Impact Stories from Education Diplomacy/Mentoring Policy Area
Three alumnae teams awarded 2019 AEIF grants
Fellow(s): Chepkemoi Magdalene, Nazira Sheraly, Aiturgan Zulpukarova, Elena Chigibaeva, Gulzire Minbaeva, Fatima Abdulaziz Sule, Olayinka Ayo, Safiya Aliyu, Pamela Chukwumeka, Ijeoma Ezika
Country: Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria
Cohort: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
This week, it was announced that three TechWomen alumnae teams were awarded a U.S Department of State 2019 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) grant. The alumnae projects, based out of Kenya, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria, were selected out of more than 1,400 project submissions.
Kenya’s North-Rift Women in STEM Inclusion Project , co-led by 2019 fellow Chepkemoi Magdalene, will host bootcamps on coding and the digital economy for nearly 500 underserved women and girls in the North Rift region of the country. The team also plans to award 30 of the participants a year-long mentorship opportunity. Kyrgyzstan’s TechAim was created by 2016 fellow Nazira Sheraly, 2017 fellow Aiturgan Zulpukarova and 2018 fellows Elena Chigibaeva and Gulzire Minbaeva. The mentorship program supports women and girls, particularly those outside of the capital city, to grow and develop their STEM skills and expand their knowledge in business, leadership project management and more. MAAMI Nigeria, originally a TechWomen 2018 seed grant-winning initiative from fellows Fatima Abdulaziz Sule, Olayinka Ayo, Safiya Aliyu, Pamela Chukwumeka and Ijeoma Ezika, is a mobile health literacy program that aims to provide underserved mothers access to safe, relevant and customized pre- and post-natal health information.
Report Date...: 11/4/2019
Fellow inspires youth at Model United Nations gathering
Fellow(s): Sarah Abdallah
Last month, 2016 fellow Sarah Abdallah was invited to Dubai to deliver a keynote address at the Arab Youth International Model United Nations conference. The annual conference brings together youth throughout the Arab world, facilitating conversation on creating change and peace worldwide. Together, the young delegates debated global issues, created responses to global crises and participated in activities that celebrated cross-cultural exchange.
Sarah is the CEO of LIBRO, a company that addresses youth unemployment challenges in the MENA region by providing training, consulting and recruitment services for universities and companies in STEM fields. In her keynote, Sarah addressed the challenges youth face today, sharing specific setbacks she faced as a young person. She stressed, however, that young people have a powerful voice and a unique ability to create exponential change in their communities. “I explained how young people can turn their problems into opportunities,” she said. Sarah concluded her keynote with an activity called “Inclusion Starts with an ‘I,’” tasking each young person to write down an action they can take to make the world a better place. “I added in my own as well,” says Sarah. “I committed to support the youth of today in becoming the leaders and decision makers of tomorrow.”
Report Date...: 10/21/19
Alumnae initiative awarded grant from U.S Embassy Algiers
Fellow(s): Amel Djenidi, Salma Bekkouche, Fatima Zohra Benhamida
Cohort: 2017, 2018
After TechWomen 2018, fellows Amel Djenidi and Salma Bekkouche wanted to continue working together. They began collaborating with 2017 fellow Fatima Zohra Benhamida, and together the three fellows conceived of Heya Caravan, a project that empowers girls and women through STEM education. This week, it was announced that they secured a grant from the U.S. Embassy Algiers’ Alumni Small Grant Competition, which will allow them to launch their project in 2020.
Heya (Arabic for “she”) Caravan will be a one-day training where STEM leaders will share their expertise with women and girls in sessions, workshops and panels. Through roundtables based on four themes — Know Yourself, Build your Skills, Build your Network and Build your Personal Branding – women and high school-aged girls will be supported in building both technical and soft skills. Heya Caravan will also offer six months of remote mentorship to attendees through monthly lessons and assignments on resume writing, networking, skill building and more. In the coming months, the fellows will work to establish additional partnerships and funding, and hope to launch Heya Caravan in 2020 in three cities throughout Algeria.
Report Date...: 10/14/19
Fellow’s initiative wins Harvard alumni impact contest
Fellow(s): Shatha Jayyousi
This week, it was announced that Code on the Road, the initiative launched by 2013 fellow Shatha Jayyousi, was chosen as the winner for the Harvard Arab Alumni Association impact competition.
The Harvard alumni initiative, 3arabi, aims to support implementation of innovative projects that positively impact the Arab world. Code on the Road is a 2018 AEIF-winning project that empowers migrant women and girls through software and business entrepreneurship training in Athens and Amman.
As the winner, Code on the Road will be matched with an advisory group of representatives from the public and private sectors who will support them through investment, team-building support and strategic partnerships. Shatha and her team will also present their initiative at the upcoming Harvard Arab World Conference in Dubai.
Report Date...: 10/14/19
TechGirls and Technovation collaborate in Nablus
Fellow(s): Ayah Soufan, Yamama Shakaa, Ruba Awayes
Country: Palestinian Territories
Cohort: 2015, 2016, 2017
Last month, 2015 fellow Ayah Soufan collaborated with 2016 fellow Yamama Shakaa and 2017 fellow Ruba Awayes for a closing ceremony of the 2019 Technovation season. Ayah, the event organizer, is a regional ambassador of the Technovation Challenge as well as a leader of the TechWomen /TechGirls Club in the West Bank.
The event brought together nearly 90 girls between the ages of 10 to 17, as well as their Technovation mentors. Yamama, who served as a mentor for the team that won second place in 2018, and Ruba were featured speakers, sharing the importance of seeking innovative solutions to leading issues in their community. Technovation participants also had an opportunity to share their experience and highlight what they’d learned.
