Caribbean Girls Hackathon commemorates Girls in ICT 2018 with Safety theme

Georgetown, Guyana – Wednesday, April 18, 2018: Over 800 teenaged girls across five (5) Caribbean states – Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, will have an immersive experience with Information Technology on Thursday, April 26, 2018 in celebration of the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Girls in ICT Day. The 15 to 22 year-olds will participate simultaneously in a one-day Hackathon under the theme #SafeGirlsSafeFuture.

The inaugural Girls in ICT Day (GICT) cross-Caribbean Hackathon was held in 2017. This year, Guyana’s participation in the second edition is being coordinated by Geotech Vision, the Country Representative of the ITU.

In this 2017 flashback, participants from the Jamaica American International School of Kingston show off their certificates of participation. (Jamaica Gleaner)

Guyana’s Ministry of Public Telecommunications is also a co-sponsor and is providing the prizes. Minister Cathy Hughes is also expected to address the young participants on simulcast in Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados and the other participating countries.

This event, according to GeoTech Vision, was designed to provide high school and tertiary level students with interactive, hands-on experience using digital tools (software) to solve social and even economic challenges. The one-day Hackathon is also expected to light the path towards creation and design of their own digital products.

In Guyana, the 10 participating educational institutions are the Brickdam Secondary, North Ruimveldt Secondary, St. Rose’s High, St. Stanislaus College, Bishop’s High, Ann’s Grove Secondary, Hope Secondary, Diamond Secondary, Golden Grove Secondary, Bladen Hall Secondary schools, and the University of Guyana. The venue is the Roraima Duke Lodge, Duke St., Kingston.

Minister Hughes has been reiterating the need for each Caribbean country to develop a technologically savvy, gender-balanced ICT workforce in order to promulgate and sustain a CARICOM Single ICT Space. Caribbean and Guyanese business and public sectors also see this need and have offered tangible support for the Safe-Girls-Safe-Future 2018 Hackathon. Donors and partners include Scotiabank, LOOP, Google and the University of the West Indies. Local sponsors include The Small Business Bureau, GeoTech Vision and Roraima Duke Lodge.

Bridget Lewis, co-Founder of the group SheLeadsIT and Change Makers Development Ltd noted, “In the next 10 years, 80 percent of jobs will require a blend of STEM. We believe it is now critical to engage (females at) earlier (ages) if we are to really bridge the digital gender divide”.

Another co-founder of SheLeadsIT, Nicole Pitter Patterson, stated, “We are thrilled to have Google as our regional technical partner, facilitating a number of our training Webinars and providing mentorship support. In collaboration with local partners Ministry of Public Telecommunications and GeoTechVision, we will cover an exciting range of topics including Design Thinking, Web and Mobile App Development, Geo-Spatial Technology, Podcasting, Gaming and Animation”.

This 2018 Hackathon is one of thousands of events happening worldwide in celebration of Girls in ICT Day being commemorated on April 26, 2018. They are all aimed at creating a global environment that encourages, educates and empowers girls to pursue studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and ultimately to launch lucrative careers in the digital fields. Their ambitions would be given a boost by inspirational messages from several known local, regional and international technologists.

And Country Coordinator for GICT Day Guyana, and Managing Director of GeoTechVision, Valrie Grant said, “This important initiative will become a calendar event here in Guyana. Beyond this, we will be working with the various partners to sustain it by creating and scaling programs to reach more girls in more places, to give them (an equal) chance to choose careers in ICT”.

Members of the public would be able to view the Speaker presentations and progress of the day’s Hackathon by logging on to the ITU portal URL: http://www.itu.int/girlsinict

or follow on Facebook and Twitter:

https://www.facebook.com/GirlsICTCbbnH/

https://www.facebook.com/ITUGirlsInICT/

@GirlsICTCbbnH, @ITUGirlsInICT,

#GirlsinICT #Girlsintech #WomeninTech #hacklikeagirl #girlswhohack #GirlsinICThackathon​

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