Nine #DOTYouth who are bridging the Gender Digital Divide join Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) ’s #GirlsinICT Street Team Initiative

Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) Rwanda is very thrilled to introduce the nine members of  the first cohort of the #GirlsinICT Street Team initiative who are from Rwanda.

In July 2021, Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU)  launched the #GirlsinICT Street Team, a youth-led response to the bridging the gender digital divide in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Uganda, and Zambia. Through the #GirlsinICT Street Team, DOT and ITU will support the impact and reach of  50 youth-led, grassroots initiatives that are creating opportunities for young women and girls in technology.

In Rwanda, the first cohort of the #GirlsinICT Street Team  consists of 9 youths (7 women and 2 men) from  Gasabo, Ngororero, Bugesera, Karongi, Kicukiro, Kayonza, Huye and Nyarugenge districts. These young women and men run community initiatives that are supporting young women and girls’ access to digital technology, connectivity and security or enhancing young women and girls’ skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM). 

DOT and ITU will provide members of the  first cohort of the #GirlsinICT Street Team with:

  •  1-on-1 Virtual Coaching – to support them to make meaningful progress towards their goals and initiative;
  • Partnership Training – to enhance partnerships and business development skills and to connect to relevant training and support networks;
  • Peer-to-Peer Support – to connect with youth who have similar interests, focuses and initiatives; 
  • Educational Opportunities – to support them to join a relevant e-learning opportunity of their choosing through DOT’s learning catalogue;
  • Gender and Social Innovation Training – to support them to think about their initiative, impact and reach from a gender equality perspective;
  • Digital Profiles – to create a digital profile on DOT’s Innojo platform that can be shared with their Street Team peers and beyond; 
  • Seed Funding – to award them with seed funding to support their work in their community and their efforts in bridging the gender digital divide. 

We are very delighted to be on this journey with them, and we are also excited to see their community initiatives become stronger and more resilient,  their reach expanded, and their impact growing.

Meet the nine members of the first cohort of the #GirlsinICT Street Team who are bridging the gender digital divide in Rwanda:

  1. Marie Chantal Umunyana

Marie Chantal is the Founder and CEO of Umubyeyi Elevate, a digital health social enterprise that strives to empower parents and prospective parents with maternal and child health and provide parenting information through well-designed, friendly digital approaches and tools, community engagement, and training services. Umubyeyi services equip young mothers, pregnant women and prospective parents with essential information that enables them to improve their health, and promote maternal-child health thus fighting against maternal child death and morbidities. Umubyeyi runs regular workshops where information is shared directly from specialists, Web and Mobile apps, and Social media interactions.

Marie Chantal hopes to benefit from DOT programs in capacity building, and industry exposure, and connect with other social entrepreneurs.

2. Claudine Niyonzima

Claudine is the Co-Founder and Data Analyst at SAN TECH Ltd, a technology company with a mission to contribute to the national and regional Information Communication and Technology (ICT) by building a tech hub that equips young IT technicians, especially young women and girls through training and innovation development. SAN TECH Ltd encourages new talents and  innovations that accelerate the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by providing career development in ICT, capacity building and job connections to the youths.

Claudine is looking forward to leveraging on the skills from DOT’s programs to encourage other girls to join ICT,  gain mentorship, training and networks. 

3. Yvonne Uwemeyimana

Yvonne is a medical student, aspiring social entrepreneur and the field coordinator of Ubuzima Innovation Hub, a collaborative digital platform which offers innovative education programs, materials and medical consultations with regular follow-ups to make Sexual Health and Reproductive Health( SHRH) safe and accessible for all. Ubuzima Innovation Hub provides health services via their website, digitized menstrual devices, and education programs in communities. Ubuzima Innovation Hub is stepping their efforts with a mission to ensure safe and accessible SRHR , especially to underserved groups such as women in rural areas and refugee camps.

Yvonne is excited to join DOT’s #GirlsinICT initiative and believes that she will benefit from DOT’s programs through mentorship, industry experts, and support to scale the impact of Ubuzima Innovation Hub.

4. Theoneste Sikubwabo

Theoneste is the Managing Director of Rwili Company Ltd, a science and technology initiative that trains and teaches rural young people and children the sciences (Maths, Physics ,Chemistry and Biology). They also empower the youth and children with basic ICT skills. Rwili Company Ltd is based in Karongi district. Their next biggest goal is to start teaching computer programming in HTML,  SCC, JavaScript and python, with particular focus on young women.

Theoneste hopes to benefit from the DOT Programs with the skills and experience that will help him to refine his business model as he builds and grows the reach of his initiative.

5. Placidie Irandengera

Placidie is the Mentorship Program Coordinator at She Honed for Excellence(SHE),  a non-profit organization with a mission to Serve Girls Rights to Education. They are based in Nyamata, Bugesera. She Honed for Excellence targets girls aged between  10-21 years and equips them with educational skills, with a strong emphasis on STEM and ICT studies. SHE’s vision is to see their pioneers as career champions and become drivers of their own success, breaking the social stigma around female’s ability and capacity to succeed in the male – dominated fields.

6. Adeline Umutoni

Adeline is the Manager of Beautiful Brainz Hub (BBH), an initiative of Beautiful Brainz. Beautiful Brainz is a social enterprise that is committed to transforming girls’ lives through education. Beautiful Brainz supports girls aged between 8-12 years from vulnerable families to meet requirements they need to stay and excel in school. It equips them with training on the use of ICT tools so that they can learn basic technology skills at an early age, and encourages them to pursue technology in the future.


7. Rosine Igirimpuhwe

Rosine is the Founder of Hope for The Future, an initiative that aims to develop solutions to fight teenage pregnancies by bringing sexual and reproductive health education to young girls, aged between 14-19 years. Hope for The Future provides sexual and reproductive health education by partnering with community youth volunteers, and offers training on menstrual health and reproduction among others. In addition to this, Hope for The Future provides young girls with basic ICT literacy training in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and trains them with photography skills.

Through this program, Rosine hopes to benefit from DOT’ s coaching, and business development to strengthen her business skills as she continues to build her initiative.

8. Joselyne  Nisingizwe

Joselyne is a software developer and founder of E-tekana, an online platform that aims to prevent gender – based violence by giving young girls and women  information on how they can protect their data digitally using their phones, computers, etc. By participating in DOT’s Street Team initiative, Joselyne hopes to acquire the skills and experiences that will help her to better the platform, grow her reach to 3,000 young women and  girls in the next two years.  She believes the DOT’s coaching and learning opportunities will be helpful as she launches radio campaigns and organize community events to market her initiative.

9. Samuel Nyandwi

Samuel is the co-founder of IT Young Women and Girls, an initiative that aims at  tackling the social stigma that discourages young women and girls to pursue education. The initiative is based in Kayonza and  provides young women and girls with training in Sciences and ICT, while also equipping them with the self confidence they need to excel and become role models for their peers and the next generation.

Samuel hopes to leverage on the skills he will acquire from the DOT’s #GirlsinICT initiative to reach more young girls and women in his community and beyond.

Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT)’s #GirlsinICT Street Team is a youth-led response to the bridging the gender digital divide initiative supported by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

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