Impact Stories from Education Diplomacy/Mentoring Policy Area
Tajik fellows provide light-bearing backpacks for students
Fellow(s): Hamida Rahmikhudoeva, Dilafruz Mamadjonova, Manizha Khayolbekova, Gulnoza Burkhanova and Rukhshona Saratbekova
This fall more than 60 primary school children from a rural village in Tajikistan are starting the school year with solar charging backpacks, thanks to TechWomen’s 2020-2021 Team Tajikistan, composed of fellows Hamida Rahmikhudoeva, Dilafruz Mamadjonova, Manizha Khayolbekova, Gulnoza Burkhanova and Rukhshona Saratbekova. “Enhancing Education Through Light” is Team Tajikistan’s seed grant initiative designed to address the need for school children to have a reliable and safe light source for completing homework after sunset. “Despite significant progress in the field of energy, electricity is still lacking in many regions of Tajikistan,” teammate Rukhshona shared, “especially in rural areas where children are forced to do their homework by candlelight or with dangerous, polluting kerosene lamps. [This] negatively affects both their health and academic progress.”
Each pack features a solar-charging panel on the front pocket that banks energy from the sun during the day in order to power a compact lamp on a flexible metal arm for visibility at night. “We hope that through our project,” Rukhshona added, “we can attract the attention of investors to think about providing this remote area with the clean and reliable electricity.”
Report Date...: 8/29/2022
Fellow empowers 120 girls with Green Tech Girls Summer Bootcamp
Fellow(s): Damilola Asaleye
Policy Area(s): Economic Impact, Education Diplomacy/Mentoring, Empowering Women and Girls, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Sustainability, Professional Development, Professional Growth, Youth Engagement
Fellow Damilola Asaleye of Nigeria (2020-2021) recently helped produce the Green Tech Girls Summer Bootcamp, a five-day program for high school girls organized by the Girls and Women Technological Empowerment Organization (GWTEO).
The summer camp takes a holistic approach to activities relevant to girls and women that will enhance their self confidence and abilities to become sustainable technology leaders and change makers. Damilola, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Ashdam Solar Company, helped in the production of learning sessions on the topics of basic solar installation, upcycling, sustainable agriculture, financial literacy, information and communication technologies, leadership skills, teamwork, healthy living and visioning. The Green Tech Girls Summer Bootcamp is not the only stop on Damilola’s summer of women and girls’ empowerment. She is also taking part in the BEMORE Summer Bootcamp in Akure, Nigeria with close to 400 girls over the following weeks.
“My summer of impacting girls started yesterday Monday 15th August with the Green Tech Girls Summer Bootcamp,” Damilola recently shared, “and I’ve got my hyper attitude on with adrenaline pumping.”
Report Date...: 8/22/2022
Fellow and mentor co-host workshop for new engineers
Fellow(s): “Meriem Talibi Alaoui Cynthia Leung”
Country: Morocco, United States
This month, fellow Meriem Talibi Alaoui from Morocco (2022) invited her cultural mentor Cynthia Leung to host a “Mind Mapping” workshop as a part a bootcamp for fresh engineering graduates in Morocco.
Career Boot Camp (CBC), an initiative of the Association Forum de l’Ingénieur NGO, is a week-long program aimed at helping new engineers develop their personal and professional abilities, scale their soft skills and set goals for each stage of their career. Activities included resume building, mock and real interviews with sponsors and hiring companies, personal branding sessions and worker’s rights discussions. Participants chatted with Cynthia live and shared their mind maps, questions and thoughts about the exercise. Meriem remarks that, “Cynthia spread a lot of positive vibes and joy that everyone felt and appreciated.”
Report Date...: 8/22/2022
Fellow leads children’s entrepreneurship training event
Fellow(s): Talhmadhur Abukhamadah Almahdi
“Children should be involved in conversations about enterprise and entrepreneurship,” wrote fellow Talhmadhur Abukhamadah Almahdi (Libya, 2022) after she led a training for 15 children in the FUTURE program, a collaboration with ION Telecom Technology in Libya.
Participants had the opportunity to learn about basic principles of entrepreneurship and business-building, develop creative ideas for solutions to everyday challenges and pitch their ideas to a panel of professionals.
“Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of economic growth,” Talmadhur shared, “and that’s why it is our responsibility to invest in ensuring that the next-generation of business leaders are educated and empowered right from the start.”
Report Date...: 8/22/2022
Fellow initiative co-hosts nation’s first all-women hackathon
Fellow(s): Merjen Saparmyradova
Fellow Merjen Saparmyradova continues to expand the footprint of her Launch Life Coding Bootcamp, recently co-hosting Turkmenistan’s first-ever women’s hackathon. “DigiWomen Strive”, held in concert with The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) , was a two-day event dedicated to driving women’s empowerment in Turkmenistan through web and mobile app development.
The hackathon led nine all-female teams through the development of tech-driven projects focused on increasing employment, education, networking and mentorship opportunities of women and girls in Turkmenistan. Attendees had spent the preceding six months taking part Merjen’s Launch Life Coding Bootcamp to learn skills for careers in tech.
