Vivian Cherono’s Inspiring Journey: Empowering Teenage Mothers Through Technology

Vivian Cherono, is a dedicated 19-year-old student from Kericho County, Kenya, currently pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce at Kabarak University. She was part of the 2nd coding camp under the African Girls Can Code Initiative (AGCCI) and is leveraging on the skills she gained from the camp to empower women and girls in her community .Her passion for making a positive impact led her to volunteer for Barrier Breakers, a community-based organization focused on supporting teenage mothers facing stigma and societal challenges.

Through Barrier Breakers, Cherono and her team have provided mentorship and support to a cohort of 40 teenage mothers, guiding them towards a brighter future.


Vivian Cherono, 19, from Kericho County Kenya, training young women in her community. Photo Credit: Barrier Breakers
Vivian Cherono, 19, from Kericho County Kenya, training young women in her community. Photo courtesy of Barrier Breakers

“In September 2023, I was privileged to meet with a team from UN Women who were monitoring programmes in our area. During a community dialog event hosted by the project, they acknowledged the work I was doing with Barrier Breakers. I expressed interest in the African Girls Can Code Initiative (AGCCI) and was fortunately selected to participate.

My motivation to pursue a career in information technology stems from my passion for technology and its ever-evolving nature.

This dynamic environment provides exciting opportunities to grow and contribute solutions with global impact. Technology also nurtures entrepreneurship through opportunities it creates.

What I enjoy most is IT's dynamic nature, requiring professionals to continuously learn and adapt to new technological advances. Exposure to inspiring role models and mentors in the field has significantly influenced my journey in technology.”

African Girls Can Code Initiative Training

“Participating in the AGCCI training programme was highly impactful. Through it, I acquired valuable knowledge and practical skills. The in-depth sessions not only broadened my understanding and interest in IT, but enabled me to apply these skills daily. Interactive learning made the experience memorable and enjoyable.

Connecting with trainers and participants expanded my network and provided a platform to exchange ideas and best practices. I noticed tangible improvements in my coding abilities, having no prior experience. Guidance from experienced trainers has been instrumental in my growth and confidence as a woman in technology.

Beyond skills, AGCCI ignited renewed passion for continuous learning and research. What stood out most was the programme's real-world relevance, addressing practical skills directly applicable in today's technology-driven era.

Thank you to UN Women for organizing this enriching, impactful initiative producing positive outcomes for participants.”

Addressing the Digital Divide

“It is apparent that a significant digital divide exists in today's world, affecting teenage mothers as well. In October 2023, after a digital marketing training courtesy of Ajira Digital, many girls failed to understand the programme due to limited computer skills. This fueled collaboration with an IT specialist to start ‘Digital Literacy for Teenage Mothers in Grassroots Communities.’

The technical expertise gained through AGCCI not only enhanced my performance and productivity but contributed to others' wellness. We taught basic computer skills like parts and functions, Microsoft Word, file saving, advantages/disadvantages of computers, ergonomics, importance of tech skills, and technology's benefits today.

The girls typed and saved documents. I am pleased to say they were impacted, transformed, and excited by their new skills. 

The purpose of life is not happiness alone, but to be useful, honourable, compassionate and make a positive difference through one's life and actions. We must always strive to enact positive change in our communities.”

The AGCCI programme in Kenya has collaborated with Kenya’s Ministry of Education, Ministry of ICT, and Ministry of Gender Affairs with support from the International Telecommunication Union and the African Union. So far, 97 girls aged 17-25 drawn from Kenya’s 47 counties have been trained in coding, including elements such as web development and robotics, among others.

 The curriculum also included personal development, gender equality and women's empowerment, mental health, and career prospects in the ICT sector. After the coding camps, the girls participated in a six-month mentorship programme through where they gained access to online courses and mentors.