My name is Britone Mwasaru, a native of Mombasa, Coast of Kenya. I joined the Technical University of Mombasa, six years ago. While in college, I was able to join a group that was organizing various technology workshops in Mombasa. . The workshops were held at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. This is where I first became interested in working with technology communities.
In college, I started a technology teaching group. We started meeting three times a week. We learned a lot and together, we joined other groups. I joined the Swahilipot Hub community and became the director of technology, this title gave me the opportunity to work with various artists throughout Mombasa and the Coast. We organized several workshops on how to use technology to sell our works using social networks. Many artists used these workshops and set up their own blogs and writing articles. Many knew how to sell themselves through their personal websites. In 2018, I was able to lead my colleagues to organize an innovation show. The exhibition was an opportunity for Kenya and everyone to witness the innovations and businesses located along the Kenyan coast. The show was able to attract six hundred delegates in a week's time. Through this exhibition, two businesses were able to secure an investment of five hundred US dollars. These businesses were in the field of education and health. Significantly, the exhibition provided an opportunity for students from universities in the Coast to come together with the challenge in the competition to discover materials that can solve Coast problems. Students were able to receive prizes and cash after the show.
I have had the opportunity to assist in a number of initiatives undertaken by the Coast Teknowgalz group. Coast Teknowgalz is a group of sisters I studied with at university, which was set up to help sisters join different technological fields. I was able to teach high school sisters, universities, and teachers how to benefit from technology. Coast Teknowgalz have given me the opportunity to go to the regions within the Kenyan Coast, and to be able to showcase and teach technology. I am currently a consultant for their organization.
This opportunity I have here at Mozilla will enable me to ensure that technology will be able to understand how we speak and facilitate innovation that will use the Kiswahili language. Language becomes a major barrier to the use of technology. Not everyone is able to read and understand English, this is a great opportunity to use voice to enable technology to serve everyone.