“Digital transformation is changing our world and shaping our future.” explained Mary Risaeva, UNDP Officer-in-Charge in Turkmenistan. “UNDP promotes gender equality and women’s empowerment and works on eliminating gender stereotypes so that women and men can equally benefit from the opportunities provided by a new digital reality.”
To close out the hackathon, teams pitched their innovations to a panel of judges and all winning teams were awarded prizes and certificates of appreciation. Exceptional participants from each team also earned internships with local IT companies.
Report Date...: 8/15/2022
"Fellow helps youths develop peace-building mobile apps "
Fellow(s): Joan Nabusoba Simiyu
Fellow Joan Nabusoba Simiyu (2020-2021) was “thrilled” to have recently served as a team guide for the MobiPeace Hackathon for Social Justice and Peace in Kenya. The MobiPeace Hackathon is an EU-funded project by UNESCO’s YouthMobile which engages youth in the development of mobile applications that advance peace and combat misinformation with social media technologies, civic education, and more. Utilizing Google’s open-source Flutter framework, Joan lead youngsters in a session to build-out of the user interface of their peace-building projects, one of several components in the multi-day event designed to coach participants through full application development from conception to publication.
Joan is a software developer and a program lead at Pwani Teknowgalz, a woman-led nonprofit created to bridge the gender gap in STEM.
Report Date...: 8/15/2022
Fellow delivers keynote speech at African youth summit
Fellow(s): Sabina Nforba
Fellow Sabina Nforba (Cameroon, 2020-2021) delivered the keynote address at the opening ceremony of “Democracy and Political Transitions in Africa: Harnessing Youth Voices for Change,” a two-day youth summit held in Accra, Ghana this summer. Acting as a representative of the Office of the Youth Envoy of the African Union Commission, Sabina addressed an audience of participants aged 15-35 from among the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) 15 member nations on the importance of youths taking ownership over the democratic and developmental goals of the continent.
Sabina encouraged attendees to get involved in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union Agenda 2063, which works to strengthen Africa’s position on the global stage by driving inclusive socio-economic development, comprehensive integration, peace and security and democratic governance. “The youth should actively and meaningfully participate in politics, become entrepreneurs, and fully exploit the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement,” Sabina urged, adding that they should “champion good governance, starting from local communities to regional communities and the continent at large.”
The Youth Summit is a collaboration of ECOWAS, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) and the African Governance Architecture (AGA).
Report Date...: 8/8/2022
Fellow gives lecture on earning a master’s degree abroad
Fellow(s): Yasmin Redjil
Fellow Yasmin Redjil (2022), an engineer at the Ministry of Public Works and Transit in Algeria, was recently invited to give a guest lecture at the Al-lyha Islamic University of Kuningan, Indonesia entitled “All About the Master’s Degree: The Life, The Thesis, the Future.” Yasmin’s talk focused on preparing undergraduates for earning a master’s degree abroad, establishing a defense-ready thesis and developing a bright vision for the future. She discussed her own experiences undertaking graduate study in Beijing, China, provided motivation on assuming ownership of one’s academic field and shared her experiences as a TechWomen emerging leader in Silicon Valley. “I wanted to [help them] achieve their dreams by eliminating the word ‘impossible’,” she says, “and show them that they are amazing people who deserve the best!”
Report Date...: 8/8/2022
Fellows conduct college-prep training for girls’ scholarship academy
Fellow(s): Laura Tich, Sylvia Nyaga
Kenyan fellows Laura Tich and Sylvia Nyaga (2022) conducted a day-of college preparatory mentorship at Daraja Academy, a boarding school that provides needs-based scholarships for exceptional girls who face limited continuing education opportunities.
During their visit, Laura and Sylvia provided mentorship and guidance while teaching several classes to the 2022 Transition Class, who will soon embark on their first year of college.
Laura and Sylvia were introduced to the school through their TechWomen Impact Coach, Samantha Raniere, who also recently visited Daraja Academy to facilitate a CliftonStrengths workshop. Samantha expressed that she was “beyond appreciative for these powerhouse women to spend time with these young women and further empower them to become the leaders they were meant to be.”
Report Date...: 8/1/2022
South African Fellows co-host Aviation and Space camp for girls
Fellow(s): Darshni Appalsamy
Country: South Africa
South African fellow Refilwe Ledwaba (2019) recently hosted her Girls Fly Programme Africa (GFPA) aviation and space technology camp in Western Cape, South Africa with volunteer support from fellows Darshni Appalsamy (2022) and Nobukhosi Dlamini (2019). The GFPA provides an immersive STEAM development program focused on aviation, space technology, mentorship and career-building skills for a cohort of 40 high school girls. The experience included hands-on practice with 3D software, a visit to a South African National Space Agency, face-to-face interactions with industry professionals. Darshni led a Design Thinking workshop, sharing that she was so happy “to help these smart, ambitious, talented young ladies realize that their dreams, too, are not too big or out of reach. That not even the sky is the limit!”Read More »
Report Date...: 7/25/2022