SMART Sistas (Sistas Mastering Advanced Real Technology) is organizing its second annual ICT camp in May 16 to 20.

The SMART Sistas vision for this ICT Camp for Girls strives to empower girls ages 11-15 to pursue educational opportunities in information communication technology areas to help Vanuatu reach gender equality in the ICT field.

IT Specialist, Rodney Philemon, from United States Peace Corps Vanuatu said that the Vanuatu ICT Girls Camp is a strong collaboration between OGCIO, Telecommunication Radio Regulator, Reserve Bank Vanuatu, Wan Smol Bag and Garden Code and encourages girls to apply to be able to participate in the ICT camp.

“This is a day camp and an application form must be filled and handed in before the due date which is on Saturday April 15,” he said.

“If the applicants (girls) are selected, they are required to pay a contribution fee of VT10,000 for investment in their laptop to take home after completion of the training.”

Mr Philemon said that only 10 participants will be selected to participate in the ICT camp that are very knowledgeable with computer skills and have a fair knowledge in graphic designs.

“This camp caters for each of the girls along with their guardians and the program was designed that by the end of the five-day camp, each of the girls and their parents should increase skill knowledge, increase self-esteem, knowledge of how to develop and master a skill and awareness of information communications technology related careers,” he said.

“For the long-term outcomes, increase the number of women in the ICT field here in Vanuatu since we only have a few currently in the positions of an IT manager, IT engineer and others, long-term skill development, close the gender gap for ICT positions and knowledge to reduce poverty.”

Mr Philemon said that during the next ICT Camp in May, the successful applicants will be introduced to graphic design courses and mobile app designs which the participants will at the end of the day complete a project of the areas that they are most interested in and present to their mentor who will be the women in ICT positions in Port Vila.

“The camp will also come in line with the World ICT day so the girls will be exposed to different ICT booths which will be present at the National Convention Centre and interact with ICT persons.

“The reason for this is we want the girls to interact more with the few women in ICT here in Vanuatu, to have a long-term commitment with them, and for those mentors to advice and encourage the girls in their IT career paths,” said Laura Loveland, US Peace Corps IT Volunteer. READ MORE