Women are majority of Nepal’s population. But they are the most underutilized talent in Nepal. To help develop skills of young women, especially in tech industry, we are launching a scholarship program.

Code for Nepal is partnering with TECHRISE, a local private entity in Nepal to equip young women with advanced web development skills.

We have raised funds to provide full scholarships to 25 bright, young women to participate in this program. Each of them will receive scholarship support of $100 to complete this program.

Recipients will enroll in an 8 week web development training program, wherein they will have access to mentors as well as an opportunity to connect with other aspiring developers. Code for Nepal will start accepting scholarship applications for this program in early February. We will be working closely with TECHRISE to select recipients based on merit. Women from underserved and minority groups are especially encouraged to apply.

Applicants do not need to have any prior programming background, but a good understanding of how to use a computer is a must. The scholarship is being planned to roll out in batches of 5, so our first batch of recipients will comprise of 5 students. An additional 5 recipients will be selected when the first batch has completed training, and we will continue this process until we have funded 25 women.

Additionally, applicants will also need to fulfill the following minimum requirements to be considered for the scholarship:

1) Applicants must have their own computers/laptops

2) Must be able to read English

3) Applicants should be able to devote approximately 15 hours a week on the program

Code for Nepal is anticipating great things from this collaboration with TECHRISE.

Past students have spoken greatly of their experience with the program, like Puja Poudyal from Bhaktapur, who shared, “Going into the world of technology has always been a great passion for me. But whenever I tried to learn new things by myself, I faced all sorts of problems and would get frustrated. After enrolling in TECHRISE, I started exploring my potential with 1 on 1 mentor sessions, and building real web applications. I was able to learn from anywhere and get help from my mentor whenever I got stuck.”

Only 50% of Nepali women were active in the country’s labor force in 2014. Additionally, in the same year, only 28.2% of the households in the country were headed by women and only 29.9% of the seats in the parliament were taken by women. These dreary numbers are one of numerous reasons why Nepal trails behind in development despite several efforts made to push the nation forward.

When half of the nation’s labor force is not able to contribute to the economy, it should come as no surprise that the economy continues to struggle.

Code for Nepal’s initiative to facilitate personal focus based learning experience with TECHRISE for 25 bright and motivated Nepali women is a step in the right direction to create a bigger space and greater opportunities for women in the country’s job market. Information Technology is a largely male dominated field, not just in Nepal but throughout the world. It is our hope that with similar efforts to support and encourage women who pursue Information Technology based careers, we will be seeing this pattern overturn in the coming years.

Stay tuned for the application by visiting www.codefornepal.org or liking us on Facebook: www.fb.com/codefornepal, or Twitter: www.twitter.com/codefornepal

And yes, please spread the word!