Marking International Girl Child Day

Publication date: 27.10.2021

Girl's Day is a global campaign recognized by the United Nations since 2012 and is held annually on October 11th. This initiative raises awareness of girls' rights, their education, and the challenges that they live.

This year in Kosovo, the IPKO Foundation, with the support of the US Embassy in Pristina, USAID’s Program, "After School Support for Teens” (ASSET), and the Digital School, brought together 50 teens from across Kosovo in a 2-day virtual workshop on "Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning”.

The workshop was headed by the international theme "Digital Generation, Our Generation," highlighting the unique challenges of adolescent girls' access to technology and relating to the situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the United Nations, the pandemic has increased the need to use digital learning platforms, especially for girls.

During the workshop, participants aged 13-19, girls and boys, were divided into different groups, mentored, and trained in Scratch programming language and machine learning. Participants also had the opportunity to hear the inspirational speech of Zana Buçinca, a Ph.D. student at Artificial Intelligence at Harvard University. She shared her success story to motivate girls to pursue their dreams and fight prejudice or barriers they may encounter.

Zana shared these five tips with the participants:
1. Dream BIG;
2. Commit to goals;
3. Build self-confidence;
4. Find other perspectives - By living with different people, you gain the strength to step out of the context of your culture, be more open-minded and choose what values you are interested in.
5. Read, read, read - Regardless of the successes in the field you represent, you should always read about other areas as well, which help you open your mind and perspectives.
Listen to the full talk by Zana here

*** The “After School Support for Teens” program is funded by USAID and implemented by the Kosovo Education Center (KEC) in partnership with FHI360 and Crimson Capital Corp.