Caribbean Girls Set To ‘Hack’ For A Safer Future


A report from Jamaica’s Gleaner.

Over 800 girls across five Caribbean countries – Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and St. Vincent and the Grenadines – will come together for an immersive experience in technology in celebration of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Girls in ICT Day on April 26.

Following the ground-breaking 1st Girls in ICT Day Caribbean Hackathon in 2017, woman-led SheLeadsIT and Change Makers Development Ltd. will stage the second edition, under the theme #SafeGirlsSafeFuture.

The hackathon is a technology for good initiative which provides high school and tertiary level students with an interactive and hands-on experience in the use of digital skills to solve social challenges. A day-long immersion in ICTs, the hackathon will give the girls and young women, an opportunity to envision themselves, not only as users of technology, but creators.


In Jamaica, over 25 participating institutions from across the island, including St. Andrew High School, St. Elizabeth Technical High School, American International School Kingston, Wolmer’s Girls School, the University of the West Indies as well as 2017 winners, Campion College and Northern Caribbean University, will come together at the UWI Mona Visitor’s Lodge to vie for prizes.

Recognising the need for a technologically savvy, gender balanced workforce, the event is supported by several private and public sector entities.

This year, with an increased focus on upskilling both the ‘hacker’ girls and the observers, a series of pre-event webinars are taking place, which focus on the various ICT activities the girls will be participating in during the hackathon.

The hackathon is one of thousands of events happening worldwide in celebration of Girls in ICT Day, which aims to create a global environment that encourages, educates and empowers girls to pursue studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and ultimately launch their careers in ICT. It is fitting that the event has been designated an official conference event for the UWI Mona, Faculty of Science and Technology 11th Conference, April 25-27.

With its target group of 15-22 year-olds, the Girls in ICT Day Caribbean Hackathon is focused on ensuring that Caribbean girls and young women will be ready for a career in ICT long before they get to an office!

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