Girls Go IT in Moldova

What happens when you bring about 40 young girls ages 16-20 and put them in a room with a number of talented local IT professionals & trainers together for two weeks to learn about IT?

IMG_3040

The last two weeks were full of a mix of multiple languages; Romanian, English, Russian, and coding. These girls learned how to build websites through different coding languages using Python, HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, Flask, in addition to other components like responsive design and social media marketing. This is the first year for the #GirlsGoIT summer camp with 2 goals; one being to introduce coding and critical thinking skills to young girls ages 16-20 and the other to integrate various social groups together in the same camp. The girls were divided up into 6 teams and worked together to build a website to solve a problem in their communities.  It had been a very intense schedule where the girls worked long days on their projects, sometimes 12-14 hours a day.

DSC_0088
Each team came up with names for their groups before starting their projects… Meet team Astrum Nigrum.
DSC_0124
The first couple of days of #GirlsGoIT camp were rainy and cold. Layers of clothing and lots of warm tea and coffee were necessary since the venue at Bahmut Club was a beautiful indoors-part-outdoors space.

I asked a few girls to share with me “What did you like most about the #GirlsGoIT summer camp?”

“Girls Go IT camp gave us the opportunity to meet awesome people, to learn about HTML, CSS, bootstrap, flask, and nevertheless, we created a site based on our new knowledge!”  – Carolina

DSC_0111
Carolina & Madalina working on their group project.

“People! People are amazing here. And it was funny, sometimes hard, but nevertheless, I liked it here.” – Valeria

Valeria, in the middle with some of her new friends she met at Girls Go IT camp.
Valeria, in the middle with some of her new friends she met at Girls Go IT camp.
DSC_0345
Veronica, who was usually all smiles when I saw her each day.

“These two weeks were the most beautiful weeks of this summer. Here I met the most wonderful, beautiful and amazing people ever.” – Veronica

DSC_0399
The trainers kept the sessions interesting with humor and jokes. Sergiu with the camp mascot watching over his shoulder.
DSC_0523
Code that the girls were working on to build their sites for their group projects.
Hard at work coding away at various points throughout the week.
The girls were hard at work on their projects and coding away all throughout the week.
DSC_0355
The girls and trainers working hard during one of the sessions.
IMG_3120
One of the days during the 2-week camp we all split up into smaller groups for some field trips to visit IT-related companies. I went with a group to visit Moldcell where the girls got a little tour of the facility and got to meet the marketing and IT departments. I think they really enjoyed seeing real-life experiences and seeing people in their working environment.
DSC_0782
A Moldovan holiday, Independence day (24 years)  ended up on one of the days while we were at the camp. To celebrate, we planned a surprise scavenger hunt for everyone in the evening. They were given riddles/puzzles to find their next location to find their next clue — can you figure out what this one was? (hint: remember we were at an IT camp)
DSC_0796
During the scavenger hunt there were various “detours” given to the teams to take photos or do random things. Vlad was ambushed by a group hug from another team. Lots of laughter was heard throughout the camp that evening as teams dashed around trying to find the hidden clues.
DSC_0799
Team “Electrons” (the trainers and camp staff) tried to fit the whole team into the outdoor BBQ grill during one of the photo detours trying to take a group #selfie in a small space.
On the last full day of the camp the girls presented their websites. Shortly after this, they deployed their sites online. Lots of cheering ensued.
On the last full day of the camp the girls presented their websites. Shortly after this, they deployed their sites online. Lots of cheering ensued.

On the last night of the Girls Go IT summer camp, our lovely hosts at the Bahmut  Club made a delicious meal and pulled out some fun surprises. We celebrated the end of the camp and their deployment of their sites with cake, paper lanterns, and a huge bonfire.

DSC_0979
Small groups of 2-3 lit paper lanterns all at once celebrating the end of the camp.

lanterns

DSC_1017
The biggest bonfire I have seen was lit and we all gathered to reflect upon the past 2 weeks of summer camp.

A little cake-face-smashing happened somehow in the evening as well.

View this post on Instagram

Celebrind lansarea site-ului! #GirlsGoIT

A post shared by Ana Cobzac (@anisoaracobzac) on

And these ladies… words cannot explain how grateful I am to have served and worked alongside each of them these past two weeks and the “new” memories and experiences we shared during this time. As fellow Peace Corps Volunteers from the same year and program (yay M29 COD!) I am so glad we are here together in Moldova.

DSC_0431

So to answer the question posed at the beginning of this post… “What happens when you bring about 40 young girls ages 16-20 and put them in a room with a number of talented local IT professionals & trainers together for two weeks to learn about IT?”

It becomes a room full of inspiration, hard work, determination, tears, learning, laughter and best of all… new friendships.

All
So thankful to meet all these inspiring ladies, trainers, mentors, and camp organizers at the first #GirlsGoIT summer camp.
Advertisements

5 comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s