Dublin students launch app to get peers reading books by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) authors

Padraig Conlon 09 Jun 2021

Two Southside secondary school students have designed and launched an app ‘Find Your Bind’, supported by Teen-Turn Ireland and were part of this year’s annual Technovation Girls competition.

Teen-Turn aims to provide teenage girls with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the area of STEM, linking them with some of Ireland’s most innovative companies.

Naomi Adeniji, a student at Coláiste Bríde, Clondalkin, and Wumi Obi, a student at The High School, Rathgar created an app ‘Find Your Bind’, with the aim of:

  • Connecting avid readers with books by authors from BIPOC backgrounds (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) and presenting an accurate representation of today’s increasingly diverse world.
  • Encouraging the world to see an accurate representation of the marginalised groups such as BIPOC, as well as cutting back on waste by reusing old books through the book exchange service.

App users can exchange books through a chat forum that acts as an exchange screen, one of many features on the app.

Available books, all penned by BIPOC authors, are grouped in a range of genres from which users can choose.

Users can also upload books and offer feedback by messaging an administrator directly through the app.

An additional feature within the Find Your Bind app is the aptly named ‘BIPOC Hall of Fame’ which showcases both popular and lesser-known diverse authors, encouraging users to support their work and learn more about literature.

The app was developed as part of the Technovation Girls competition and was supported by Teen-Turn.

Naomi and Wumi are participants in Teen-Turn, a mentoring programme for female students supported by Hays Ireland.

The programme strives to provide teen girls across Dublin with the opportunity to gain hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) experience and helps them to prepare for third level education.

Teen-Turn does so by providing pathways and grinds for young girls, teaching them how to create mobile apps and business plans, and linking them with some of Ireland’s most innovative companies.

Since its foundation five years ago Teen-Turn has worked with over 700 girls to tackle the low number of women from underserved areas and communities who are attaining third level qualifications in STEM.

Teenagers are given hands-on experience, they are assigned invested mentors and provided with career development opportunities.

In a statement, Teen-Turn say they’re: “Proud to be one of the Technovation regional ambassadors again this year.

“The programme challenges girls in second level education to build a business plan and mobile app that will address a community problem. Technovation Girls equips young women (aged 10-18) to become tech entrepreneurs and leaders. With the support of volunteer mentors, girls work in teams to code mobile apps that address real-world problems.

“Girls taking part in Teen-Turn and Technovation can do so free of charge. Those interested should visit teen-turn.com or email contact@teen-turn.com.”

Reflecting on their project, Naomi and Wumi said:

“Irish society has become increasingly diverse yet there remain direct and indirect barriers to full ethnic equality. Our diverse culture should be celebrated, and we felt it was time to promote our BIPOC authors to a wider audience.

“Though we encountered many challenges along the way the Teen-Turn programme has helped us to build our self-confidence and pursue a career in STEM.

“Teen-Turn gave us the opportunity to explore our passion for an inclusive Ireland, and through this programme, we have moved another step forward to making it a reality”.

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