Two TechGirls alumnae, Nagham Joudeh and Sima Sbouh, joined to speak about the TechGirls program and share its transformative effect on their lives and career paths. Nagham is now a sixth-year medical school student, and Sima is a second-year computer engineering student. “I’m sure that this will be the beginning of many different events that feature collaboration between Techwomen and TechGirls alumnae,” said Ayah.
Report Date...: 10/7/19
Mentor(s): Eileen Brewer, Rekha Pai-Kamath, Chepkemoi Magdaline
Mentor Type: Impact
TechWomen Impact Coaches Eileen Brewer and Rekha Pai-Kamath, as well as TechWomen 2019 Emerging Leader Chepkemoi Magdaline, were featured speakers at this month’s 2019 Grace Hopper Celebration. The annual event is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists and brings comprehensive programming featuring global women leaders.
Eileen’s session, “Pitch Perfect,” offered 10 elements for creating an impactful pitch deck. Rekha was a featured panelist in “Creating Meaningful Impact through Tech Non-profits,” sharing her expertise on how tech can offer sustainable solutions to leading issues. Chepkemoi, who attended the event after week one of TechWomen 2019, was a winner of the AnitaB.org Pass It On program, which offers grants to women whose projects support women in computing. Alongside TechWomen alumnae, Chepkemoi is a part of North-Rift Women in STEM Inclusion Project, an initiative that organizes three-day boot camps women in rural regions of Kenya. At GHC, Chepkemoi led a session and participated in a panel speaking about her work supporting and empowering women and girls.
Report Date...: 10/7/19
Fellow recognized for work in digital inclusion
Fellow(s): Sophie Ngassa
This month, 2013 fellow Sophie Ngassa was highlighted as a woman who is playing an integral role in shaping the future of the internet in Africa. She was featured by the African School on Internet Governance, an annual five-day residential course that brings together Africans from diverse backgrounds to speak about global internet governance and work to shape the future of the internet landscape.
Sophie is a civil engineer, STEM advocate and founder of the Center for Youth Education and Economic Development, a digital empowerment training center for youth in Cameroon. Sophie is an advocate for an open internet – “an internet without borders,” she says – and works to empower civilians and policymakers to ensure that the internet is both safe and accessible to everyone, regardless of location, gender and economic background.
Report Date...: 10/7/19
Fellows come together for women empowerment bootcamp
Fellow(s): Nassima Berrayah, Amel Chenouf, Essema Redouane-Salah, Nacira Boussoualim
Cohort: 2012, 2013, 2018
This week, 2013 fellow Nassima Berrayah organized a training bootcamp and competition for women in Algeria, inviting 2012 fellows Amel Chenouf and Essma Redouane-Salah and 2018 fellow Nacira Boussoualim to participate as mentors and coaches. Nassima is the founder of WeAccelerator, a program that supports women founders and entrepreneurs. She organized the event in partnership with the Netherlands Embassy and Global Startup Weekend, a yearly event connects startup communities around the world.
The week brought 44 participants from 11 startup teams from backgrounds such as computer science, biology, medicine, chemistry and finance together for training sessions, workshops and discussions. The sessions focused on communications, new technologies, pitching and entrepreneurship. At the end of the bootcamp, a winning startup team was chosen to represent Algeria in the Global Startup Weekend Finals, held in Singapore in 2020. “By the end of the event, I was very amazed seeing how in just three days, the participants arrived to present a great project and new ideas,” said Nacira. “Most of them were young and had a willingness to make a change.”
Report Date...: 9/30/19
Mentor(s): 2019 Emerging Leaders
On Sunday, IIE welcomed the arrival of the 2019 cohort of 108 Emerging Leaders from 21 countries. This year’s Emerging Leaders will join TechWomen’s network of over 300 Professional Mentors, Cultural Mentors and Impact Coaches – and an alumnae community of over 600 fellows and 700 mentors – as they embark on five weeks of mentorship and professional exchange.
This year’s 40 host company partners include Glassdoor, 23andMe and Salesforce; the program is also welcoming a group of new host companies, including Airbnb, SurveyMonkey, Okta and Zume. TechWomen’s first week of programming includes the Cultural Kickoff, where Emerging Leaders will showcase the rich culture of their home countries, as well as Action Plan Workshop 1, where country teams will establish the foundation of their action plans alongside their Impact Coaches.
Leading into the program, three 2019 Emerging Leaders wrote guest posts on the TechWomen blog in the series Emerging Leader Voices, sharing their perspectives as women in STEM and highlighting and their achievements, challenges and life lessons. Follow along as we provide #techwomen19 updates on Twitter, Instagram, and the TechWomen blog!
Report Date...: 9/23/19
2013 seed grant winners hold 6th annual STEM expo
Fellow(s): Sandra Tererai, Nomso Kana, Chioniso Dube-Hachigonta
Country: South Africa
This month, 2013 fellows of South Africa Sandra Tererai, Nomso Kana and Chioniso Dube-Hachigonta held a one-week STEM expo for 30 students representing South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Eswatini. Taungana, a TechWomen 2013 seed grant-winning initiative, holds the annual event to connect rural girls to women mentors, educational resources and leading professionals in STEM fields.
Throughout the week, the students (called Ambassadors) were immersed in multiple STEM industries, visiting local universities, science museums, tech companies and a local power utility. During their day trips, the students received hands-on lessons on nuclear fission, cryptocurrency, aviation, coding, health sciences and the electricity generation process. During a visit to Uber, the Ambassadors got a behind-the-scenes look at the local Greenlight Hub, followed by a session on design thinking. The week also included a pitch night where Ambassadors pitched 90-second scientific solutions to social challenges.
Report Date...: 9/23/19