Impact Stories from Education Diplomacy/Mentoring Policy Area
Mentor(s): Shakhina Pulatova (mentor)
Mentor Type: Professional
TechWomen mentor Shakhina Pulatova recently returned from her travels to Uzbekistan, where she delivered lectures and presentations to university students and women in tech fields. Shakhina collaborated with TechWomen fellows who invited her to speak at various venues throughout Tashkent during her sabbatical from work at LinkedIn. At an event coordinated by Women TechMakers Tashkent, Shakhina spoke to students about entering tech fields and the importance of developing core skills in the rapidly changing job market.
Shakhina also delivered guest lectures at Westminster International University and Inha University about online identity, reputation and product management for students majoring in business information systems, computer science and computer engineering. “I was truly impressed with the enthusiasm, curiosity and eagerness of the next generation to learn and contribute,” she says. “This gives me hope for the tech future in Uzbekistan.”
Report Date: 12/31/18
Fellow hosts Africa Science Week in Cameroon
Fellow(s): Arielle Kitio
2016 fellow of Cameroon Arielle Kitio recently organized a week of lectures, panels and hands-on activities during Next Einstein Forum’s Africa Science Week Cameroon. Arielle, a Next Einstein Forum ambassador, is responsible for driving NEF’s public engagement activities in Cameroon.
Africa Science Week, a weeklong celebration of science and technology, is held in 13 countries throughout the African continent. In Yaoundé, Arielle organized a week of activities meant to inspire the next generation through coding workshops, panels on artificial intelligence, solar energy seminars, hackathons and more. She partnered with local educators, entrepreneurs and makers to deliver programming to both primary schools as well as local universities.
Report Date: 12/31/18
Fellow named first runner up at South African Youth Awards
Fellow(s): Tozama Qwebani-Ogunleye
Country: South Africa
Dr. Tozama Qwebani-Ogunleye, 2018 fellow of South Africa, was named first runner up at last week’s 2018 South African Youth Awards. Organized by the National Youth Development Agency, the awards recognize individuals aged 35 and under who are contributing to the South African community through empowering young people and encouraging the public and private sectors to contribute to youth development.
Tozama was nominated in the Academia category and was recognized for her work as Project Director at Vaal University of Technology. “Being a 2018 TechWomen fellow was an advantage for me to make it to the finalists,” she said. Before starting TechWomen program, Tozama wrote a guest blog post on her journey, challenges and path to TechWomen 2018.
Report Date: 12/24/18
Fellow hosts digital training session for university students
Fellow(s): Afnan Saqr
2015 fellow of Jordan Afnan Saqr hosted a digital marketing training for more than 100 students at Applied Science University last week in Amman. The training, called “Maharat Min Google,” is Google’s first Arabic digital skills program that was launched to help youth in the MENA region access free courses and increase their job prospects.
Afnan led the training in partnerhsip with INJAZ, a non-profit organization that offers financial education, business and entreprenurship skills training for local youth. During the session, she taught students about search engine marketing, social media, e-commerce, geo-targeting and data analytics. At the end of the course, students took an assessment on the Maharat Min Google platform and received a certification of completion to demonstrate their newly acquired capabilities.
Report Date: 12/24/18
Fellows organize Women Tech Talks at local university
Fellow(s): Gina Kadri, Hanan Atallah, Zeina Sadeddin, Nuha Shawahna, Waad Jabbarin, Razan Qraini, Ruba Awayes,Yamama Shaka’a, Ayah Soufan
Country: Palestinian Territories
Cohort: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
This week, a group of TechWomen fellows in Ramallah came together to co-organize Women Tech Talks, an event featuring local women business leaders, founders and entrepreneurs. The day’s program was organized in partnership with Birzeit University and the Palestinian chapter of ArabWIC, an initiative that supports and encourages Arab women in computing.
2018 fellows Gina Kadri, Hanan Atallah, Zeina Sadeddin, Nuha Shawahna and Waad Jabbarin were joined by Razan Qraini and Ruba Awayes (2017) and Yamama Shaka’a (2016) and Ayah Soufan (2015). Together, they gave a presentation to students and graduates about their TechWomen experiences and also participated on a panel to answer questions about the program and speak about how it has impacted their careers in tech.
