Feb 8, 2021

W.TEC Blazing through a Pandemic

W.TEC Blazing through a pandemic

 

Dear friends,

 

We hope that you and your loved ones are all fine and staying safe and healthy.

 

The past year has been unique in many ways, living through restrictions of an unprecedented pandemic. We have had to adapt our operations to mostly being online and continuously thrived through it all.

 

The pandemic limitations have restricted the execution of our programmes and meant that W.TEC has continued to work from home most days. Our programmes continue to be offered online.

 

Despite challenges, W.TEC has been through. Read below about our most recent activities.

 

Please read below to see what we have been up to:

 

  • W.TEC released our 2019 Annual Report
  • Organised Virtual Mentor Her Programme
  • Held W.TEC Academy (afterschool clubs) Graduation
  • Held 16 Days of Activism Campaign

 

a.)   Released our 2019 Annual Report

W.TEC released its annual report which documents the different events we engaged in, in the year of 2019. It begins with a message from our Executive Director, Oreoluwa Lesi as she elaborates on the new partnerships formed during the year which led to an expansion in W.TEC’s reach.

A look at 2019 in numbers revealed that W.TEC reached 4,490 people through its programmes and 3,095 people through speaking engagements.  The report also looked at each programme held in 2019, including one time programmes like Safer Internet Day which held 3 different events.

Awards and Highlights of the year were also included in the report which ranged from awards to the visit of Sir Tim Berners Lee  to W.TEC. We highlighted several of our She Creates Camp Alumnae who are now doing amazing things; Dolapo, Sophiyat and Monsurat.

Our financial statements for 2019 can also be found in this report, as well as information about our Staff, Board, Supporters and Volunteers. A copy of our 2019 Annual Report can be accessed here.

 

b.)   Organised Virtual Mentor Her Programme

In October of 2020, we launched the second cohort of our Mentor Her Programme which will run for 6 months.  The Mentor Her programme is aimed at supporting young women studying STEM courses at the tertiary level, sharing important technical tips, which will be instrumental in helping them succeed as technology professionals. This mentoring programme provides a platform for young women to gain first-hand knowledge from experienced women in STEM fields, so they start and navigate their careers in a more informed and strategic manner.

 

The mentees in this program are all Nigerian while the mentors are from various countries around the world. Mentors and Mentees went through an orientation that would guide the mentoring relationship. Mentees and mentors meet several times in a month to work towards the goals the mentee mapped out at the start of the program. Monthly webinars are also held on varying topics which are intended to enrich the experience. The impact of this program is expected to be life-changing as it often solidifies career choices of mentees.

 

The first monthly webinar was held on November 2020 and was titled “The Creative Me”: How to Develop the Right Idea for your Professional Development and it was led by a mentor Basia. This session was essential as it taught participants how to set goals.

 

The second monthly webinar held in December 2020 and was titled Personal Development as a Self-Improvement tool and was led by another mentor Mariam. This topic was very enlightening and suitable for the stage in life the mentees are.

 

The third monthly webinar was held in January 2021 and was titled Careers in Software Development and led by Mentor, Ommo. This session was very informative and essential to the mentoring process. Three more webinars will be held before the end of the program to further enhance the experience.

 

c.)    Held W.TEC Academy (afterschool clubs) Graduation

The W.TEC Academy came to a close for the term in December 2020 with a 100 hundred girls graduating in two different schools in Ogun State. This iteration of the programme was centred on equipping girls with STEM skills which include Computer Fundamentals, graphic design and electronic and renewable energy.

 

For their final projects, the girls were taught how to create a solar phone charger, rechargeable lamb and power bank which each girl created. The projects were directed towards solving environmental electricity issues. At the graduation ceremony, one of the beneficiaries, Rokibat , shared her experience and how she can recreate all she learnt.

 

The W.TEC Girls Academy is an after-school technology programme for girls in public secondary schools, designed to inspire girls to pursue computer science careers.

This programme is designed to complement the existing computer science curriculum in the schools, which tends to focus more on theoretical knowledge than practical experience.

