We have successfully completed our first Open Source for Equality Challenge! The results are impressive: five web apps by five female developers in four local languages, covering a range of topics that will help empower rural women in Uganda.
The Open Source for Equality (OSEQ) challenge was launched in cooperation with the Response Innovation Lab Uganda back in July 2022. The goal of the challenge was to encourage inclusive participation in open source projects. Participants could decide between three different tracks depending on their background: WOM.fm (for entry-level software developers), Curious Learner (for content creators) and Uganda EMR (for advanced software developers). The WOM.fm track was organized by the OSEQ team, which brought together selected female developers with the relevant projects. The aim was to create audio web applications based on the real needs of local women's organizations that would be used in their work.
The five projects of the WOM.fm track covered the following educational contents and languages:
- Tuberculosis in Lugbarati (WOM.fm/901, content from German Leprosy Relief Association)
- Tuberculosis in Alur (WOM.fm/902, content from German Leprosy Relief Association)
- Women's Health In Luganda (WOM.fm/903, content from Audiopedia)
- Digital Financial Literacy in Luo (WOM.fm/904, content from Strategic Impact Advisors)
- Nutrition in Luganda (WOM.fm/905, content from Audiopedia)
All web apps were developed using our WOM.fm Sandbox, a template on Github that facilitates the development of accessible web apps for digital audio. Each participant could build her app privately on her own GitHub account with the support of our mentor Fanny. Once the apps were finished, they were deployed to the WOM.fm platform, which is also hosted on Github.
Here is some background information of our five successful participants:
- Kemigisah Lailah Grant: Lailah is a front-end web developer by profession and currently works as an IT employee in an early intervention centre. She loves watching films.
- Winnie Nassozi: Winnie is a forward-thinking software developer who is passionate about technology, enthusiastic and always willing to learn and expand her knowledge and skills.
- Rebecca Florence Nanono: Rebecca is the co-founder of Shetechtive Uganda, a non-profit organisation that ensures girls and young women have access to equitable, quality and inclusive education through the sale of learning tablets and laptops on instalment. Following the school closures in Uganda due to COVID-19, Shetechtive Uganda has been active in ensuring the continuity of education.
- Bruni Nelly Shatu: Nelly is a young mother who wants to pursue a career in fashion and design. She is a professional social media manager and is also learning web development.
- Jemimah Natasha Nyakato: Jemimah is a software developer and feminist. She is passionate about technology, developing user-friendly web applications and sustainable menstrual care. She is the co-founder of Eco Options, an e-commerce startup for sustainable menstrual hygiene.
This first group of participants was admittedly small, but it provided us with important insights for the further scaling of our approach. The feedback from the participants was overwhelmingly positive, which encourages us to continue on this path.