Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote, “There is no more valuable investment than in a girl’s education.” Here’s why:
“This Scholarship will help me to achieve my educational goals. It will cater for my school fees and also finance my final year project which is a vital part to my course.”
These are the words of Stella Murugi Muthungu, a student of Civil and Structural Engineering at the University of Eldoret, Kenya. Stella is one of the recipients of WAAW Foundation 2017 scholarships award.
Raised by a single mother having loose her dad to brief illness, Stella’s ultimate goal is to be a graduate in STEM course and a Master degree holder in Environmental Engineering. With the support of WAAW Foundation, she is gradually pitching towards achieving her goals.
There are so many other untold stories of African girls doing amazingly well in their courses with scholarships support from WAAW Foundation.
In 2007, WAAW Foundation was founded to bridge the huge gap between men and women exploring science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses. Since its inception, WAAW Foundation has been promoting female inclusion and participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.
WAAW Foundation believes that girls have the potential to change the world. In making that happen, we support the empowerment of the girl child by training secondary school girls on Computer Programming, Coding, Scratch and other useful computer applications that will make them have equal educational opportunities as boys.
WAAW Foundation currently runs 13 STEM outreach and mentoring programs in 8 different African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, Malawi, Togo and South Africa. The foundation works with over 110 university fellows in the 13 STEM Chapters, reaching over 6000 public school student each year.
Large numbers of African girls have participated in our Fellows outreach programmes across Africa. Many of these participants can now use the computer, code and are building mobile applications and implementing innovations that help solve human problems in their various communities.
In year 2017, WAAW Foundation gave scholarship awards to five African female students who demonstrated need and proved their status as full time students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related course in an African University. The foundation has given Scholarships Award to over 20 female scholars from different higher institutions across Africa since year 2002.
In its quest to reach more more secondary school students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, the foundation trains secondary school STEM teachers from the 36 states of Nigeria on digital literacy training. At the end of the training, teachers return to their schools to launch STEM tutoring and mentoring programs including integrating skills learnt in existing science clubs of their respective institution.
The Foundation has also gone the extra mile of extending its educational programmes to girls living in Internally Displaced Camps. One of such is the two-day training on Renewable Energy for IDP girls in Durunmi, Abuja, Nigeria. The training focused on empowering the girls on skills to start income generating enterprises in the renewable energy sector.
The training also urged them to become positive agents and opened them up to issues around climate change. At the end of the training activities, participants were able to use local materials like wooden stick and carton to build a windmill.
In partnership with Strong Enough Girls, sanitary pads were donated to the girls to help them maintain a proper hygiene during their monthly period.
For WAAW Foundation, we have made important progress. With more than 60 million girls out of school, we are not there yet; we still have a long way to go.