Talking about the Nepalese community, women are still lagging behind in various opportunities. According to the Nepalese interim constitution 2062/63, 33% of every work is reserved for the women, but talking about the women empowerment and leadership in technology, they are far behind. From many years, there has been a great misconception among the people that only men should do the technical works. So, for many years, women were involved only in household works and other non-technical works. But along with the time, there also have been some changes about this misconception. In fact, we can see that some women are really getting into the technological world with gadgets and a bunch of wires on their hands today. In reality, even today, on our society, many people and even women themselves believe that technical works and technical jobs are only for men. So, understanding the problem in our own society, WLiT was born to bring women leadership strong in the technological field.
As an initiative, WLiT launched a two-week long boot camp, supported by Robotics Association of Nepal. This boot camp was all about motivating girls in leadership and technological field. Talking about the boot camp’s applicants, we had many. So, for the selection purpose, we took a short interview of each applicant. As a result, we selected 9 fine girls for the WLiT boot camp 2015. Well, talking more about the participants we selected, they really had some potentials to do something and determination to achieve more in their life. It just seemed that they needed some guidance and a little more training on leaderships to compete in today’s man ruled technical world. Seeing such great potentials but some incompleteness in their leadership skills and their way of understanding today’s speeding technological world, we then made a vivid decision to take these candidates as our participants. After the selection process, the boot camp successfully started from June 21, 2015. As, WLiT organization is all related to women leaderships and women involvement in technological field, we focused the whole boot camp mainly on developing the leadership skills of those participants and providing a special platform for them to learn and develop their own Android app in order to develop their technical skills. Two week is a long period of time. So, it was pretty sure that the whole boot camp wouldn’t end only with some Android lessons and leadership skills. Hence, on this boot camp, we also had the arrangement of the speaker session. The speakers were from various other organizations. We had Sunaina Ghimire Pandey, secretary of Computer Association of Nepal, as our speaker on the first day. Then, from Women in ICT/CAN Federation, we had speaker Namita Pradhan. Similarly, from Women in IT and YIPL we had Sheela Kansakar Karki,Women in ICT and Pavitra Rana as our guest speaker. The speeches delivered by the guests were quite effective and fruitful. Talking about my personal view, the speeches were seen very inspirational, motivational and supporting one for the participants enough to build up their courage to become a leader in this man dominated field.
On this two-week long boot camp, there were lots of other surprises as well. At the very first day, there was one ice-breaking activity, the kind activity that breaks the awkward silence of a bunch of new people. The participants were really excited and interactive on this activity. Besides icebreaking activity and speaker session, there were other kinds of activities as well. The activities like marshmallow challenge, making the dress out of given newspaper, and selling products, and so on. These are all the team works which we managed to assign to those participants. They were given very short time for each team work. But, in spite of this fact, the participants did a very good job on this one. They were interactive in every team work. These activities were also very effective way to make those girls realize the importance of teamwork and value the opinion of each others in a team. Team work was the other thing, but, on the other hand, leadership training was also on the long list of our boot camp. The leadership trainers for this boot camp were Menuka Gurung, Women Lead Nepal, and Rajina Shrestha. Our trainers also worked hard to make this training effective. The major step taken for this training was the public speaking session, where each participant had to talk about one specific topic, the topic that was chosen from random chits of many topics. Believe it or not, this was seen the most effective one on the whole leadership training session because every participant got a chance to explore themselves, their attitude and creativity. The participants really enjoyed the public speaking session. Of course, they all tried hard to make their speech as effective and standardized as they could. In this activity, the participants were really happy to get an opportunity to improve and practice their speaking skills. The trainers also suggested few ideas for the improvements of their speaking skills. A lot of suggestions and speeches were delivered on leadership training which kept our participants motivated and dedicated all the time. So, this was all about the leadership training.
Android programming session was also one of the most emerging topics of this whole 2-week long boot camp. After all, our organization is “Women Leaders in Technology”. That means, we also had to do a lot of technological thing on this boot camp. The first day didn’t really start with the installation program. It was just because we had a special arrangement only for the installation program just a day before the boot camp started. So, no one had to really bother for the installation program on the first day. Certainly, our Android session also went very well from the first day of the WLiT boot camp 2015. The trainers for the Android session were Binisha Shrestha and Bishal Mahat, developer of WLiT. On the first week, our trainers mainly focused on teaching how to do Android programming and in the second week, those participants had to develop their own application. This time the trainers just mentored those participants while building their own application. As far as I remember, on the first week, the participants were really trying their best to concentrate on learning android programming. Of course, coding is not as easy task. Sometimes, I even get frustrated when my code doesn’t run. Well, that’s bitter of every programmer like us. Luckily, our participants wouldn’t get much frustrated. In fact, they even it was really appreciable of our participants coming each day giving their full time and dedication. We really got a good response about our Android trainers on hearing from the participants. Probably yes, our Android trainers also worked very hard for this boot camp.
Finally, a most awaited day for everyone, graduation day had actually come. There was a short program for the closing of our boot camp on this day. We had few guests on the closing ceremony of WLiT boot camp 2015. The guest we invited were Dipesh Khanal as Secretary of Robotics Association of Nepal, Dipeshwor Man Shrestha and Pavitra Gautam from Karkhana. We also had various programs arranged for this day. We had apps showcase program, speaking session, certificate distribution and so on. Apps showcase was one of the most important sessions on this day and it feels proud to say that our participants did a lot of hard work to make it go well. So, the whole boot camp had a good result after all. With no doubt, our closing ceremony also went well.
Pretty exhausted, everyone felt really happy and delighted to have a great success on the first boot camp organized by WLiT. There was a huge support for WLiT from various other organizations which was the main reason for this boot camp to become successful. The supporters for this boot camp were Nepal Telecommunication Authority, Young Innovation. We really thank all our supporters for helping WLiT in many possible ways to succeed this boot camp. WLiT really had a huge support from Robotics Association of Nepal for WLiT boot camp 2015. We heartily appreciate their support.s