 

d.)   16 Days of Activism Campaign

 In November 2020, W.TEC took part in the annual ’16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women’ virtually due to the pandemic restrictions. The event spanned 3 weeks from November 25th to December 10th.  The first week was for techniques for girls to “staying safe on the internet” while the second week was focused on online threats faced by ladies on the internet during the lockdown. The third week was focused on a conversation on why some girls are getting sexually assaulted by men.

 

In addition to these weekly themes, a few resources were created to boost W.TEC’s capacity to serve our online female population with techniques and knowledge to staying safe online in the long-run. This is aimed at setting the pace for a sustained public awareness for the online safety for our ladies and girls. The resources include; a resource webpage for staying safe online, a YouTube staying safe online channel and an interactive feedback session designed to observe latest online trends of online attacks on women and girls.

 

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

 

*******************

 

 

This has certainly been a matchless quarter for us. Despite all the challenges, we are determined to keep innovating and adapting to our new reality, so that we can continue to serve all girls and young women.

 

Thank you for supporting and sharing our work. Because of you, we have been able to increase our reach and improve the quality of our programming.

 

Please continue to donate to our work. Also consider becoming a recurring donor and setting-up automatic monthly payments to us. We especially need your support at this time.

 

Together, we can keep working to build a pipeline that supports girls and women throughout their journeys from early engagement to a career in technology and sciences. We thank you and our girls thank you too.

 

 

Warm regards,

Tarere Eyimina

Research & Documentation Officer

 

*******************

 


FOR MORE INFORMATION:


 

  • Photos of W.TEC’s programmes: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wtec/albums

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT W.TEC & THE SHE CREATES CAMP:

The She Creates Camp is an initiative designed to help Nigerian secondary schoolgirls develop an early interest in computer science, information technology and related careers. The She Creates Camp helps to intervene early, combat stereotypes and tackle the digital gender divide. We teach girls to create digital content, create software and develop skills that use information and communication technologies. Our two-week immersion programme empowers girls to contribute meaningfully to the digital economy and improve their economic opportunities.

The Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) is a Nigerian nonprofit organisation committed to building a more inclusive technology ecosystem, with the next generation of women technology creators, entrepreneurs and leaders.

Links:

Oct 12, 2020

W.TEC Making Strides In Spite of the Odds

W.TEC's Girl Advisory Council
W.TEC's Girl Advisory Council

Dear friends,

 

We hope that you and your loved ones are all fine and staying safe and healthy.

 

This year has been one of continuous adaptation and change. We have not been able to implement any of our programmes in the ways that we planned. However with flexibility, perseverance and good humour, we have been able to roll with the punches.

 

The pandemic lockdowns were gradually eased over the last few months, but physical distancing restrictions and safety caps on the sizes of physical meetings has meant that W.TEC has continued to work from home and our programmes have continued to be offered online.

 

Notwithstanding, W.TEC organised the first virtual W.TEC Academy. Read below on this programme and our other activities.

 

Please read below to see what we have been up to:

 

  • W.TEC recognised as a WSIS 2020 Champion

  • Organised the 1st virtual She Creates Next Camp

  • Moved the W.TEC Academy (afterschool clubs) online

  • Completed the Virtual Maker Space pilot phase

  • Instituted our Girl Advisory Council

  • Published Gender & Technology factsheets and infographs

 

 

a.) Recognised as a WSIS 2020 Champion

W.TEC is pleased to have been selected as a 2020 WSIS Champion in Category 3 (Access to Information and Knowledge).

 

The WSIS Prizes contest was developed in response to requests from the WSIS (World Summit on the Information Society) stakeholders to create an effective mechanism to evaluate projects and activities that leverage the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to advance sustainable development.

 

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 edition of the WSIS Forum went completely virtual.

 

W.TEC was recognised as a Champion for our work giving Nigerian girls and women the skills, knowledge and opportunity to participate equitably in the information and digital society.

 

This years WSIS Champions had the opportunity to give messages of appreciation and share stories from their work during a special interactive session organised with the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Mr. Houlin Zhao.

