"We work together regardless of differences - I'm interested in robotics, and my friend is interested in software"
Anđela Laketa, a student at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Banja Luka, was among the 40 participants of the First IT Girls summer camp held in Sarajevo, where UNICEF supports the development of digital skills of girls and boys in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is not the first time for Anđela to participate in a UNICEF lead activity, as she previously participated in the one-minute film workshop held in 2014 as part of the "Take us seriously - we're talking about possibilities" project:
"Nine years ago, I participated in a workshop for one-minute films, I was 10 years old and in the fourth grade of primary school. The teacher recommended me to sign up and try it, and that I would like it, and it was wonderful, I've had a great experience since then," says Anđela.
"Now I'm here again with the IT Girls in another UNICEF project, this time because of a high school teacher who sent me the application form and suggested I try, and again it's great. Whenever I encountered something that UNICEF was doing, it was a really useful experience. The one-minute films we shot at the workshop talked about children's rights, and we worked together with children from the Institute "Dr. Miroslav Zotović", I also worked with a boy, we talked and hung out, and afterwards I stayed in contact with a lot of them", Anđela recalls the creation of the film in which she showed the work of an art workshop.
The films, which were entirely produced by children with and without disabilities, aimed to promote children's rights and social inclusion with a particular focus on the opportunities and rights of children with disabilities.
"Back then we worked with children's rights, now we work with women's rights, and everything is somehow connected. I have continued to follow the things that UNICEF is doing, however, until now I have not directly participated in these activities. I feel happy when I see what is being done in the world when I read about what young people are doing for each other".
"It's great at the IT Girls camp, and everything looks very promising to me. We all participate equally, regardless of our differences and different expectations, and we support each other in learning. For example, I am interested in robotics, my friend is interested in software, which is different from each other. But - I'm there if I hear something related to software, she's there if she hears something related to robotics, so we stick together."
Anđela enrolled in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Banja Luka, electronics, and telecommunications, and plans to choose electronics in the future:
"Right now, I'm focusing on my studies, less on looking for companies and scholarships, I want to gain as much knowledge as I can as well as some nice experiences during this period, and then we'll see what happens later on."
She says that she believes that in her generation, the gap between the genders is less felt at the university than it was before, but that she is aware of the real problems she may encounter in the future:
"Later, when we start working, we may encounter the problem of unequal wages, but I believe that by the time we get there, it will be a little different. When I look at the 40 of us here like this, I think we will fight for it."
For girls who want to work in the IT sector, he has only one message:
"Never give up!"
The "Take Us Seriously - It's About Ability!" project was realized with the NGO Genesis Project and the Foundation for Creative Development in partnership with UNICEF, USAID, and the Delegation of the European Commission in BiH as part of the program "Strengthening the system of social protection and inclusion of children in BiH "(SPIS) implemented at all levels of government, and in 32 municipalities throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The first summer IT Girls camp was implemented by UNICEF with the support of DP World, in partnership with the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Sarajevo and the scientific and artistic association Laboratorium from Tuzla.