My name is Emelobe Ifeoma, a corps member working with Aspilos Foundation (AF) in Minna as a project officer on the AboCoders project. I was part of the team that implemented Camp AboCoders that held in August, 2016. Find out more about the camp here.
When Simi Olusola, the AboCoders project director invited me to partake and also help in coordinating this week long camp training which held at Aflon Digital Academy Kuje, Abuja, to say I was overwhelmed was an understatement. This was because I had always heard of holiday camps like this right from when I was a kid but never had the opportunity to attend one so I knew next to nothing about them now I was being told I would have to come manage one. She also assigned me the responsibility of chaperoning the participants that would be coming from Minna.
I knew I would benefit quite a lot from doing this though I was a bit sceptical of how favourable the environment would be in terms of sleeping quarters and feeding. On getting to the location with four young girls from Minna, we met the other beneficiaries from different states and the other team members. The facility looked like it was custom constructed for the camp so I realised there was no need for my earlier scepticism. I helped register and settle in the girls as they were arriving and assigned them to their dorm rooms.
Every day started with fun exercises and workouts that helped everyone start up their day with an active mind and body and I was in charge of the workout sessions. It was really pleasant to conduct the workouts and the girls were very lively participants even when their limbs ached.
On Friday, the second to the last day of camp, we had an interactive session with five sophisticated female professionals (Nkoyo Efretei, Chioma Chuka, Banke Fasominu, Jennesse Haruna, Gloria Nkpubre and Fatima Othman) who use tech heavily in their careers/businesses. They had a speed geeking session with us after which they had a panel session. They were kind enough to use the speed geeking to enlighten the girls on how they utilise technology in attaining their various goals. There was also lectures from them on how to face challenges as a woman both in tech and other aspects of our prospective careers. This life changing day was topped with entertainment include a comedy session with El-Effizy, dramas and a talk show organised and presented by the girls. Simi and I were invited as guests on the talk show and the girls made it a hot seat session with their awfully personal questions, they also asked me to dance and Simi to sing and though it was awkward, it was also fun.
By the end of the week the girls were divided into four groups, each group worked as a team and developed an application which encompassed three information websites and one game site. Throughout Saturday, they worked on building the sites from the scratch and their results were impressive. They were so engaged in building their sites that they almost missed two of their meals. We will be displaying/exhibiting the sites during the TechHer anniversary at the end of September.
My stay at the camp was not only educating and enlightening, it was also entertaining. I got to meet young, talented, disciplined ladies amongst both the instructors and the beneficiaries that inspired me to increase, modify and actually begin to pursue my goals. It was a great experience and I got to eat three squared balanced meals every day for free *winks*
Check out our gallery for pictures of the camp, a photo book will be released soon as well.