Ventures for Good, Empower Women

AXIOM is pleased to present today’s guest post from Tom Snyder, co-founder of Smartstainable, a non-profit organization that provides computer programming training to empower women and children affected by poverty and disease.  Smartstainable is the volunteer collaboration of Professor Susan Kiene, who teaches and studies public health, and Tom Snyder, a seasoned software engineer and professional technical instructor with decades of global IT experience.  For this post, Tom has partnered with the Ventures for Good Foundation, a group dedicated to enabling primary school children in Uganda to learn through renewable technology resources.

Teaching Rural Women in Uganda to Code
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Imagine you are a woman who lives in a rural village in Uganda. You awaken each day under a mosquito net, pray, take care of your children and your husband (if he is there), tend to the garden, clean the home, and go to fetch water as there is no running water in the village. Jobs are scarce, you barter for goods and services with the fruits and vegetables you have grown.

Occasionally, you hear from others about the “modern world” and the use of computers and you can only dream that one day you will touch a computer with your very own hands. Now, imagine your dream comes true!

Eighteen months later, you have learned HTML, CSS and jQuery and you have built a web-site called and are now writing and testing a responsive mobile application that helps track Ebola orphans in Liberia. What’s more – you and your two colleagues, who have just completed the pilot Smartstainable training program, are now training four new women in your village on basic computer usage, Email, Skype and Dropbox. Not only are you empowered but now you are empowering others like you.

Smartstainable is a program that provides women in rural Uganda with free computer programming (coding) training, mentoring, and project work so that they can help feed and pay school fees for their children and build a better life for their family. See our original post here. In return, these ladies transfer their knowledge and know-how to others making the program “smart” and “sustainable.”

Since March, 2014, our classroom has been one small desk located in an office in the administrative wing of Gombe Hospital, in the village of Gombe, Uganda. Encouraged by the success of the pilot program, we seek to build two Smartstainable training centers at an estimated cost of $100,000 that would provide:

• Secure outfitted classrooms
• Office 360 and Azure cloud hosting environment to showcase the women’s accomplishments
• Stipend for travel, lunch and childcare to rural women helping to train newbies
• Eight economy round-trip airfares to Uganda for US volunteers

Please visit us by the mosquito net at the Non Profit Fair @ The Commons on October 22nd and the 23rd in Boston, MA.

From a Mosquito Net to the Internet. Empowering Rural Women through Computer Programming Training.

Contact us if you would like to donate

-L&D Thoughts
-Article written by Tom Snyder, co-founder of Smartstainable, and posted by AXIOM.

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