Women are underrepresented in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) sectors worldwide. When mHub was first established, the Hackathons, TechTalks and Coding events held at the hub were mostly patronized by males and we had yet to see a technology solution developed by a female. We wanted to identify why women in Malawi did not have an interest in STEM, especially technology, so the Girls 4 Code Club was established. Currently, mHub has trained over 395 girls with technical skills in developing games, animations and mobile application. MHub has also trained them in Entrepreneurship skills to empower them to be business moguls creating lasting solutions to the social challenges met by Malawians.
The Girls 4 Code Club was established with the aim of creating a community of young Malawian women in ICT to motivate and inspire each other and the generation behind them. Through the Girls 4 Code Club, mHub has held various activities such a Hackathons where participants competed to develop solutions using technology to solve a social challenge. The winner of the Hackaton competition held on December 12th, 2015 Tamanda Pius spoke about her application Mobi-Bank which she created during the competition. “Let’s not take these things for granted, you never know where they’ll take you” was the advice Tamanda gave to the young ladies.
Another Girls 4 Code and mHub member Thandie Magasa was the only girl in her team for the TNM Smart Challenge. Thandie and her team developed a mobile application called Maternitech which provides information and advice for pregnant women in a country where maternal deaths are high. Their mobile application won and the team travelled to Silicon Valley, California and met Founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg. Other members that are making headlines and chasing ICT opportunities are Rebecca Mzungu and Shrea Birju who have been selected for the Robotics Competition and will spend their summer in the U.S.
mHub has also held TechTalks for young women through events commemorating women in STEM such as the Anita Borg celebrations, International Women’s Day celebrations and International Girls in ICT Day celebrations where affluent women who are in STEM gave motivational and inspirational talks. The aim of the TechTalks was to inspire women to fill the gender gaps and follow careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields.
Not only is our focus on training young women in technology, but mHub also wants to equip girls in Entrepreneurship and Basic Business Skills. We want girls to improve their livelihood while becoming job creators and decreasing the unemployment rate in Malawi. With support from the U.S. Embassy, mHub trained over 40 girls in ICT and Entrepreneurship. The training took them through a curriculum that instilled them with the skills on how to create a Business Model Canvas and how to pitch their business to investors, partners and customers in less than 3 minutes.
mHub aims to create a community of technopreneurs, job creators and developers of the future in Malawi. We want to empower the girl child and young women that they can do anything they put their mind to!