 

W.TEC’s Executive Director, Ms. Oreoluwa Lesi thanked WSIS for their recognition of our work and highlighted key facts about the gender gap in technology, which emphasises the big work that still needs to be done to improve women’s ability to participate in and contribute effectively to the global information society.

 

Photos from the session can be viewed here: https://www.itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2020/Agenda/Session/372

 

The video recording of the session can be viewed here (Oreoluwa Lesi’s remarks start from 19:58): https://web.facebook.com/WSISprocess/videos/319907055899370

 

b.) Organised the 1st virtual She Creates Next Camp

 

W.TEC’s flagship programme is the annual residential She Creates Camp. It provides a high quality and exciting environment where girls learn to create useful technologies for everyday living. As a result of the pandemic, W.TEC has decided to convert this to a virtual camp this year.

 

Our first virtual camp for girls tagged She Creates Next has come and gone. Over the 4 weeks, the participants learnt mobile apps design, video editing, python programming and Website design.

 

According to a participant who built a website for herself during the class indicated that with her new skills she can build a website for her blog  and possibly establish her own website development company.

 

Upon completion of the programme, the camp was rounded-off with an online graduation ceremony with participants in attendance alongside their parents. During the programme, the Executive Director Mrs Oreoluwa Lesi in her welcome address highlighted the innovative edge of the virtual camp to the participants and their parents.

 

The online ceremony featured presentations by participants on all what they have learnt during the camp. Parents also shared heartwarming impact stories of the children. According to one of the parents: “The camp has made my daughter have a good advantage in both learning and the possibility to making money with her new skills. I will surely recommend the camp to everyone’’.

 

Although we missed the face-to-face aspect of our camp, the online format provided the opportunity for participants from across the world to join in the camp.

 

Learn more about the 2020 She Creates Camp: https://wtec.org.ng/more-about-she-creates-2020/ and read the press release: https://wtec.org.ng/w-tec-holds-her-first-virtual-camp-for-girls-she-creates-next-camp/

 

c.) Moved the W.TEC Academy (afterschool clubs) online

 

The W.TEC Academy made a big comeback with a series of new online classes. The W.TEC Academy is an afterschool technology club for girls currently held in select secondary schools across Kwara and Ogun States. The programme, sponsored by Oracle and the Dr. Abi A. Afonja Trust, had 500 girls enrolled for its weekly classes before the outbreak of the pandemic.

 

When the Academy resumed online, it was with unfortunately the much lower number of 27 due to limited access to the Internet and Internet-enabled devices.

The session started with a revision of the last term’s work, before moving onto Graphic Design with Canva and Web Design with HTML

The Academy was organised on the Zoom platform, supported by WhatsApp groups.

Read more: https://wtec.org.ng/the-return-of-w-tec-academy/

 

 

d.) Completed the Virtual Maker Space pilot phase

 

In June, W.TEC launched a new programme called the MakeHer Space, modelled on traditional maker spaces. While this was planned as a hands–on programme, we had to re-design it to be delivered online. Through the twice-weekly online sessions, the young women learned to create technology and engineering-based solutions to solve problems in their communities.

 

The re-imagined virtual MakerHer Space featured a rich curriculum that included Website Development, 3D Design and Modelling, Problem-Solving and Market Research.

 

Trying to re-create a maker space online was not without it challenges. Some of the challenges experienced included:

  • Poor Internet connection and power supply – an unstable internet connection or lack of electricity discouraged some of the students to attend online learning sessions.

  • Different interfaces of the apps being learnt on the students’ different devices and operating software. This made it difficult to develop uniform learning content and screenshots for the girls.

  • Some students joining class late or some students are shy to speak up

 

The challenges notwithstanding, the MakerHer Space welcomed students from across the African continent.

 

You can also learn more about the MakerHer Space project here: https://wtec.org.ng/make-her-space/

 

e.) Instituted our Girl Advisory Council

 

W.TEC was so pleased to institute the pioneer set of the newly-inaugurated Girl Advisory Council.

 

The W.TEC Girls Advisory Council comprises of a group of select girls (alumnae of W.TEC programmes) nominated to work as an advisory group to partner with W.TEC staff members on activities ranging from programme development to research and publicity.

