ZimboPy: Empowering Zimbabwean Girls As Change Makers

Marlene Mhangami, Phoebe Chua


![][1] ZimboPy is an organic, on-the-ground effort by a local non-profit organization and Python developers in the Harare software development community to advance the cause of women in technology in Zimbabwe. The program operates in community centers, universities, high schools and tech hubs to make programming accessible to girls regardless of their socio-economic status. Upon initially joining a ZimboPy club, many of the girls would have never used a computer before, let alone code. In Zimbabwe, only 17% of computer science undergraduate majors are women, and in the developing world, women make up less than 20% of the information and technology workforce. ZimboPy exists to empower Zimbabwean girls with the skills and confidence necessary to not only enter the local tech industry, but to lead it. ![][2] In addition to learning to code, ZimboPy club members also join a global network of women in technology that are working to tackle social challenges through human-centered design and computer science. ZimboPy’s mentorship program invites experienced women developers, mainly from the United States and Europe, to help Zimbabwean girls address local problems which can be solved with technology, such as clean water and e-commerce solutions for small shops in towns and villages. Mentors will travel to Zimbabwe and work with girls as they develop a plan for their applications and pair-program with them, answering questions and providing feedback along the way. To ensure that the girls are successful, mentors will continue to work with their groups even after leaving the country through weekly video conferences and email feedback. Overall, ZimboPy looks forward to changing Zimbabwe's future through creativity, collaboration and the power of Python programming [1]: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_PHOpRVFcszU1lmZXNPNkg3VU0/view?usp=sharing [2]: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_PHOpRVFcszTFM4VVluVEFjMEE/view?usp=sharing