Impact Stories from Youth Engagement Policy Area
AfriTech Hub hosts its inaugural STEM Club Competition
Fellow(s): Sabina Nforba
2020-2021 fellow Sabina Nforba organized the first STEM Club Competition hosted by her STEM education initiative, bringing together students to engage in technology and learn about STEM. Sabina is the co-founder and president of AfriTech Hub, an organization that empowers young students to pursue STEM education and STEM careers. AfriTech Hub has worked with over 3,000 students through its clubs, workshops and summits.
AfriTech Hub launched STEM clubs at the beginning of the academic year in schools throughout five cities in Cameroon. Despite setbacks, including the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of resources, Sabina, in partnership with STEMpreneur, trained AfriTech Hub team members to serve as facilitators for the STEM clubs. “Like every leader faced with challenges, I knew that they were inevitable, and what makes people different is their attitude when faced with these challenges,” wrote Sabina. Last week’s STEM Club Competition convened student representatives from AfriTech Hub’s partner schools to congratulate them for their hard work and facilitate activities in video game development, animation, electronics and more. “The students, ever so enthusiastic, developed video games and build a traffic lights system and a lie detector machine using Arduino electronics,” wrote Sabina. “We are extremely proud of what these students have accomplished in the course of the year and during this event. The energy here was contagious.”
Report Date...: 5/31/21
Fellow speaks about creativity and innovation in education
Fellow(s): Nabila Bashir
Last week, 2018 fellow Nabila Bashir presented at the 4th
Educational Forum, a virtual event organized by Abu Dhabi
University in partnership with UNESCO and Queen Rania Teacher
Academy. With a theme of Future of Education, Innovation and
Creativity, the event brought together international education
experts to discuss what’s next in education.
Nabila is a senior business development manager at Queen Rania
Teacher Academy. In her presentation, she spoke about the
future of teaching, sharing why creativity and innovation is so
important for educators and their students. “The world needs
creativity, because problems aren’t getting simpler,” said Nabila. “Instead of looking at what is or what has
been, we need to start looking at what we can be.” Nabila emphasized the need to democratize access to
innovation tools, making them accessible to educators everywhere and empowering them to set up a climate
conducive to creativity. She also encouraged teachers to establish communities of practice that support risktaking
and the sharing of best practices to optimize creativity.
Report Date...: 5/31/21
Fellow shares how she led Technovation through COVID-19
Fellow(s): Mutriba Akhmedova
2015 fellow Mutriba Akhmedova was interviewed this month by
Technovation founder and CEO Tara Chklovski, speaking about
Technovation’s success in Tajikistan and how she worked to
engage girls through the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to
working as a project coordinator of TechWomen fellow-led
T.I.M.E for Women, Mutriba launched Technovation in Tajikistan
and serves as its chapter ambassador.
In the interview Mutriba shared that, in year two of Technovation
Tajikistan, enrollment went from 50 to 300 girls. Year three, held
during the pandemic, Mutriba and her team registered 600 girls while expanding to new regions of the country.
She also spoke about the challenges the girls faced during the pandemic as Technovation programming
transitioned to a virtual format and offered new ways of learning. Mutriba engaged girls online via Telegram,
assigning them weekly tasks and creating friendly competition. She also provided professional development
opportunities for the mentors, encouraging them to expand their skills. When asked what inspires her, Mutriba
said, “What inspires me is when I hear that I’ve helped inspire someone else.”
Report Date...: 5/31/21
Fellow holds science camps for kids around the globe
Fellow(s): Saba Rasheed Malik
2017 fellow Saba Rasheed Malik launched a summer STEAM camp for kids, bringing students through DIY lessons that teach the fundamentals of STEM. The program is a part of weePro, the STEM education program Saba co-founded that teaches young students about computational thinking, robotics, programming and more.
The camp began this week with Demo Week, three days of free programming that includes learning about science through common household items as well as coding from scratch. Students joined Demo Week’s first event from around the world, including the United States, Saudi Arabia, the UK and Pakistan. The second event brought students from multiple regions of Pakistan as well as London for a coding session where they learned how to build a computer game. Saba offers discounts to girls as a way to encourage them to participate in STEM. “It is a step forward to respond to gender parity in science and technology,” she said.
Report Date...: 5/24/21
Fellow speaks about the power of mentorship at TEDxParklands
Fellow(s): Dr. Chao Mbogho
This month, 2017 fellow Dr. Chao Mbogho spoke at TedXParklands in Nairobi, sharing four qualities of impactful mentorship programs and reflecting on her career in computer science. Chao is the founder of KamiLimu, a free mentorship program for computer science students at Kenyan universities that enhances their learning experiences; the program ensures that each cohort has 50% female-identifying students.
“Mentorship is not about creating someone in your own image, but allowing them to create themselves,” Chao said in her talk, Holding up the Ladder. Chao outlined her learnings from running KamiLimu, emphasizing that successful mentorship programs must create safe spaces, center on students’ mentorship needs and focus on depth and structure. “We’ve seen students who have become leaders in their local and international communities,” said Chao. “I call upon each one of us to hold the ladder up for others. If we can do these we can impact one, 10, 100 or even 1,000 others.”
