By encouraging girls not only to stick with education but to pursue careers in science and technology, a school led by a female engineer in Nigeria is challenging Boko Haram.
Young girls in Nigeria have built robots to tackle waste as part of the Odyssey Educational Foundation after school program. Since 2009, Boko Haram attacks in the region have partly been aimed at discouraging girls from pursuing education.
The girls coding were part of the First Lego League challenge. For this year's competition, children had to build and program robots that could pick up and drop off pieces of garbage on a play area.
Stella Uzochukwu set up the Odyssey Educational Foundation program in 2013, after traveling to India and discovering after school clubs there offer extra tuition in STEM - science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The girls are part of 20 state schools across Abuja the charity works with. Its founder hopes to equip children with skills in coding, and computer programming.
Stella Uzochukwu self-funded the charity to get it started. She'd initially written to the government to set up a program, "but here in Nigeria it takes a whole year and in the end nothing happens" she says. "I thought how could I get this thing started quickly and decided to set it up myself."
So far over 500 children have passed through its clubs with 700 currently going through it's after school programs. While the foundation caters to both boys and girls it deliberately chooses a ratio of three girls to one boy in some of the schools it works with. This is to encourage more girls into the tech sector. Due to a lack of funding, this years program will be starting later than planned says Uzochukwu.
"State schools in Nigeria are often understaffed and they are not able to pay for the kits to learn robotics", Uzochukwu says. Therefore Odyssey Foundation provides the robotics kits for free. It aims to teach kids to write apps, repair laptops, desktop computers and mobiles. "So when the children finish school they will not be roaming on the streets," says Uzochukwu, "because this is what happens to these kids once they finish school they end up on the streets".