Have you ever had an idea you wanted to try and couldn’t do it because you couldn’t make a prototype? Budding engineers have this problem all the time. A lack of availability of machines, tools, and equipment keep dreams from being born. Technologies like coding and 3D printing open youth’s minds to possible careers and choices that are in demand in the digital age. Recently I learned about training centers for refugees that have been taught employable digital skills.
It tickles the imagination to think that with the right environments, youth could be tackling the HUGE problems that the people face using the best and latest technologies on offer. The Pwani Tecknowgals hub on Moi Avenue in Mombasa, Kenya is the combined effort of 3 powerhouse Kenyan women together wanting to make the space for other women to come and learn about coding and technology. Their courses span from very basic to advanced and these ladies are passing on employable skills on a 1 to 1 level.
Voices of Africa Foundation in partnership with Pwani Tecknowgals want to teach these young ladies 3D printing and design. We have spoken to Kuunda 3D, the local distributor for Ultimaker, and an Ultimaker 3S is waiting to be delivered. We need help to raise the $4,000 required to turn this classroom into a Printing Empowerment Center training girls in how to print and prototype their ideas. The founder of Pwani and their network will help us to find girls waiting for this opportunity.
Voices of Africa will work on designs to be sent, printed, and tested at the hub in Mombasa. Together with these girls we will think creatively and explore new products to be taken to the local and regional markets. There is unlimited potential for growth in Kenya and Africa for African-made solutions. These young ladies will be encouraged to undertake their own 3D printer-based projects and to launch their ideas as start-up enterprises.