Break Barriers to Access STEM Subjects in Africa

by Action Change (Formerly GVI Trust)
Break Barriers to Access STEM Subjects in Africa
Break Barriers to Access STEM Subjects in Africa
Break Barriers to Access STEM Subjects in Africa
Break Barriers to Access STEM Subjects in Africa
Break Barriers to Access STEM Subjects in Africa
Break Barriers to Access STEM Subjects in Africa
Break Barriers to Access STEM Subjects in Africa
Break Barriers to Access STEM Subjects in Africa
Break Barriers to Access STEM Subjects in Africa
Break Barriers to Access STEM Subjects in Africa
Break Barriers to Access STEM Subjects in Africa
Break Barriers to Access STEM Subjects in Africa

Dear Supporters,

 

2020 was an incredibly tough year for many people and that doesn't exclude the passionate female students who were excited and eager to continue or to start their studies within the field of science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM).

COVID-19 started to spread rapidly across the world and at the end of March reached Zimbabwe. As a result, the government decided to close schools and close to all businesses to tackle the virus, forcing even more girls into poverty, prostitution and child marriages. This struggle is far from over, with Zimbabwe going into another hard lockdown as of yesterday, and scheduled to remain in place for a month...

It is incredibly unfortunate that our STEM project has had to take a backseat as the schools and institutions have been closed for many months, however, we have still continued to support our girls through food parcels and other necessities to ensure they remain safe and healthy so that they may continue with their studies the moment schools reopen.

 

As our plans have yet again been put on hold and we will have to wait and see how we can start up our STEM workshops and continue recruiting young, passionate women into the field of science. This is a project we are incredibly excited about and we know will have an incredible impact on the lives of these girls as they expand their horizons and break down the huge gender gap between men and women in STEM.

 

A huge thank you from the Action Change team, and we look forward to being able to update our incredible supporters as soon as lockdown is over!

Stay Safe and Happy new year!

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Dear Supporters,

 

This year did not go as planned for many of the female students who were excited and eager to continue or to start their studies within the field of science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM). Then, COVID-19 started to spread rapidly across the world and in the end of March reached Zimbabwe. As a result, the government decided to close schools and close to all businesses to tackle the virus, forcing even more girls into poverty, prostitution and child marriages.

 

GVI Trust has been strong supporters of reducing gender inequality within the STEM field and supporting girls getting access to education but also information about the area to encourage more to pursue a career within the field. Thus, whilst education is key to break the cycle of poverty, health must always come first. As the world is meeting a new pandemic, Zimbabwe’s government made the decision to put its country in lockdown at the end of March. This resulted in closure of schools indefinitely together with informal businesses, one of the largest sectors in Zimbabwe. As a consequence, girls were forced to pause their academic and professional careers which we have been advocating for and try to study from the safety of their homes. However, this has severe side effects with the loss of the daily meals at schools, many parents could no longer afford to provide for their children causing severe food insecurity across the country. It is currently estimated that 60% of Zimbabweans do not meet their basic need of food for the day. With this added pressure, it has been reported that the number of girls getting married prior to the turned 18, and number of girls turning to prostitution has increased significantly simply because they cannot afford food. 

 

Therefore, to assist at this struggling time we have thanks to your help, and our partners on the ground have been able to provide the 20 STEM female students, and their families with food parcels to assist during these difficult times. This is to ensure that the girls will not be forced into child marriages nor to participate in prostitution and therefore able to return to school when it is considered safe to do so. However, as we do not know when the schools are ready to open in Zimbabwe we are turning to you to help us ensure that the girls studying STEM continue to get supported with food parcels and free and able to return to school.

 

A small donation of $20 will be able to feed one family for 1 month during this lockdown period, whilst providing the sanitation needed within the household.

 

Covid-19 is a reality and is forcing more and more people in Zimbabwe into poverty and delaying children's education. However, to ensure that girls in Zimbabwe will be able to return to school when it is considered safe to do so we must continue to provide emergency support in terms of food and sanitary parcels to those in need. You have helped us before and we continue to hope that you will stay on this journey with us, through the easy as well as the difficult times.

 

Thank you to our Donors, Fundraisers and Supporters for making this project a possibility!

 

With Gratitude,

 

Africa Stem

 

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Dear Supporters,

 

Covid-19 has taken us all by surprise, and affected us all in some way. Big or small. But it is clear to say that science has never been as valued as it is today. And as the world is finding a re-found fascination and appreciation for science, we must make it possible for anyone to study science, regardless of gender and origin. By doing this we ensure that solutions come from varying contexts and environments as we are all affected differently.

