she was denied a promotion simply because she was a woman, she decided that she wanted to provide girls with the skills and opportunities to become more than just users of technology.

Team

Regina heads the team at Soronko Solutions, however she also mentors the girls. Also in the core team are Annette and Amuzie. Annette Agyare is an Administrator and Coordinator at Soronko SolutionsShe is in charge of Administrative duties and Coordinator of Tech Needs Girls. Amuzie Eberechukwu Queenieth, an intern at Soronko Solution, and a mentor at Tech Needs Girls.
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Comments

this is a nice program as it seeks to empower the girl child something that Africa still needs more of.