A not-for-profit organization focused on empowering African girls through education, training, and mentoring in the STEM fields founded by 2014 Tutu Fellow Lade Araba has been recognised by Google for the work it has been doing.  Google announced that the Visiola Foundation would receive a 2016 Google RISE Award for its efforts to increase access to computer science  education for youth.

The Google RISE Awards supports informal education organizations around the world that promote computer science for K-12/pre-university age youth.

The program emphasizes participation from girls, youth in low-income communities, and minorities who have historically been underrepresented in the field of computer science.

Since 2010, the Google RISE Awards have contributed $5 million dollars to over 200 organizations across 40 countries reaching nearly 1 million youth.

Nicky Rigg, Google’s RISE Awards program manager said “We are excited to include The Visiola Foundation in our recent cohort of 30 organizations across 18 countries. Our RISE Awardees make up a community of passionate and vibrant educators and advocates; they are changemakers that engage, educate, and excite students about computing through extracurricular outreach.”

Visiola Foundation President Lade Araba said, “We work to help students acquire the 16 skills identified by the World Economic Forum as requirements for success in the 21st century. This grant will enable us to positively impact many more girls from underserved communities by exposing them to the exciting field of Computer Science.”

The Visiola Foundation’s intensive Coding Boot Camps for Girls are designed to encourage more girls from underserved communities to pursue careers in Computer Science by equipping them with practical knowledge to facilitate their success. The camps teach girls how to code in various programming languages, while strengthening their critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving skills.  An example of this can be seen in a video of teen girls who coded a robotic forklift during one of the foundation's boot camps.

You can read more about the program and the award at The Visiola Foundation's website.