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Kisumu’s school-girls build life-saving apps


A group of school girls in Kisumu County are developing applications (apps) that will make it easier to disseminate vital information on health and other important social issues.

Drawn from Arya Primary, Lions High School and Kisumu Girls, the girls are currently at different stages of coding – a process that makes it possible to create computer software, apps and websites.

They are working under a project dubbed Women Tech-Makers (WTM), courtesy of Google Developer Groups (GDG). Shantelle Muhere, a Standard Seven pupil at Arya Primary School leads a group coming up with an app known as H-Amusement. She says the app is going to be a game that will be used in sensitising people about HIV and Aids. She says they came up with the application after they saw many people dying of the disease.

β€œPeople do not like reading in Kenya. We are creating a game app with key information about HIV and Aids. It is a game that people will not get bored playing, yet at the same time they will be able to get information on how to prevent the disease,” she says.

Currently, they are in the process of developing characters of the game and the wordings.

A second group at Arya, whose team leader is Laura Anna, is coming up with an app that will assist in collecting food and clothing for street children.

β€œStreet children often do not have food to eat. We want to associate with them and help them get food and clothing. These items are being wasted. Our Chakuchokora app will help give them a sense of belonging,” she says.

She says they are looking forward to launching the app.Β β€œThe app is not fully developed. We expect it to be complete in about three months,” she says.

For the high school category, the girls have come up with an app called Baby Buddy, a mobile app that tracks growth from childbirth by reminding mothers of their hospital visits and vaccination dates plus appointments with pediatricians. This will help reduce infant mortality.

Women@Google Communications Manager for East and Francophone Africa and Kenya Chapter Lead Dorothy Ooko said Women Tech-Makers is intended to grow the number of women in technology.

β€œWe noticed that the uptake of technology-related courses by boys was higher than girls. Our idea is to create a pipeline for primary and secondary school girls in technology. These girls are able to code. They have presented amazing apps,” Ooko said.

Google has rolled out similar projects in other African countries like South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda.

Courtesy: Standard Media

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