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NGO reaches out to juvenile inmates

Mimi Machakaire

THE Gender Entrepreneurship and Media Institute (GEM) recently held a computer programming workshop for juvenile inmates at the Lesotho Correctional Service prison in Maseru aimed at equipping them with computer skills.

The workshop is in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 4 which seeks to ensure inclusive quality education for all.

The workshop was also in furtherance of the Africa Code Week Programme that is aimed at empowering future leaders with computer programing skills they need to thrive in the 21st century workforce.

The inmates aged from 10 to 18 years were taught Scratch- a language based system for beginners that helps children to create interactive stories, games and animations.

GEM trainer, Nkentso Ledimo, said that “Scratch helps young people to think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively,” adding, “These skills are needed in the 21st century”.

“It humbled me to see how excited the children were about learning something new. This could help them find jobs in future and keep their creative minds growing.”

Another GEM trainer, Palesa Libe, said she joined GEM institute to teach children computer programming systems such as Scratch.

“I aim to help come up with more innovative programmes that will make people’s lives better and simpler” Ms Libe said, adding that computer programing was for everyone.

One of the juveniles who spoke on condition of anonymity praised GEM, saying they “inspire children to think creatively and expand their knowledge”.

Another juvenile thanked GEM for teaching them about Scratch.

“I’ve learned that I can make my own game and it was so interesting.

“It was my first time to see this because here in Lesotho we don’t have a lot of people coming to teach us about computers and the internet. I hope more people can come and bring us computers to work with, we would love to be challenged and exercise our minds,” the juvenile said.


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