"We want to break the prejudice of thinking that technology is a more masculine area"
Bringing technology to girls between 10 and 18 years old is the mission of the Technovation Foundation. Since November 2018, they are members of ColungaHUB and we talked with Constanza Díaz, its Executive Director, about its challenges.
How did you get to civil society?
It is something that has somehow always been present in my life. I came to work for civil society when I returned from exile in 1985, in different activities and different subjects. With the passage of time, I came to Girls in Tech and then to Mujeres en Conexión. Five years ago, I met Technovation, which is a North American foundation, and from then on, this new relationship with civil society began.
What is the organization working on?
Technovation Its main objective is to teach girls from 10 to 18 years old to program cell phone applications that solve problems in their communities. This has three fundamental pillars: programming, the business model and the connection it has with the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).
At the local level, our focus is on consolidating the work we have developed in several schools, contributing strongly in the transformation of Technology classes. We have done a wide and well-conscientious work in standardizing the Technovation curriculum to the learning objectives of the Chilean curriculum for Technology classes.
In this sense, this year we are intervening in 5 schools and at various levels, and we are also opening public spaces so that girls from any school or socioeconomic stratum can participate in Technovation. This in collaboration with the Library of Santiago; with HUB Providencia, with the Department of Innovation of that district in Infante 1415; and the Federico Santa María University, where he will leave with an open Technovation workshop.
Also, this year we are launching our first crowdfunding. With this project we want to obtain funding to work at the Francisco Arriarán School, which has around 1100 girls, and we want to take our program to all its levels.
Photo: Technovation intervention.
What is your biggest challenge as an organization?
I think there are several. One is, perhaps, doing more things, but I think the challenge is to channel what we do, which is to teach how to program cellular applications, social networks or games, and that is a much clearer north for us. There is always the challenge of reaching more people, of reaching more girls. We want to throw away the prejudice of thinking that technology is a more masculine area. Defeating that look is a great challenge.
How was the experience you have had in the ColungaHUB?
The first thing we can highlight about Colunga is warmth. Everyone is always open to listen, support and contain any initiative you have. In a very natural way, people join the ideas that one raises. This is how we participate in the FiiS with three other foundations on issues of inclusive language, for example.
We also rescue all the meetings that have to do with bonding, with generating bonds. We have done activities that have been open to invite the whole community, and people participate, get involved. We have had different meetings with foundations that are working on issues of education and childhood and which we would not have been able to access so easily if we were not working in this place.
What are the results that you hope to achieve by working at ColungaHUB?
Mainly, continue to absorb and learn from the other foundations. Strengthen much more the work we are doing from the internal to the professionalization of the NGO. These are our main objectives for this year. And also go hand in hand with other foundations in joint projects, in which central issues of what we do and what they do meet.