Yesterday we officially opened our own office located opposite AAR health Center Mombasa along Moi Avenue.This is a great milestone for the organisation. We have had this vision for over five years since we started our impactful work of equipping girls and young women with technology skills in Mombasa. Prior to having the new space, Swahilipot Hub played a great role in supporting Pwani Teknowgalz’s activities and programs at the hub. Pwani Teknowgalz is thrilled that the new office will provide girls and young women in Mombasa a safe space to acquire employable technology skills and participate in the digital economy.

The launch included welcoming of the CodeHack students, whose physical learning was cut short due to the pandemic. CodeHack is one of the initiatives by Pwani Teknowgalz that aims at training and equipping young women from marginalized communities with employable coding skills. Ms Ruth Kaveke, the Director of Pwani Teknowgalz officially opened the space and encouraged the girls to utilize their time well in the space. “These equipment in the lab are meant for you to utilize them. Make sure you use your time well to learn, and always feel free to ask your mentors questions in the process. We are here to support you in your journey of acquiring technology skills”. She added that the space is a safe space, and it is there to help them realize their full potential by building their skills.

Ms Joan Nabusoba, the professional development director, reiterated to the young women that coding skills are acquired by putting in the hours. “You learn coding by doing. This requires you to invest your time in learning, and I am glad that we have a space that is well equipped.” She stated that she is willing to support them all through their learning process.

The young women shared what they were doing during the pandemic, and they were glad to be back to continue with learning. “During the pandemic, I enrolled in one of the Pwani Teknowgalz’ coding classes and created my own mobile app. I am happy to come back and share this. I am now learning different coding skills through the Coders at American Spaces program”, said Lina Mwakitawa, a CodeHack student. Another student, Lorah Mwandoe stated that the pandemic posed challenges of access to computers. “I couldn’t practice well because there wasn’t a computer I could access, but I am happy now. I will come to the space and follow up with the videos from Pwani teknowgalz’ training and practice what was taught”, said Lorah.

Ms Latifa Noor, communications director of Pwani Teknowgalz said that she is eager to help and create a healthy space for them to acquire skills. “My wish is for you to be healthy both physically and mentally. I am ready to support you on both technical and personal issues” says Ms Latifa. Ms Zalia on the other hand encouraged them to learn, and share what they have learnt with fellow young women. “Madam Ruth, Aisha and Joan were a pillar to my success, and now I am able to come back to Pwani teknowgalz, be a director and share what I acquired all these years. I encourage you to do the same. Learn, and be willing to give back and inspire other young women”.

The Pwani Teknowgalz team will continue with its programs both physical and virtual in the learning space. Programs that will start in the week after the launch include Technovation challenge, coding classes, Coders at American Spaces Kenya, and CodeHack.