 

The GAC members will also have the opportunity to make recommendations to and share their ideas with W.TEC’s Board of Trustees and Advisory Board members. By facilitating youth-adult partnership, these leadership opportunities allow GAC members to influence decision-making processes in the organisation. This represents another step towards ensuring that W.TEC’s leadership team is representative of the target beneficiaries of our programmes. By having our beneficiaries represented, we look forward to designing programmes that better meet their needs.

 

The inaugural Council is made-up of 7 W.TEC alumnae, who have attended the She Creates Camp over the years since 2008.

 

Read more about our Girl Advisory Council: https://wtec.org.ng/meet-our-new-girls-advisory-council/

 

f.) W.TEC Published Gender & Technology Factsheets and Infographs

 

In August, W.TEC published two factsheets and articles:

 

1. “The Girls & Tech Factsheet”  Infographic Sheet and Findings Article (2020)

 

2. “The Women & Tech Factsheet”  Infographic Sheet and Findings Article (2020)

 

The factsheets and articles explain why we need more girls in Technology and related fields. Multiple studies and reports highlight the under-representation of women and girls working in and studying STEM subjects.

 

These factsheets pulled together key statistics on the national and global level. It is challenging finding data for Nigeria and by researching and publishing these figures, W.TEC is proud to make a much-needed contribution to shining a light on the depth of the STEM gap in Nigeria.

 

Download the factsheets here: https://wtec.org.ng/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/The-Tech-Woman-and-Work-4.pdf and https://wtec.org.ng/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Girls-Technology-7-1.pdf

 

 

 

*******************

 

 

This has certainly been a most unexpected quarter for us. Despite all the challenges, we are determined to keep innovating and adapting to our new reality, so that we can continue to serve all girls and young women.

 

Thank you for supporting and sharing our work. Because of you, we have been able to increase our reach and improve the quality of our programming.

 

Please continue to donate to our work. Also consider becoming a recurring donor and setting-up automatic monthly payments to us. We especially need your support at this time.

 

Together, we can keep working to build a pipeline that supports girls and women throughout their journeys from early engagement to a career in technology and sciences. We thank you and our girls thank you too.

 

 

Warm regards,

Oreoluwa Lesi

 

*******************

 


FOR MORE INFORMATION:

 

 

  • Photos of W.TEC’s programmes: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wtec/albums

 

 

 

 

  • Email W.TEC: info@wtec.org.ng

 

 

 

ABOUT W.TEC & THE W.TEC ACADEMY:

The W.TEC Academy is an after-school technology programme for girls in public secondary schools, designed to inspire girls to pursue computer science careers. The girls go through a year-long computing curriculum, which includes Computer Architecture & Networking, Scratch Programming, Alice Programming and Digital Arts.



The Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) is a Nigerian nonprofit organisation committed to building a more inclusive technology ecosystem, with the next generation of women technology creators, entrepreneurs and leaders.

 

The Girls & Tech Factsheet
The Girls & Tech Factsheet
MakeHer Space Pilot
MakeHer Space Pilot

Links:

Oct 12, 2020

W.TEC Making Strides In Spite of the Odds

W.TEC's Girls & Technology Factsheet
W.TEC's Girls & Technology Factsheet

Dear friends,

 

We hope that you and your loved ones are all fine and staying safe and healthy.

 

This year has been one of continuous adaptation and change. We have not been able to implement any of our programmes in the ways that we planned. However with flexibility, perseverance and good humour, we have been able to roll with the punches.

 

The pandemic lockdowns were gradually eased over the last few months, but physical distancing restrictions and safety caps on the sizes of physical meetings has meant that W.TEC has continued to work from home and our programmes have continued to be offered online.

 

Notwithstanding, W.TEC organised the first virtual She Creates Camp. Read below on this programme and our other activities.

