We hope that you and your loved ones are all fine and staying safe and healthy.
The uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to adapt to our new realities. We have seen that only the nimble and agile survive in this new climate.
For us at W.TEC, this has necessitated being observant, implementing quickly and learning the lessons we need to as we go along.
Thankfully, our team has pulled together with determination to continue on our journey of nurturing the next generation of female technology creators, entrepreneurs and leaders.
As the pandemic lockdown eases and schools have re-opened, we have been able to run more in-person activities. Notwithstanding, we know that this is not a time to relax on any of the safety protocols.
Please read below to see what we have been up to:
W.TEC Launched In-Person MakeHer Spaces
International Girls in ICT Day Hackathon
W.TEC Celebrates International Women’s Day with Webinar
W.TEC Academy Graduation Ceremony in Ogun
W.TEC Nominated for 2021 WSIS Prizes
a.) W.TEC Launched In-Person MakeHer Spaces
The MakeHer Space project aims to teach over 1,000 girls to create technology and engineering-based solutions that solve problems in their communities, provide information about career options and exposes them to women working successfully in STEAM.
The pilot, scheduled to start in April 2020, had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and eventually modified to be delivered virtually.
However, as maker spaces are experiential hands-on spaces, we looked forward to the opportunity to run this project in-person as originally intended.
In March 2021, we had the opportunity to launch in-person spaces in Nasarawa state, followed by Abuja and Bauchi. We are excited for the opportunity to expand the MakeHer Space project to more locations over the next few months.
b.) International Girls in ICT Day Hackathon
OnInternational Girls in ICT Day, civil society organisations, governments and other stakeholders around the world organise activities to build awareness about the gender digital divide, support technology education and skills training, and encourage more girls and young women to actively pursue careers in STEM.
W.TEC, in partnership with Oracle, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) and the Kwara State Ministry of Education organised a virtual hackathon for female students of the W.TEC Academy.
The Kwara State W.TEC Academy currently works with girls in 13 government-owned secondary schools located within Ilorin, the capital city of Kwara state, as well as in the ancient town of Offa. A total of 328 girls are currently enrolled in the Academy, but 28 students were selected to participate in the hackathon.
The event was interspersed with inspirational talks by senior technology and science female professionals, sharing their career journeys and the main activity of the students’ presentation of the databases they had built to the judges and audience. After the rigorous question and answer sessions and an exciting tie between two schools, Basin Staff College was declared the first place winner.
c.) W.TEC Celebrates International Women’s Day with Webinar
W.TEC hosted a virtual panel discussion event to mark the 2021 International Women’s Day. The event’s theme was in line with the 2021 global theme “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”.
This event was part of W.TEC’s MentorHER programme, a mentorship programme for Nigerian female university STEM students, and featured mentors from the programme:
The speakers were: Basia Nasiorowska (Africa Space, AI and Robotics Hub), Dr. Kemi Olurinola (Founder, Exquitec Educational Technology) and Prof. Sherein Saied Abdelgayed (Cairo University), while the moderator was Tarere Eyimina (W.TEC’s Research and Documentation Officer).
During the event the panelists explored how women can successfully balance their lives with work, especially during the pandemic. They also discussed the importance of leadership by women and its impact on encouraging more women to aspire for leadership roles.
d.) W.TEC Academy Graduation Ceremony in Ogun State
After over 7 months of schools being closed across the country, in November 2020, W.TEC was able to resume the W.TEC Academy in Ogun state and graduate 100 female students.
The students who are participants of the W.TEC Academy in Obalaju High School and Yewa College completed a hands-on curriculum covering computer fundamentals, graphic design, electronics and renewable energy.
The final project for students involved building a solar-powered phone charger, rechargeable lamp and a power bank, devices which were inspired by the lack of adequate electricity in the community.
e.) W.TEC Nominated for 2021 WSIS Prizes
W.TEC's MakeHerSpace project was nominated for the 2021 WSIS Prizes 2021 in the 'Capacity Building' category.
We made the shortlist of 360 nominees out of 1,270 projects submitted from all over the world.
The WSIS Prizes contest was developed in response to requests from the WSIS 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. Since its inception, the contest of WSIS Prizes has attracted more than 300,000 stakeholders.
After the mostly virtual programmes of 2020, it has been energising to be able to offer some in-person programming this quarter. 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.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
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.
W.TEC Academy in Ogun State
W.TEC Academy in Kwara State