On Monday, February 27, Day Two of the TechWomen Delegation to Morocco opened with a visit to the U.S. Embassy in Rabat, where our diplomatic partners engaged TechWomen mentors in a socio-historical introduction to the nation of Morocco followed by eye-opening briefings on U.S.- Morocco relations, and presentations on a powerful portfolio of collaborative programs designed to elevate the status of marginalized women and groups in the country.
From there, the U.S. delegates set off for the Orange Digital Center to partake in a group lunch before breaking out into focus groups to support the upcoming mobile application launch of the Titrit application by eSTEM Morocco, a seed grant-funded initiative co-founded ten years ago by 2013 fellows Nezha Larhrissi, Salima Kaissi and Zineb Rharrasse.
Nezha, as well as fellow Salma Gherraby (2019), and the eSTEM Morocco team launched the mentor focus group session with a brief welcome introduction of Titrit, which means shining star in the indigenous Amazigh language of Morocco. Mentors then divided up into small groups to test-drive and provide feedback on various components of the platform, which serves as eSTEM Morocco is a nonprofit organization built to equip girls between the ages 8 and 18 with the tools and confidence needed to pursue sustainable STEM careers. It was founded in 2013 at TechWomen and launched during the 2014 delegation trip to Morocco. Since its inception, more than 500 girls and 100 mentors have engaged in impact and professional development activities through eSTEM camps, conferences and challenges, including Technovation Girls, for which eSTEM is the official ambassador in Morocco.
In the fall of 2022, eSTEM Morocco was selected among seven global organizations for the Aspen Digital Equity Accelerator. The Titrit application, a girl-centered mentorship platform that offers long-term guidance through the development of individual projects and innovations, was funded by the $100,000 grant awarded to winners of the Aspen Digital Equity Accelerator, which also provides a four-month mentorship and training program designed to help international nonprofits scale their efforts.
Following the Titrit focus groups session, several mentors led special events coordinated by the U.S. Embassy in Morocco, with Caitlin Doyle, Katie Penn and Lynn Strand hosting a virtual Social Media and Digital Storytelling session, and Jennifer Martin giving a talk on Cybersecurity for a packed audience of students at the International University of Rabat.