Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin is the founder of Pearls Africa Foundation, a social enterprise that promotes the cause of vulnerable young girls through technology, entrepreneurship, skill acquisition and internship placements.
Abisoye, in a bid to deal with poverty and also change the narratives of a high percentage of men in the tech industry, started a programme called GirlsCoding.
GirlsCoding is designed specifically for young girls living in slums, orphanages and other under-served communities, in order to bridge the poverty gap by giving them functional IT skills.
Launched in 2015, Abisoye and her three friends, who volunteer as instructors, have had over 100 girls (between ages 10-17) sign up to learn skills like programming, user interface design and animation.
Following the conclusion of the program, the girls are placed on internships at tech companies where they are connected to female mentors.
Abisoye’s vision is to add 20,000 female programmers into the Nigerian tech eco-system by the year 2020.
On why she chose young girls;
Achieving gender justice is a matter of basic rights and also a key means of addressing poverty. An empowered girl will become an empowered woman, an empowered woman builds an empowered family, and an empowered family builds a powerful nation.
It is not considered a problem for girls to show dislike for STEM related jobs or academic pursuit but in a future where 65% of the jobs would be STEM related, the gender inequality will definitely widen with women at a loss. With a laptop and passion we can change their lives.