Pass-It-On Awards Program: Spring 2013 Systers Pass-It-On Award Winners
In this spring 2013 round, we had 254 applications from 50 countries; a new record. The projects that women were applying for were incredible! Although, we only have a specific budget for each round, the committee reviewed each application and the decision was hard. Please read our winners projects in their own words and how they plan to utilize the award money.
Congratulations to our Spring 2013 Pass-It-On Award Winners!
Leslie B. (Philadelphia, PA. USA)
Project Title: Become a Tech Artist and Educator
Project Description: Leslie will use her award to attend a workshop on ‘Crafting Electricity: Interactive Drawings, Paintings and Sculptures’ by Leah Buechley (inventor of Lilypad Arduino). The workshop is expected to integrate crafts like painting, drawing, and paper-folding with electronic design, programming and construction. This workshop will not only expand Leslie’s experience with programming, but it will also expand her exposure to different conductive materials. She hopes to create a similar class at The Hacktory on crafts and electronics which would be available to a larger community.
Ever since Leslie found out you can combine electronics, programming and craft materials, she’s never been the same. She spent the past couple of years following Leah Buechley’s work, from the sewable Lilypad Arduino to conductive wallpaper. Leslie is currently working on projects like a musical conductive yarn web, an skirt that uses LED’s to light the path of the International Space Station, and a chopstick Geisha LED hair ornament that reacts to head tilt. She wants to be an artist and educator like Leah, and this award will allow her to spend a week at Shakerag Workshops in TN studying with Leah. Her class “Crafting Electricity” will integrate traditional crafts like drawing, painting and sculpting with untraditional materials like conductive fabric and color changing inks. They will be using Arduino programming and Processing, so she’ll be expanding her programming skills as an artist. As an educator, Leslie will be taking the skills she’s learned and forming her own workshop for The Hacktory – an art/tech organization in Philadelphia. She hopes to use art to encourage younger and older women in technology; in the same way someone used art to encourage her. ”Thank you so much, Systers. You’ve allowed me to hitch a ride on a comet.” Leslie B.
Cissy N. (Uganda)
Project Description: Cissy will use her award to equip young women who have just completed 1st Bachelors Degree in Library and Information Science from Uganda Christian University Mukono with practical skills like internet search, library management system, management of digital library, information management etc. She has worked with graduates who have just dropped out of campus and she realized that they lack practical modern ICT skills. So there is pressure to assist and prepare them for the jobs. In her opinion, a college degree is not always sufficient to get a job and additional skills are often in demand.
Cissy will use monies from the award to design a training for Internet search, Library Management System use ( KOHA) , management of Digital Library, Information management and dissemination among others. By the end of this training, she expects the trained young Women to be well equipped with internet search skills, to be able to use the Koha Library System and to introduce it to the organizations they will get jobs. Cissy is sure that Improve ICT Skills to Young Women Librarians project shall sharpen and lay a foundation for young Women intending to work as Librarians in the nearby future.
Project Title: The “Tech-Abled” project. Empowering disabled women through technology.
Project Description: The “Tech Abled” project is an information awareness project that focuses on women with spinal cord injuries and particularly women living with quadriplegia. This project was inspired after Casey was involved in a road crash close to 10 years ago that left her quadriplegic, on a wheelchair and paralyzed from the shoulders down. Not being able to use her hands, she learned how to use voice-activated software and through that was able to learn different computer packages and skills.
After rehabilitation and living in a developing country, Casey discovered through several challenges the enormous burden women with disabilities face in the country, not just by being a woman but a disabled woman. She then founded the Chariots of Destiny Organization whose aim also includes empowering especially women living with spinal cord injuries. Casey started the Tech Abled project to teach them how to use voice-activated software to enable them to use computers independently despite their lack of mobility. Majority that cannot use their hands due to injury will also learn different skills that will enable them to sustain themselves economically and provide a social forum where they will interact and learn from others with the same condition.
Project Title: Reaching Out Peru!
Project Description: Andrea is a member of “Women in Technology” (WiT) in Perú which was formed in 2012, as a result of the collaboration of several girls working in technology. The group held a session at the Agiles 2012 in Cordoba, Argentina, where they discussed how to improve participation of women in Latin America, including Perú. WiT realized the potential of girls in technology, and wanted to grow beyond the “agile” label, reaching out to other technologies and social causes.
In November 2012, Women in Technology in Peru organized an event called “Girls Coding Dojo” in Puno (11/09/2012) in coordination with the director of the Universidad Peruana Unión in Juliaca. Puno is the fifth poorest region of Perú, with a poverty rate above 60%. Due to lack of sponsorship, the members were unable to travel to Puno, and the event was organized using Google Hangout. Even though the event was transmitted via Internet, WiT generated a lot of interest. More than 40 girls attended the video call and they received very positive feedback from the Director and the attendees. Because WiT had inspired the girls to continue their studies in Computer Science, the Director asked WiT to continue collaborating with his university. They believe that by traveling to the school location, it will be a great opportunity for the girls to learn more about Computer Science, and for WiT to identify future projects with them.
Their success in organizing the Girls Coding Dojo Collaboration Project in Puno has proved that there is a large need to reach women in impoverished areas outside of Lima. This award will help them reach out to girls that are studying or thinking in what to study right now, in communities predominantly dominated by men.
Rebecca A. (Nigeria)
Project Title: Computer Training for the Vulnerable Women/Young Widows (CT4TV Project 2013)
Project Description: Rebecca will use her award to educate widows, underprivileged and diseased women in website designing, web development networking, graphic design and other web based technologies. She sees much disparity in her country between men and women. These disparities derive from cultural prejudices against women which accord women’s education low priority and limited areas of economic activity in which women could be gainfully employed. They tend therefore to be confined to domesticated disciplines such as catering, nursing, teaching, hair dressing and other service – related fields. They are however gaining economic emancipation and venturing into man dominated.
Rebecca intends to collaborate with the National Directorate of Employment and some small/medium enterprises agencies to better implement her training program. Personally, Rebecca believes that if you train a woman, you are training a Nation and wants to focus on the neglected and shunned women of her society.