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WAAW Foundation Founder and CEO’s Remarks

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Dear WAAW Foundation Friends,
2014 has been another year of remarkable strides and progress for WAAW foundation! This year, we placed several pillars on our foundation in preparation for the great work ahead. I am extremely proud of what we accomplished together and would like to say thank you to all our partners, friends and supporters who have helped us reach several major milestones this year.  I am humbled by our accomplishments, especially when I look back at our very small beginnings in 2007. It is indeed a strong testament to the validity of our underlying belief that “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.
As we close out this great year of 2014, let us take a moment to contemplate some of the milestones we have achieved together and take time to celebrate our successes:
1.       Successful Google Rise Partnership award in partnership with the ELiTE Organization;
2.      Successfully launching of two sub-regional STEM College fellows and mentors training and summit (East Africa Region held in Nairobi, Kenya and West Africa Region held in Cape Coast, Ghana);
3.      Expanding our mentoring and training curriculum to include Computer Science training and equipping each cell with Raspberry Pi and Arduino kits, in partnership with ELiTE.
4.      Successful launch of 7 more STEM mentoring cells in Universities Across Africa, bringing our total number of STEM cells to 13 operational cells across 9 African countries, involving over 120 college volunteers reaching over 6000 youth;
5.      Successfully hosting the 2014 STEM camp in Lagos Nigeria, impacting 32 secondary girls;
6.      Successfully awarding 4 scholarships selected from over 1000 applications representing 32 African countries;
7.      Exceeding 4000 active and engaged followers on our Facebook social media platform;
8.      Continuing to grow and maintain and active online Google plus community for our college fellows and scholars.
In addition, WAAW took major strides to build community; strengthen relationships and forge partnerships in order to promote our shared vision of eradicating poverty in Africa and empowering African girls.
In 2014, we undeniably emerged a healthier and stronger organization – strategically, structurally and financially. Because of this, I believe WAAW foundation is positioned to better serve our target girls in Africa and to scale up our impact in 2015.
While we celebrate our achievements in 2014, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels – particularly considering the major challenges that face Africa in 2015 including Ebola. With the 2015 year in view, I am very confident that WAAW Foundation is well poised to reach higher for the stars and achieve even greater heights towards our vision of eradicating poverty in Africa by engaging more girls in Technology Innovation to solve the relevant problems in our communities using our locally available resources. We will achieve these objective by aiming to:- reach many more girls, increase our impact, and employ our resources more efficiently.
WAAW Foundation is aware that the work that lies ahead of us is formidable, but we still do dare to dream and work hard towards reaching those dreams – We entertain no other alternative or options, because in pursuing our vision, we also give girls in Africa the permission and the courage to reach for their own dreams. In 2015, we will remain resolute, focused on our target, and committed to our goals. We also continue to look out for strategic partnerships with individuals and organizations that resonate with our vision, in order that together, we can achieve greater amplitude.
We have many exciting projects lined up in 2015 and I am excited that we can continue to count on the unflinching support and commitment of our funders, partners and supporters. Together, I have absolutely no doubt that there is nothing we set our minds to that we cannot achieve.
We march forward into the New Year full of expectations, strength and excitement, knowing that what lies within and ahead of us is greater than what lies behind us!
                            WAAW Family… The Best Is Yet To Come!!!
I would like to personally express my heartfelt appreciation to all our funders and grantors in 2014. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to do this great work! Thank you to our wonderful Advisory, Governance and Executive Boards who volunteer countless hours and personal resources to make it happen. I cannot say enough how grateful and humbled I am by your commitment and service. Thank you to our staff, volunteer facilitators, tutors, fellows, scholars & campers – You all have contributed in significant ways to making 2014. Thank you for making a huge difference in the lives of many young African girls. Your gift will keep giving and giving!
At WAAW Foundation we will continue to strive for excellence and push hard to ensure every African girl is exposed to the potential of getting involved in Technology Innovation to benefit Africa. We strongly believe that we Africans are the ones to impact Africa and move our dear continent forward – we cannot wait around for someone to come to the rescue – and at WAAW we are facing this challenge and overcoming, one girl at a time. We are the change we are waiting for, and Together, we can make a difference! Our time is now!
I could not be more proud of the work we are doing at WAAW Foundation. I salute the spirit of courage, hardwork and strength of every African girl.
In 2015, may the road rise up to meet WAAW Foundation and may each of you experience the strength of deep convictions, the exhilaration of walking your unique life’s journey and the encompassing freedom of love this year!
Onward ever!

 

Unoma Okorafor, Ph.D.
President & Chief Executive Officer
WAAW Foundation – Working to Advance STEM Education for African Women.