Innovate SA project Code4CT is looking to raise ZAR150,000 (US$13,500) through crowdfunding platform Thundafund in order to expand their operations in 2015.
The campaign, which has eight more days to run, had at the time of writing raised ZAR4,100 (US$370) of that target.
The premise of Code4CT – launched in July using seed funding from WeTech – is to encourage high shool girls to learn to code in order to enable them to create their own solutions to problems in the future or consider careers in ICT.
The Code4CT programme teaches coding in a way that is appealing to girls. Code4CT frames coding skills as tools to tackle social problems,” Emma Dicks of Innovate SA told Disrupt Africa.
“Women are naturally empathetic and often make career choices based on a social conscience and I believe this is one of the reasons the social sciences are flooded by women. So Code4CT starts by presenting girls with a real human need that needs solving, and then the participants learn to create and code the web as a means of creating a solution.”
Dicks said as technology becomes “infused across disciplines and fields”, literacy in coding literacy was becoming increasingly important.
“The girls had a tangible experience of using coding skills to create a solution for a local organisation. In groups they built mobile websites for tutoring clubs and environmental youth groups to help the organisations better communicate their valuable resources to the youth they serve,” she said.
“After the program, 94 per cent of participants said they were now more likely to try and use tech to solve problems. In fact, a group of the girls came up to me the other day and informed me that they had noticed that the websites of schools in Khayelitsha were ‘terrible’ and so they wanted to redesign them to be better resources. Whether or not they succeed with this project, the important thing to me is that they feel they have the ability to make an improvement to their own communities.”