Our 3rd cohort of girls recently completed training in mobile games design and electronic programming and it is all thanks to you. Following 24 weeks of leadership workshops, and rigorous yet fun mobile games design and electronics programming sessions, this is what some of our girls had to say:
I have really been impacted by the SHE Initiative training. My favourite was the mobile games design session as I can now design a game by myself. I also enjoyed the SHE Life and Leadership training. We were taught that attitude determines altitude. My attitude to life is changing. I am more confident and can now address a crowd. I now know I am capable of doing all things and can achieve whatever it is I want to. I hope to be a Pharmacist someday so that I can discover the cure to HIV.– Rukayat
Initially, I only applied to be a part of the SHE Initiative because my friend did, but now I am really glad I went through the program. The tech session was my best aspect of the training. I now know how to solve some basic electronic problems at home. The leadership sessions were also fun. It taught me to communicate better, to be more assertive in my communications and not aggressive.–Roheemat
In a post-program evaluation, 93% of our girls assert to having skills they did not possess prior to the training and 100% say that they will encourage a friend to apply to the program.
Come September a new cohort (Cohort 4) will be inducted into the training and commence their SHE journey.
A 2015 OECD articleexplains that females do not perform poorly in science and technology due to a gender-related inability but a lack of confidence in their own abilities, with the learning environment playing a significant role in fostering or undermining confidence.
In the previous program report, we told of how 280 plus SHE-3 (3rd SHE set) participants were gradually being introduced to a whole new experience in technology learning. Though excited about the new experience, we can say a good number were having it tough easing in. Now more than 12 weeks into the classes, and with the right amount of encouragement and guidance, a visit to any of the sessions reveals girls who are more confident in their ability to design a game or electronic circuit. Getting familiar with the SHE Initiative and having to show up weekly at the classes, one would expect to see some sort of waning in the initial zest at program start in September of 2018 but the SHE girls maintain their zeal and interest in the tech sessions, showing up early for the classes and investing time and practice.
Meanwhile, 218 girls from the SHE-2 set (2nd SHE set) just completed their diploma exams and are set to graduate school in June. Christopher Kolade Foundation will be commemorating this accomplishment through its SHE Pride/Advance event on the 14th of June. SHE Advance aims to provide SHE students on the cusp of their high school career with postsecondary career exploration opportunities and facilitate connections between their academic pursuits and interests, and a range of professional endeavours.
The combined event will feature career workshops covering the fields of Medicine/Biological Sciences, Law, Engineering, Information Technology, and Financial Services. All workshops will be facilitated by professionals from leading organizations in the respective fields. It is estimated that up to 250 students from the current graduating class (SHE-2) and the maiden set (SHE-1) will attend the event.
Since December 2018 more than 500 girls have benefitted from the SHE Initiative’s technology workshops, and a science and technology Fair. Over 230 girls were immersed in hands-on technology activities that culminated in a technology fair that attracted a broad audience of about 650 people, including girls from state public schools, their parents, and other professionals.
Participants in the SHE program are predominantly from low-income families and enrolled in public schools with limited access to ICT resources. Often their first interaction with technology at a substantive level is through the SHE technology workshops. The first few sessions are characterized by glazed eyes as the girls are introduced to completely new devices, components and concepts. As they concluded their mobile games and electronic programming sessions in January the transformation that had happened was clearly evident. A visit to any of the 10 centers across the state would reveal girls with heads buried deep in concentration as they worked hard at developing their mobile game applications or electronic devices. One of the girls proudly said, ‘I can now create mobile games and see that a female child can do A LOT!’
The yearly Fair, which is always the highpoint of the girls SHE experience had in attendance almost 500 girls with over 200 of them exhibiting science projects they had worked on during the cause of the program year. The Fair provides a platform for high school female innovators to exhibit their technology creations, share their technology experience and be inspired by women who have already succeeded in their respective technology paths.
Electronic devices exhibited at the Fair included: a fire arrester a medicine box, a medical assistant, an electronic security system, and a smart irrigation system
The Fair is the only girls-only science and technology fair of its scale in Africa. The event garnered significant press in print, electronic and social media; which served to bring broader attention to the idea of promoting girls participation in science and technology fields.
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