Report Date: 12/10/18
Fellow launches coding school for local youth
Fellow(s): Natalya Tyudina
2018 fellow of Tajikistan Natalya Tyudina recently launched ilmhona, a non-profit initiative with a mission to increase digital literacy among youth in Tajikistan. The pilot project, which will begin in January, recently began accepting applications and will select 20 girls and 20 boys to begin a three-month coding curriculum. The program will include HTML and CSS training and a course on Android application development.
After successfully completing the course, students will have the opportunity to participate in a one-month internship during which they will develop projects to tackle social challenges in Tajikistan. The ilmhona team is first launching the initiative in the capital city of Dushanbe, and Natalya hopes to expand into other cities in the near future.
Report Date: 12/3/18
Fellows organize Mozilla tech event at university in Nablus
Fellow(s): Ayah Soufan, Yamama Shaka’a, Ruba Awayes
Country: Palestinian Territories
Cohort: 2015, 2016, 2017
This month, fellows of the Palestinian Territories Ayah Soufan (2015), Yamama Shaka’a (2016) and Ruba Awayes (2017) organized a tech event highlighting projects, contributions and the latest technologies from Mozilla. The fellows, all hosted by Mozilla during their TechWomen mentorships, spent the day presenting to university students and tech professionals at An-Najah National University in partnership with IEEE, the world’s largest association of technical professionals.
The day’s agenda included product demos using the Firefox Reality browser with virtual reality (VR) technology, as well as a machine learning presentation that encouraged Arabic speakers to contribute to Mozilla’s Common Voice project. Since their TechWomen experience, Ayah, Yamama and Ruba have continued to educate students and professionals on Mozilla’s technologies. Ruba, a webmaster and computer lab instructor, currently works on Mozilla’s Arabic localization team.
Report Date: 11/26/18
Fellow(s): Cynthia Leung
Country: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, United States, Uzbekistan
During her travels through Central Asia, longtime TechWomen mentor Cynthia Leung, formerly of SunPower, coordinated with fellows in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to deliver more than 10 talks and workshops discussing mentorship, gender equality in STEM fields, sustainability and her TechWomen experiences.
In Uzbekistan, Cynthia presented on the power of mentorship, sharing best practices on how to be an effective mentor and mentee. She also visited universities and maker spaces like Curiosity Maker Space, where she hosted an interactive solar energy workshop for children. In Kazakhstan, Cynthia visited the American Corner and Maker Space and IQcoworking, teaching techniques on self-development and cultivating a culture of innovation.
“This trip was about having impact and spending time meaningfully and intentionally,” she said. In all three countries, Cynthia was hosted by TechWomen fellows, reconnecting with former mentees and meeting potential applicants for TechWomen 2019.
Report Date: 11/26/18
Fellow recognized as advocate for women in Tunisia
Fellow(s): Amel Ghouila
This month, 2014 fellow of Tunisia Amel Ghouila was recognized as a leading advocate for women by Orange, one of the world’s largest telecom operators. Their magazine, DigitAll, recognizes entrepreneurs and thinkers behind advances in education, healthcare, energy and more in Africa and the Middle East. After participating in TechWomen, Amel launched the Tunisia chapter of Technovation, the global technology entrepreneurship program for girls, and has been a regional ambassador since. In the magazine, she spoke about her work mentoring the young women: “We already see the difference between the girls when they sign up and start the programme and when they reach the end, full of enthusiasm, energy and self-confidence.” Currently, Amel is a bioinformatician at Institut Pasteur de Tunis.Read More »
Report Date: 11/12/2018
Fellow pitches tech education iniatitive at Harvard conference
Fellow(s): Afnan Ali
This week, 2011 fellow of Jordan Afnan Ali participated in a startup pitch
competition at Harvard Business School. The competition is a pillar event at the
Arab Conference at Harvard, an annual conference that brings together
students, Harvard alumni, faculty, business and societal leaders to discuss
business and economic issues in the Arab region.
Afnan, the founder of Eureka Tech Academy, was one of 10 entrepreneurs
selected to present their initiatives to a panel of judges with tech and business
backgrounds. After the pitch, participants received feedback and were able to
network with venture capitalists, angel investors and industry experts.
Eureka Tech Academy, the first of its kind in Jordan, teaches students
engineering, electronics and invention. Students participate in classroom
activities and development workshops and compete in engineering and
robotics competitions throughout the region. Through her work, Afnan hopes
to make tech education a classroom requirement in Jordan, scaling up and
making a shift in the MENA region.
Report Date: 11/5/2018