2018 Anita Borg Systers Pass It On Award Winner
Project Title: Tech Girls
Marvella has a Master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from the Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Benin. She is Nigerian, and is fluent in English and French. She is also an award-winning humanitarian, and is a member of reputable organizations including Junior Chamber International (JCI), International Women’s Society, Nigerian Association of University Women (NAUW) affiliated with Graduate Women International (GWI), ONE Campaign, and Association for Women’s Rights In Development (AWID).
Marvella is the Founder and CEO of Save Our Needy, a nonprofit organization primarily focused on ending extreme poverty through education, empowerment, and the promotion of women and children’s rights. She believes in gender equality and women empowerment, and believes that the key to true economic development is by empowering women and girls.
Tech Girls is designed to empower disadvantaged and marginalized girls with ICT and digital skills, and will provide career talks on ICT. Through this program, 50 girls selected from two low-income secondary schools in Mushin, Lagos, Nigeria will be freely given an eight week intensive training on ICT and digital skills. Participants will also benefit from career counselling from three leading female technology professionals, who will encourage them to consider ICT as their major course in the university.
After the program, the girls will form an ICT club where they will be able to regularly interact with each other and influence their peers from other schools to develop interest in ICT and digital skills. This program therefore has the capacity of impacting more than 200 girls.
There is a huge technology gender gap in Nigeria. Girls and women have to be encouraged to take more interest in science and technology. The need to invest more in the digital inclusion of women and girls cannot be overemphasized. Tech Girls will contribute greatly to bridging the gender digital divide, thereby making a positive difference in the digital inclusion of women and girls in Nigeria.