A Letter to Young Girls Living Under Lockdown and Covid-19

I have been listening to what young girls and women are saying about the reality of living under Lockdown and have written a special letter to our iamtheCODE girls and girls all around the world. It’s hard living with so much uncertainty, especially when you are current location in a marginalised, forgotten and vulnerable community.

I salute community leaders, unsung heroes, volunteers, careers, Excellent human beings looking after so many young people during this challenging period. Thank you for your service.

The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented event in modern history.

Before you start reading you this letter, I want you to know that our mission and vision to teach 1 million women and girls’ coders by 2030” has not stopped and will continue. We are advancing the United Nations Global Goals and digitalising all our content for you to have access to it.

We see this crisis as an opportunity to highlight inequalities and the Digital Divide, lack of funding and broken systems. We will do it together because we have a plan. 

We hope the letter uplift you and give you the courage to hang on tight.

We have taken into consideration all the concerns that you have shared with us, such as fear, loneliness, anxiety and lack of money to survive Covid19. As a mother and somebody who profoundly cares about young girls and boys, I listened to what the community leaders have told me which pushed me to write this letter. I hope the world hear your voices and take action.

I hope wherever you are waking up to read or listen to this letter: 
Maybe in refugee camps, favelas, slum, close communities, your bedroom, your settlement country or in a township community, I would like for you to know that I am thinking of you. 

I know you are isolated, lonely, frustrated, bored, confused, alarmed and frightened and need clear information on the Coronavirus.

You need support to deal with this impact on you and your families.

I know it is hard for you and I am devastated and sad too. I think about you every day, and I get emotional when I think about you. 

The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented event in modern history.

I know that staying isolated is not easy for you especially when you do not have enough space to sleep, to do your hair, to take a shower or do the things you want with your communities. I know that going out to meet your friends and hang out makes you feel happy. I understand you may be staying with people who are annoying you and you want to want to be with right now. I understand.

I also understand, and I wish I can do something about it now. Still, I would like for you to listen very carefully and take this letter, keep under your bed and rest reassured that I and the entire iamtheCODE team and volunteers are working behind the scenes to help.

Some of us a lucky to families, mothers, fathers, that we can call and connect on WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram, some of us don’t, and I understand this too.

I understand that some of you don’t have data bundles, Mobile phones, iPad and computers. I get it.

I also know that over 743 million girls are out of school. 

I have been self-isolating in my home in Guildford as you may know. 

I have been waking up early morning, going for a walk, listening to music, cleaning my house, cooking for my son and writing letters and cards to my friends.

I miss you all. I miss travelling to meet you and giving you a big hug. I miss our hugs.
Waiting in uncertainty is hard, but we are all staying home until the Coronavirus is under control. This won’t be long now as some countries are seeing some changes and easing measures.

Better days will come, we will not go back what they call normal because our reality is different, but we can reclaim our livelihoods and well-being. In the meantime, I wholeheartedly believe that technology can help improve your lives. You deserve better.

Before I finish this letter, I want you to know that I am working very hard so after the Lockdown or even before it is lifted, we get you connectivity, more digital tools for your education and devices for your learning.

I know you love arts, technology, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, I will say continue working on that if you have an opportunity, you can always message me if you can so I can help.

Lots of lives have been disrupted and changed, but your community leaders, volunteers and people whom you are counting on before Coronavirus are working truly hard. I want you to know this. We will be demanding more accountability, less corruption in girls’ programs, better institutions, and infrastructures and accurate data for better decision making.

We need a distribution of love. A supply chain of Humanity

I love you all very much and understand that we are living Challenging times but remember you are resilient, and we will go through this.

Stay Safe and Resilient. We will meet again soon.

– Lady Mariéme Jamme