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LinuxChix A sisterhood in computing.

LinuxChix Africa was formed in 2004 by Dorcas Muthoni of Kenya and Anna Badimo of South Africa. With a mission to create an open sisterhood in computing, the main aim of the organisation is to build women's skills in Free and Open Source Software. LinuxChix Africa primarily operates in socio-economically disadvantaged areas and currently has a presence in more than twenty countries.

Bringing LinuxChix to Namibia

After returning home from Lake Victoria, Uganda where they attended an Open Source Conference hosted by LinuxChix Africa, Ebben-Esser Hatuikulipi and Ndapewa Hangula came up with the idea of forming LinuxChix Namibia, realising the impact it could make on the lives of other Namibian women.

Ebben, a web designer and developer at SchoolNet Namibia, and Ndapewa, a systems analyst for Telecom Namibia, aim to share their knowledge with fellow Namibian women--especially school leavers, young women and those who want to improve and advance their computer literacy. "LinuxChix is a community for women who like Linux and free software, for people who want to support each other in computing," says Ebben. "Men are also welcome at meetings," she adds.

Ebben and Ndapewa believe that their ability to create a supportive environment where no member feels uncomfortable to ask information from another member will be a key to the programme's success. LinuxChix Namibia currently runs at SchoolNet's facilities, but the founders hope to garner funding and computers which will enable them to set up branches in other regions of Namibia.

The software

Linux is a user friendly, affordable option for local communities and organisations, providing communities and small businesses with the opportunity to use information and technology. Membership and training is free and one can download the software for free from the internet. Through this software one can obtain knowledge in information and communication technology or can start working for oneself using an open source programming language originally designed for producing dynamic web pages by web developers. Linux Professional Institute certification can also be obtained.

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Software Freedom Day

In September members of LinuxChix Namibiajoined forces with SchoolNet to organise Software Freedom Day at Zoo Park in Windhoek. This worldwide annual celebration of Free and Open Source Software aims to educate the public about the benefits of using high quality Open Source in education, in government, at home, and in business. With the support of the global non-profit company, Software Freedom International, LinuxChix Namibia and SchoolNet gave away Linux Software packages and CDs. Those who attended the event played games and browsed the net on the computers that were made available to the public. This year over two hundred teams from sixty nations around the world participated in similar Software Freedom Days.

Interested in becoming a LinuxChix member? Register at the SchoolNet office at the Katutura Community Arts Centre in Windhoek. To learn more about LinuxChix, contact Ebben: 0812689993 or email ebben@schoolnet.na or Ndapewa: 0812500597 or email hangulanv@yahoo.com.

Story and photo by Agnes N. Shaduka
COPYRIGHT 2007 Sister Namibia
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:COMMUNITY ACTION; LinuxChix Africa
Author:Shaduka, Agnes N.
Publication:Sister Namibia
Geographic Code:6NAMI
Date:Dec 1, 2007
Words:494
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