 

In 2019 we partnered with NGOs in Zimbabwe which have been arranging STEM weekends and paid the tuition fee for girls who had a high academic results and a passion for STEM to study science. Thus, as Covid-19 has reached the continent, and Zimbabwe, schools have closed and resulted in our STEM project being on hold until further notice. Thus, this does not not mean that the girls who are part of the project are not being assisted. After asking the girls about their greatest need when they no longer can go to school, the lack of food due to parents recent unemployment was a key issue. To address this, packs are being prepared which include food as well as sanitary packs to meet the immediate needs of our science students. Our amazing team on the ground are currently busy securing the resources and mobilising its efforts to reach the girls which all live in the outskirts of Harare. 

 

Whilst the Zimbabwean program is put on hold until further notice, we are preparing to bring a similar project to South Africa. Thus, as the issues faced by girls in South Africa are slightly different, there is still a huge gender gap within the area of science thus, the need to fund the tuition fee to study at secondary level is lower. However, few girls enroll as there is less interest. An issue which needs to be resolved. To address this, the GVI Trust is currently seeking funding to start an afterschool STEM project for girls studying science in marginalised communities outside of Cape Town. Every second week, the girls will be attending a workshop which encourages further studying into the STEM field; learn what professions that fall within the field; get to visit and talk to women who are in the field whilst getting a glimpse of the innovative future which science brings.

 

Covid-19 is preparing us for a new normal, and there are continued warnings that similar pandemics will become more common. Therefore, the need for experts in the field continues to grow, a space which could use an increase of women to not only provide equality but to provide different experiential context and expertise as the virus has taught us that it responds differently in different environment and have different effects on women and men, both scientifically as well as socially. 

 

Thank you to our Donors, Fundraisers and Supporters and we hope that you will continue to follow our journey in 2020!

 

With Gratitude,

 

Africa STEM

 

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Dear Supporters,

 

The GVI Trust first met Spark READ in October as we were expanding our presence in Zimbabwe. In came Angeline, a fearless NGO leader with a breathtaking story. A story which moved me but also inspired girls across Zimbabwe to not get married to young, but also that Science IS for girls.

 

In Zimbabwe, 33% of girls get married before they turn 18. This is one of the highest numbers in Africa. Thus, the question of how to manage and deal with this issue remains constant as the new Zimbabwean law which prohibits children to get married. To simply inform people of the rights of the child has proven inefficient and after researching the leading reasons to the continued practice, economic burden comes up as the number one cause. The economic burden of putting girls to school forces many parents to marry off their daughters, or for the daughters to independently make such a choice to provide financial relief to their parents. This results in girls leaving school early. To address this widespread issue, Angeline through her organisation Spark READ, sponsored girls education to provide the financial relief that a husband would otherwise carry. To take the project one step further, Angeline wanted to support girls which was challenging gender norms and wanted enter into the fields of STEM - science, technology, engineering and maths. And the response was huge. After holding information sessions across schools in Harare, applications for sponsorship flooded in. Thus, it was only the girls at the greatest risk which were selected, and who showed promising academic 



results. Whilst Spark READ paid the tuition fees for the girls, they also meet several times during the year to discuss everything science, future and children’s rights to ensure that the project was holistic. This also opened up the opportunity for early detection of any issues which may be ongoing for the girls. Now, a year after the project started the girls have graduated and are looking to start university. The GVI Trust are proud partners of Spark READ and is hoping that through your generous donations that we will be able to assist more girls to challenge stereotypes and enter into the STEM field and delay the day of being married. 

 

Every year 33% of girls in Zimbabwe get married before they turn 18. That is every third girl. To reduce this figure, and to challenge the gender norms in the STEM field, the GVI Trust is partnering with local organisations in Zimbabwe. By providing financial support for tuition fees, and to educate girls on their rights we are hoping to break the cycle of poverty and give girls an opportunity to enter the workforce and marriage as equals.

 

Thank you to our donors, fundraisers supporters and we hope that you will continue to follow our journey in 2020!

 

With Gratitude,

 

Zimbabwe STEM

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Organization Information

Action Change (Formerly GVI Trust)

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Tyrone Bennett
London, London United Kingdom
$354 raised of $20,000 goal
 
4 donations
$19,646 to go
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