W.TEC Blazing through a pandemic
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.
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.