In commemoration of the 2016 Day of the African Child, Youths for Innovation Trust gathered colleges around Bulawayo and acted on the right of children to participate in their own initiatives by forming Technovation Clubs.
Coming at a point where young people’s participation in community building initiatives is lacking, young women in colleges around Bulawayo have taken up to using ICTs to build up on their personal capacities and to contribute to solving problems within their communities.
In the activity held under this year’s theme “Conflict and crisis in Africa: protecting all children’s rights,” young people interrogated the difference between human rights and children’s rights in a discussion on children’s rights facilitated by Sithabiso Ndhlovu who is a young professional working with the Media and Human Rights in Bulawayo.
In the core of children’s rights to provision and protection, the right to participation became the gist of the discussion leading the young people to a position where they testified that they are ready to harvest their skills for the betterment of Bulawayo and their country at large.
The event was action oriented and it spearhead the formation of Technovation Clubs in Bulawayo colleges in line with the Technovation Challenge where female students are challenged to make mobile applications that solve problems in their local communities whilst encouraging independent initiatives through promoting entrepreneurship.
The Technovation Clubs are meant to build the capacity of female students ahead of the Global Technovation Challenge season that runs from January to April annually. Instead of just focusing on the Technovation curriculum, these Technovation Clubs will seek to build both soft skills and hard skills amongst female students.
The clubs are an opportunity for youngsters to come together to build confidence and assertiveness in human rights and leadership whilst at the same time taking advantage of widely available international projects to tap into the field of Information and Communication Technologies.
The Technovation Clubs shall also serve to create an appreciation for coding amongst youths in Bulawayo through the Hour of Code which is also an international program that involves a one-hour introduction to computer science that is designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics of computing. The third component of skills development for young people in Technovation Clubs taps into computer hardware and it is the Motherboard Project, where they learn more about the computer motherboard and how to assemble it.
In an interview with the Director of Youths for Innovation Trust, she said that the Technovation Clubs project has been designed in a way that will ensure that within the next 6 -12 months, Bulawayo will have a new breed of geeks that is informed and proactive in spearheading social change.
The event was also graced by the presence of young activists and community development workers who volunteered to mentor these Technovation clubs and pave way for youth participation in community development.