Digital Champions: Twins Yara and Yelena share a passion for coding
When girls are given the opportunity to thrive, not only do their lives change but so do their communities. On this #DayOfTheGirl, two digital champions share their passion
At only 11 years old, Yara Alicia and Yelena Imani are well-known figures in the digital world in Gabon.
The girls are balls of energy and have become famous for their coding abilities. Coding is the process of using a programming language to give your computer commands – thus getting it to do exactly what you want it to do.
With the encouragement of their family, the girls have been taking coding classes since last year. They have since become passionate about it.
The Franco-Gabonese-Santomean girls are in 6th grade in Libreville. Their parents, who are from France and Sao Tome and Principe, understand that childhood is a time when their daughters can develop the skills they need for adulthood. They support them as much as possible in everything they want to learn.
The girls’ motivation and passion for coding has been rewarded. In June 2021, as part of the International Day of the African Child, the girls won the "coup de coeur" prize in the national digital talent contest, organized by the Blanc Cristal Agency and supported by Airtel and UNICEF.
In their everyday life, their mother says that the twins are very close. They are also very curious, and they communicate with each other, and with their parents, by asking a lot of questions. Climate change is a frequent topic of discussion in their household because they are not only learning coding, but also trying to find solutions to the many problems in the world - such as climate change. The girls’ goal is to have a positive impact on the world.
Yara and Yelena haven’t yet decided what they want to do when they grow up. But as they’re only in 6th grade, they have plenty of time to figure it out.
“We just want to be happy and to have jobs that let us be financially independent," they say, showing that they are still open to different options.
Their parents hope that one day they will become financially independent women who are confident and proud of their origins and culture.
With digital technology, the twins have also gained other skills such as patience, resilience, and personal development.