 

Please read below to see what we have been up to:

 

  • W.TEC recognised as a WSIS 2020 Champion

  • Organised the 1st virtual She Creates Next Camp

  • Moved the W.TEC Academy (afterschool clubs) online

  • Completed the Virtual Maker Space pilot phase

  • Instituted our Girl Advisory Council

  • Published Gender & Technology factsheets and infographs

 

 

a.) Recognised as a WSIS 2020 Champion

W.TEC is pleased to have been selected as a 2020 WSIS Champion in Category 3 (Access to Information and Knowledge).

 

The WSIS Prizes contest was developed in response to requests from the WSIS (World Summit on the Information Society) stakeholders to create an effective mechanism to evaluate projects and activities that leverage the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to advance sustainable development.

 

W.TEC was recognised as a Champion for our work giving Nigerian girls and women the skills, knowledge and opportunity to participate equitably in the information and digital society.

 

This years WSIS Champions had the opportunity to give messages of appreciation and share stories from their work during a special interactive session organised with the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Mr. Houlin Zhao.

 

W.TEC’s Executive Director, Ms. Oreoluwa Lesi thanked WSIS for their recognition of our work and highlighted key facts about the gender gap in technology, which emphasises the big work that still needs to be done to improve women’s ability to participate in and contribute effectively to the global information society.

 

Photos from the session can be viewed here: https://www.itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2020/Agenda/Session/372

 

The video recording of the session can be viewed here (Oreoluwa Lesi’s remarks start from 19:58): https://web.facebook.com/WSISprocess/videos/319907055899370

 

b.) Organised the 1st Virtual She Creates Next Camp

 

W.TEC’s flagship programme is the annual residential She Creates Camp. It provides a high quality and exciting environment where girls learn to create useful technologies for everyday living. As a result of the pandemic, W.TEC has decided to convert this to a virtual camp this year.

 

Our first virtual camp for girls tagged She Creates Next has come and gone. Over the 4 weeks, the participants learnt mobile apps design, video editing, python programming and Website design.

 

According to a participant who built a website for herself during the class indicated that with her new skills she can build a website for her blog  and possibly establish her own website development company.

 

Upon completion of the programme, the camp was rounded-off with an online graduation ceremony with participants in attendance alongside their parents. During the programme, the Executive Director Mrs Oreoluwa Lesi in her welcome address highlighted the innovative edge of the virtual camp to the participants and their parents.

 

The online ceremony featured presentations by participants on all what they have learnt during the camp. Parents also shared heartwarming impact stories of the children. According to one of the parents: “The camp has made my daughter have a good advantage in both learning and the possibility to making money with her new skills. I will surely recommend the camp to everyone’’.

 

Although we missed the face-to-face aspect of our camp, the online format provided the opportunity for participants from across the world to join in the camp.

 

Learn more about the 2020 She Creates Camp: https://wtec.org.ng/more-about-she-creates-2020/ and the press release: https://wtec.org.ng/w-tec-holds-her-first-virtual-camp-for-girls-she-creates-next-camp/

 

c.) Moved the W.TEC Academy (afterschool clubs) online

 

The W.TEC Academy made a big comeback with a series of new online classes. The W.TEC Academy is an afterschool technology club for girls currently held in select secondary schools across Kwara and Ogun States. The programme, sponsored by Oracle and the Dr. Abi A. Afonja Trust, had 500 girls enrolled for its weekly classes before the outbreak of the pandemic.

 

When the Academy resumed online, it was with unfortunately the much lower number of 27 due to limited access to the Internet and Internet-enabled devices.

The session started with a revision of the last term’s work, before moving onto Graphic Design with Canva and Web Design with HTML

The Academy was organised on the Zoom platform, supported by WhatsApp groups.

Read more: https://wtec.org.ng/the-return-of-w-tec-academy/

 

 

d.) Completed the Virtual Maker Space pilot phase

 

In June, W.TEC launched a new programme called the MakeHer Space, modelled on traditional maker spaces. While this was planned as a hands–on programme, we had to re-design it to be delivered online. Through the twice-weekly online sessions, the young women learned to create technology and engineering-based solutions to solve problems in their communities.

 

The re-imagined virtual MakerHer Space featured a rich curriculum that included Website Development, 3D Design and Modelling, Problem-Solving and Market Research.

