At the recently launched Akishika Project, We had a chance to interact with Priya, CEO and founder of Craft Silicon Foundation.
The Craft Silicon Foundation's aim is to provide free computer aid to youth and children in the slums. Priya spoke of encouraging and equipping women with the necessary tools to fight poverty. She also encouraged women to look at technology through women's eyes. She believes that if we empower women, then families will flourish, leading to stronger communities and eventually a successful nation.
Of interest is the Craft Silicon Foundation Bus which is computer-fitted and solar powered. The bus has been fitted with 12 computer monitors and is able to harness solar energy at no extra cost. There are 3 Servers each running 4 monitor screens, in total the 12 monitor screens are effectively powered. It is also fitted with education courseware, Internet connectivity, printers and scanners
The bus is used to offer mobile ICT services to the poor students in the country. The bus goes round to slums (Kibera, Kawangware, Kangemi, Mathare, Huruma, and Mukuru kwa Nyayo) everyday and teaches students about computers and the internet.
The lessons are tailored for girls aged between 9 and 13, and youth aged between 18 and 24. Classes are in three sessions – mornings, mid-morning, and evening. Each class has 36 students. A full course takes three months, and there are four intakes a year. Over 500 students have graduated in a one year period, most of whom have gained employment with others pursuing Information Technology.