Our second Django Girls event took place in Masvingo, at the Herbert Chitepo School of Law campus. The event was organised by Humphrey and I and hosted by the Great Zimbabwe University Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. The event was originally scheduled for the 20th of August 2016 but had to postponed to 24th of September 2016 after facing some sponsorship challenges. The issue was later resolved and the event was a success.
The event introduced 18 women and girls to coding with Python and Django. We had six coaches traveling from Harare to Masvingo just for this event and the response was awesome. Most of our attendees were students from the Great Zimbabwe University and Masvingo Poly Technical College who had done some programming. They were so fascinated to learn and discover how Python was so easy to learn compared to other languages they had been exposed to.
An important lesson learnt though from organising this event was that we need to contextualize the events so that they suit our environment. Masvingo, like most parts of Zimbabwe, has a low internet penetration rate. As such social media marketing did not work just like online applications. I had to make a separate trip to deliver hard copies of application forms and market the event to get more applicants. This therefore limited diversity of applicants as I could not cover more ground.
The good thing is that the event paved a way for PyCon Zimbabwe 2016 and so much that happened in organising this event leveled the ground for PyCon Zimbabwe. I was also glad to finally give back to the community that raised me, my hometown, by impacting the lives of young women there. I first learnt to code in Masvingo, at Zimuto High School and hence it was an awesome experience teaching girls in Masvingo to code!