Celebrating Women Interview with Nicola Harris from Click Learning
To commemorate the 9th of August 1956, and to celebrate all women, Maven is asking four incredible South African women a few questions. Let's inspire and learn from one another.
Interview #2: Nicola Harris is the Founder of Click Learning.
Click Learning is a literacy programme deployed in under-privileged primary schools across South Africa. The literacy is taught using fun and interactive computer programmes, therefore not only addressing the literacy crisis, but also equipping these young learners with the technological skills required for future success. The Click Foundation aims to be changing the trajectory of over 1,000,000 learners’ lives by 2024.
1. There are many challenges facing women in South Africa today. Which ones have you been thinking about the most lately?
Unfortunately it is hard not to have think about gender based violence as the most significant issue facing women and children in South Africa. Beyond this I think about equal opportunity and how we can promote young girls to pursue careers in software development and the digital economy.
2. Was there a specific trigger that took Click Learning from being an idea, to being an actual organisation? Perhaps a moment, a person, or something you experienced?
I was working in investment banking at the time and felt I wanted to do more to build a better future for South Africa. Watching my nieces and friends young kids take so easily to technology I was particularly interested at how this might be leveraged more broadly to improve education.
3. When a privileged South African asks: “How can I help?” What do you say?
Get involved in something you are passionate about that makes a difference…. and if you need help finding something, let’s talk.
4. Which women have inspired you and why?
Right now, Mackenzie Scott for her brave and bold new approach to philanthropy
5. I imagine you are faced with logistical, intellectual and emotional challenges running Click Learning. When you feel overwhelmed or like you are losing focus or control, what do you do?
Breathe, gather the team, prioritise and put our heads down to overcome the challenge. Time out in nature and exercise, preferably both combined, help clear my mind to address the more complex challenges.
6. What purchase in the last 6-12 months (for under R1,000) has positively impacted your life? (Anything. It can be fun and silly or more philosophical and serious.)
Padded eyepads for blackout sleep. Audiobooks, books, yoga app.
7. What advice would you give to a woman who wanted to start their own business
Tap the collective wisdom of those who have done it before you. Be brave and start.
8. In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?
I’m learning to slow down through breathwork, yoga and a good morning and evening routine so as to create more time to think, target my energy at the areas I add the most value and have fun.
9. What is your most treasured second hand item (clothing / furniture / book etc) and where did it come from?
My grandmothers first doll that she gave to me for my 30th birthday and dressed her in material from my great-grandmothers wedding dress.