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Foundation collaborate to empower marginalised communities in ICT

Foundation collaborate to empower marginalised communities in ICT

Webfala Digital Skills for all Initiative (WDSfaI), a Nigeria-based non-profit that is committed to providing digital education, resources and tools for the delivery of 21st-century digital literacy skills to underserved youth in the country, has been selected to participate in cohort 2 of the Scratch Education Collaborative (SEC).

Launched in 2021, SEC is an initiative of the Scratch Foundation, United State of America (USA) that supports and engages participating organizations from around the world in a two-year, collaborative cohort experience to strengthen their organization’s commitment to, and implementation of equitable creative computing.

The Scratch Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to providing young people with digital tools and opportunities to imagine, create, share, and learn about the world of technology and coding.

Through innovation and collaboration, the Scratch Foundation spreads creative, caring, collaborative, equitable approaches to coding and learning around the world.

In a statement jointly signed by its Director of Marketing Communications, Cartez Diaz Bariga, and Communications Content Manager, Annie Whitehouse, the Foundation disclosed that a total of 91 organisations from over 20 countries will participate in the second cohort of SEC which will run for two years between 2022 and 2024.

“The SEC engages organisations in a two-year collaborative partnership designed to bring global advocates for creative coding opportunities to kids and teachers, particularly those from underserved communities, using the Scratch and ScratchJr platforms.

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The platforms had 18 million new users in 2021, up 22% from the previous year and provide a free, safe digital space for learners to explore creative coding, develop computational skills and work collaboratively.

“In addition to working together and alongside the Scratch Team, SEC participants have the opportunity to engage and work with Scratch Partner organizations which include DevTech Research Group, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Microbit Educational Foundation.

“Scratch Partners are selected based on shared values and ethos and work deliberately to enhance Scratch’s impact around the globe.

“As part of the SEC experience, Scratch Partners facilitate workshops and support culturally sustaining communities through communication and collaboration with participants,” the statement reads in part.

Reacting to the selection of her organization for SEC, the Founder and Executive Director of Webfala Digital Skills for all Initiative, Bakare Nafisat said that she was excited to join other innovators and educators across the globe for the Scratch Education Collaborative (SEC), to empower young people from marginalized communities with digital tools and opportunities to learn, create, innovate and express themselves through coding and technology.

According to Bakare, “This initiative rightly connects with our commitment to empowering underprivileged children, girls, youths and women in Nigeria (53% of whom live under the poverty line) with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and digital literacy skills that will enable them to create their own future and compete favourably in this digital age.

“We appreciate Scratch Foundation for providing us with this opportunity to learn and also impact the lives of children from underserved communities. We look forward to learning, networking, growing and building an equitable world for all.”