Report Date...: 5/24/21
With EduClick Careers fellow connects young people to jobs
Fellow(s): Angele Messa
2019 fellow Angele Messa has launched EduClick Careers, a job
portal with a mission to help one million young people access
jobs and other opportunities by 2025. Angele is the founder of
EduClick, an EdTech platform that offers alternative learning
methods for those who don’t have access to formal education
in Cameroon. With both offline and online educational
methods, EduClick supports displaced people, recent graduates
and young professionals who are looking to gain marketable
In addition to listing the latest job opportunities and
scholarships for young people, EduClick Careers offers
resume/CV assistance, support creating a business plan and
tools to create an online presence. By offering a comprehensive search engine for young people, Angele hopes
to democratize job access, matching talent to opportunity regardless of geographic location and gender.
Report Date...: 5/17/21
Fellow speaks on students’ reproductive health in TV interview
Fellow(s): Linah Anyango
2019 fellow of Kenya Linah Anyango was a guest on KTN News
Kenya, speaking about the need to focus on girls’ reproductive
health education to improve school attendance and their
participation in STEM fields. The interview was aired on KTN’s Her
Standards show, a platform that shares conversations on gender
equality and women’s empowerment.
Linah is a biology and chemistry educator, EdTech coach and
STEM advocate. In the interview, Linah shared that in order to
make STEM more inclusive for girls, their sexual and reproductive
health must be addressed. In Kenya, an estimated 13,000 girls
drop out of school every year due to pregnancy; one in every five girls between nine and 19 is either a young
mother or pregnant. “Unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases have derailed lives of many
promising future engineers or scientists that this country greatly needs,” said Linah. She called for a greater
effort to implement reproductive health policies and sexual education curriculum that will help keep girls in
school. “Provision of age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education, as part of a wider life-skill and
empowerment learning package will help guide their decisions, with parents and teachers playing their
collective role. Only then, can the efforts to encourage interest in STEM pay dividends,” she said.
Report Date...: 5/10/21
Fellows share advice for girls in STEM at UNDP event
Fellow(s): Maral Hudaybergenova, Shodiyabegim Bakhtiyorzoda, Mahinakhon Suleymanova
Country: Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Cohort: 2016, 2017, 2018
Last month, fellows Maral Hudaybergenova (Turkmenistan, 2018), Shodiyabegim Bakhtiyorzoda (Uzbekistan, 2016) and Mahinakhon Suleymanova (Tajikistan, 2017) were featured speakers at a webinar meant to engage and inspire girls interested in tech throughout Central Asia. The event was sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme as well as STEM4ALL, a non-profit that offers STEM education to K-12 students.
During the session, the fellows were joined by more than 150 women and girls from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The webinar kicked-off with a group discussion on how women and girls are overcoming personal and professional obstacles and succeeding in STEM fields: “I focused on the fact that achieving gender equality requires the engagement of not only women but also men, as it’s everyone’s responsibility,” said Maral. “It’s not about men versus women, it’s all about giving everyone a fair opportunity.” After, the group moved to breakout rooms that were divided by field of interest, where the fellows spoke about both job opportunities as well as the gender barriers and challenges within tech sectors. The event concluded with the panelists sharing free resources for girls and women in STEM. “All of us were trying to inspire girls to not be afraid of pursuing their dream job in spite of stereotypes,” said Maral. “And the most impactful thing for me was the fact that three of five speakers were TechWomen fellows.”
Report Date...: 5/3/21
Fellow featured in UNICEF spotlight
Fellow(s): Noella Nibakuze
2018 fellow Noella Nibakuze was recently featured in a UNICEF spotlight highlighting her work at MASS Design Group as well as her commitment to uplifting women and girls in her community. The video was a part of UNICEF Rwanda’s Women in STEM series, a campaign that amplifies successful women in STEM fields in Rwanda. Noella is an architect and design associate MASS, working to empower communities through using local and sustainable materials and uplifting their economies.
In the video, Noella explained that her passion for architecture began at an early age: “I imagined myself building skyscrapers, and it really thrilled me to do something so beautiful,” she said. When Noella began exploring a career in architecture, however, she found that she was outnumbered by men: “The main challenge I faced is when I realized the lack of women in the profession itself,” she said. “I really needed the perspective of someone like me.” Noella also shared her perspective on gender equity, and her advice for girls in STEM fields: “I believe a team is more productive and more creative when you have men and women working together. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice on your career. And when you succeed, remember young girls – you can be their mentor.”Read More »
Report Date...: 5/3/21
Fellow’s students present projects to King and Queen of Jordan
Fellow(s): Ala’a Agha Karss
In 2019, founder of Superiors Tech Hub and 2017 fellow Ala’a Agha Karss
collaborated with Princess Taghrid Institute for Development and Training
to design an immersive tech and business training for rural youth in
Jordan. For two months, Alaa’s project, “Productive Youth,” trained its 35
participants in design thinking, digital marketing, storytelling and more,
guiding them on how to create businesses for local and handmade
Last month, Princess Taghrid Institute organized an exhibition to
showcase the students’ projects and products to King Abdullah II bin Al-
Hussein and Queen Rania Al-Abdullah. There, the King and Queen walked
through the exhibit, speaking to Alaa’s students about their training and
seeing their handicrafts and products on display. “I personally witnessed a
long journey for the students, a journey of self-development and creating
their products with unmatched determination,” said Ala’a.
Report Date...: 5/3/21