"Connecting girls in developing countries to mentors who can provide them resources and opportunities in STEM"
Elizabeth S, Suchita M, Karina S
There are currently 62 million girls who are out of school, and girl unity connects those girls in developing countries to mentors who can provide them resources and opportunities in STEM. Mentors are expected to inspire, motivate, and educate the children and help them pursue their passion and interest. Girls and mentors communicate through video chat and messaging features that girl unity provides on the users' profiles. Currently, we are reaching out to Children of Peace Uganda, which is an organization that helps ex-child soldiers in Uganda, through the NBA, and aiming to help these ex-child soldiers through girl unity to learn how to code so that they can find a job and passion despite their past.
There are currently 62 million girls who do not go to school and that number is exponentially increasing every single day. Girls especially in underdeveloped countries are not able to go to school due to financial limitations or because they are expected to be a house wife. Along with not having access to resources, these girls also struggle with self-confidence. After extensive research we learned that even in underdeveloped countries there is limited access to Internet which can be found in libraries or Internet cafes. Therefore, we wanted to give those girls an online community.
Our group is trying to find a pragmatic solution for those millions of girls who are currently not receiving an education by connecting them with mentors who are experts in their field and can guide, reassure, and inspire future creators. After studying several statistics we noticed that self-confidence is a major factor impeding girls to learn. Some even believe they are not capable of being an engineer, a doctor, or anything they wish to be. We want to diminish this pessimistic view several girls hold and encourage them to be brave, especially by showing them a mentor who had a similar dream to them and managed to succeed. Our mission is to create a unique online medium where any girl can reach out for educational help with an actual person with just a computer. We hope to do this through several secure methods of contact which are available on our website which includes video chatting, messaging, forums and email.
One of the problems we had during this project was being able to host the website with our files. We had to upload a database to our website for it to actually run so that mentors and mentees could make accounts and actually interact with one another. Unfortunately, we had a compatibility issue with one of our PHP files and the source we were using to host girlunity.com. After two days of editing and reworking our code, we were able to get our PHP file to function properly on the website! Our determination, hard work, and multiple trials and errors finally brought us to success with the registration page. By working together to formulate a solution we were able to overcome our technical issue and make girl unity a real website!