NEON MOON'S WOMEN WEDNESDAY
We love how women are changing the world and making an impact to their home countries that we're talking all things awesome and new every Wednesday!
Scroll through Samaira Mehta's Instagram and you'll see that she is a lot like other kids her age. She posts about having a lemonade stand, going swimming and doing the "In My Feelings" dance challenge. But she also stands out from other 10-year-olds — Mehta is CEO, founder and inventor of CoderBunnyz, a board game that teaches players as young as 4 basic coding concepts. Players draw and move their bunny piece along the board with the goal of eating carrots and hopping to their final destination. "CoderBunnyz will basically teach you all the concepts you ever need in computer programming. There's the very basic concepts like sequencing and conditionals to more advanced concepts like loops, functions, stack, queue, lists, parallelism, inheritance and many others." Mehta says she first conceptualized the board game when she was "about 6½, maybe 7," after her father, an engineer who serves as an official advisor for the company, started teaching her how to code. As she researched learning materials for first-time coders, Mehta noticed there was an opening in the market for a product that helped young people pick up programming. "I'm really passionate about coding," says the budding entrepreneur. "I want the kids to be the same way, because coding is the future and coding is what the world will depend on in the next 10 to 15 years. So if kids learn to code now, [when] they grow up they can think of coding maybe as a career option." So far, Mehta says her company has generated about $200,000 in revenue since April 2018 and sold about 6,000 games. She says she is reinvesting that money in the company, saving for college and donating to charities that address homelessness in her community.
(Hedgehog Friendly Town)
Hedgehogs are disappearing at an alarming rate. Most recent figures reveal that since the millennium, the population of these spiky mammals has fallen by a third in our towns and cities. It’s thought that there are just 1.5 million in the UK, when there was around 30 million in the 1950s. Schoolgirls Kyra Barboutis and Sophie Smith are on a mission to reverse the trend in their local area of Stratford upon Avon. The 13-year-olds set up the group Hedgehog Friendly Town three years ago after becoming worried about the issue. With the support of local vets, the pair run a “hedgehog hospital” in each of their back gardens and have helped rehabilitate more than 400 after the animals were brought in by the public. Helen, a 42-year-old early years family worker, said both Kyra and Sophie work round the clock to help the animals. “They make trips back and forth to the vets to get hedgehogs help or collect those they’ve been asked to nurse. “They get up early before school to check on the hedgehogs, feed them and administer medication if needed, and again in the evening. We take in a lot of hoglets and they need care through the night. “Both my family and Sophie’s chip in but the girls do 99 per cent of the work. They work closely with another local rescue centre and pass on any animals they don’t have room for but it would be great to be able to help more hedgehogs.” These girls are fighting for the little creatures who are so often overlooked and doing an incredible job at it!
Bhagwati Bhattarai-Baral has been playing cricket since 2007, after receiving a one-week training at school. “I was in eighth grade then and the training was open to everyone in my class. We started playing amongst friends, sometimes even skipping classes to play cricket. Back then, our families weren’t supportive. No one believed that we would make it very far. Our society did not have confidence in blind players like us.” Forming the team was a challenge in itself, “it was hard to find players and come together to practice. People living with disabilities often undermine their ability to play sports due to mobility restrictions and negative stereotypes and perceptions towards people living with disabilities.” Despite this, they persisted. In 2014, they defeated the English team in a 3-match series and this year they have won the First International Women’s Blind Cricket Series held in Pakistan. Bhattarai-Baral believes this win has finally earned her respect in her society as a national level cricket player. Due to limited financial resources and facilities provided to blind players, the team still face many challenges in terms of accessing suitable ground and equipment, even when preparing for international matches. But they haven’t given up. Bhattarai-Baral wants to continue playing and lead her team to the World Cup. “I also want to support the blind community. I want to bring more women and girls to the game and coach them. With everyone’s support, my plans might just work out.”
Have a positive week,
Love Neon Moon x
Let us know your thoughts about this week's Women Wednesday below.