 

Trying to re-create a maker space online was not without it challenges. Some of the challenges experienced included:

  • Poor Internet connection and power supply – an unstable internet connection or lack of electricity discouraged some of the students to attend online learning sessions.

  • Different interfaces of the apps being learnt on the students’ different devices and operating software. This made it difficult to develop uniform learning content and screenshots for the girls.

  • Some students joining class late or some students are shy to speak up

 

The challenges notwithstanding, the MakerHer Space welcomed students from across the African continent.

 

You can also learn more about the MakerHer Space project here: https://wtec.org.ng/make-her-space/

 

e.) Instituted our Girl Advisory Council

 

W.TEC was so pleased to institute the pioneer set of the newly-inaugurated Girl Advisory Council.

 

The W.TEC Girls Advisory Council comprises of a group of select girls (alumnae of W.TEC programmes) nominated to work as an advisory group to partner with W.TEC staff members on activities ranging from programme development to research and publicity.

 

The GAC members will also have the opportunity to make recommendations to and share their ideas with W.TEC’s Board of Trustees and Advisory Board members. By facilitating youth-adult partnership, these leadership opportunities allow GAC members to influence decision-making processes in the organisation. This represents another step towards ensuring that W.TEC’s leadership team is representative of the target beneficiaries of our programmes. By having our beneficiaries represented, we look forward to designing programmes that better meet their needs.

 

The inaugural Council is made-up of 7 W.TEC alumnae who have all attended the She Creates Camp from 2008 till date.

 

Read more about our Girl Advisory Council: https://wtec.org.ng/meet-our-new-girls-advisory-council/

 

f.) Published Gender & Technology Factsheets and Infographs

 

In August, W.TEC published two factsheets and articles:

 

1. “The Girls & Tech Factsheet”  Infographic Sheet and Findings Article (2020)

 

2. “The Women & Tech Factsheet”  Infographic Sheet and Findings Article (2020)

 

The factsheets and articles explain why we need more girls in Technology and related fields. Multiple studies and reports highlight the under-representation of women and girls working in and studying STEM subjects.

 

These factsheets pulled together key statistics on the national and global level. It is challenging finding data for Nigeria and by researching and publishing these figures, W.TEC is proud to make a much-needed contribution to shining a light on the depth of the STEM gap in Nigeria.

 

Download the factsheets here: https://wtec.org.ng/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/The-Tech-Woman-and-Work-4.pdf and https://wtec.org.ng/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Girls-Technology-7-1.pdf

 

 

 

*******************

 

 

This has certainly been a most unexpected quarter for us. Despite all the challenges, we are determined to keep innovating and adapting to our new reality, so that we can continue to serve all girls and young women.

 

Thank you for supporting and sharing our work. Because of you, we have been able to increase our reach and improve the quality of our programming.

 

Please continue to donate to our work. Also consider becoming a recurring donor and setting-up automatic monthly payments to us. We especially need your support at this time.

 

Together, we can keep working to build a pipeline that supports girls and women throughout their journeys from early engagement to a career in technology and sciences. We thank you and our girls thank you too.

 

 

Warm regards,

Oreoluwa Lesi

 

*******************

 


FOR MORE INFORMATION:

 

 

  • Photos of W.TEC’s programmes: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wtec/albums

 

 

 

 

  • Email W.TEC: info@wtec.org.ng

 

 

ABOUT W.TEC & THE SHE CREATES CAMP:

The She Creates Camp is an initiative designed to help Nigerian secondary schoolgirls develop an early interest in computer science, information technology and related careers. The She Creates Camp helps to intervene early, combat stereotypes and tackle the digital gender divide. We teach girls to create digital content, create software and develop skills that use information and communication technologies. Our two-week immersion programme empowers girls to contribute meaningfully to the digital economy and improve their economic opportunities.

The Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) is a Nigerian nonprofit organisation committed to building a more inclusive technology ecosystem, with the next generation of women technology creators, entrepreneurs and leaders.

 

MakeHer Space Pilot
MakeHer Space Pilot
W.TEC's Girl Advisory Council
W.TEC's Girl Advisory Council

Links:

 
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