Congratulations to our 2019 WAAW Scholars. Five recipients were selected from 3 African countries. Read their inspiring stories below.
My name is Rachel Ogbidi, a native of Okundi, Bokyi Local Government Area of Nigeria. I am a student of the University of Port Harcourt studying Chemical Engineering in my second year. Chemical engineering is a very financial demanding course, ranging from money for test books, practical materials, safety wears, researches, just to mention a few. And it has really been a problem making ends meet because my mother is a civil servant and my dad, a pensioner but WAAW Foundation came to my rescue. I am a beneficiary of WAAW Foundation. I can only believe that WAAW Foundation is God-sent, it is a career illuminator; WAAW Foundation has made my dreams a reality. I am really grateful for the opportunity this organization is giving to young girls in STEM, God bless the good work.
JOANA AKUA OPOKU
I am Joana Akua Opoku, a third year Doctor of Pharmacy student at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. I am a purpose driven Ghanaian woman. Knowing who I am as a woman and having a firm understanding of the feminine creature is what motivates me everywhere I find myself. Many women from the society I come from continue to live their lives according to society’s status quo for women without realizing how much potential they have in them. I believe that once the African woman discovers and understands her purpose, she would break all odds in every sphere of her life, and this includes STEM education. It has been my passion to help and guide younger females discover their purpose as well as the great potential they have in them. I see this vision and passion being made a reality with WAAW Foundation. Thank you WAAW Foundation for this great opportunity. This scholarship would not only make my tertiary education easier, but it will also afford me the avenue to make impact to my society.
NTUI MERCY TONG
My name is Ntui Mercy Tong and I am the last born of my parents. I am from the Republic of Cameroon precisely from the South West Region. I am 19 years old and a second year student at the University of Buea; I major in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. I lost my dad at the age of 9, hence my mum has been the one taking care of me and my siblings.
For almost 3 years now, there has been a crisis in the two Anglophone regions of the country which has led to burning of villages, schools, hospitals and so on. These actions have caused an involuntary end to many people’s education and source of income; For example my mother’s source of income which came from selling food in a private primary school has been hindered. But as the fighter she is, she still manages to provide for the basic needs. I thought to help her out by looking for available scholarships online before I came across the WAAW foundation; after much research about the foundation, I discovered it was a means of empowerment for females who share almost the same story with me. I aim at promoting Dr. Unoma Okorafor and her team’s wonderful initiative in my community by serving as a role model and inspiration to other girls just as Dr. Unoma Okorafor has been to me. I promise to uphold the WAAW foundation academically, morally and socially.
OJOLO SIMILEOLUWA JOHAN
My name is Ojolo Simileoluwa Johan, born 16th of August, 2000. Born into a family of four. I attended Saphir Private school at the primary level and the International School, University of Lagos at the secondary education level. Few months after graduation, I gained admission to study Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Lagos in 2016.
As at 2019 I’m currently a 300 level student at the University of Lagos, Nigeria studying for a bachelor’s of science degree in civil engineering. As a woman, I want to be a force to reckon with in the area of civil engineering in Nigeria which is a male dominated qualification. It is no more news that women are often sidelined in the field of engineering in sub Saharan Africa, and this is large as a result of the orientation passed along from many years that only men should do the heavy tasks. This is evident in the fact that many parents buy dolls as toys for their girl child while boys are given little machines and tools to play with.
The WAAW foundation scholarship will provide a framework for me to learn from the team at the foundation and also enhance my knowledge in becoming an impact leader that creates positive change for women in Africa especially in the area of science and engineering.
As a recipient of the WAAW foundation scholarship, I wish to be an ambassador towards implementing the foundation’s values mission and vision for African women.
TIGU DEMEKE WOLDETSADIK
I still remember what happened in that night. It was in late summer 2014. Then, I used to take summer classes. And after returning back from school, I used to help my family in anything that they were busy with. But one day, it didn’t end as it usually will, but rather unexpected. That day, in the evening, we were shocked by the screaming voice we heard coming from our neighborhood saying”fire!…help!…fire!”. My father realizing what was taking place, he ordered us to leave the house and stay outside, in the street till the problem is resolved. My parents didn’t know what to do but to tell us that it is going to be okay. At that time, it got me thinking what our life will be afterwards. All I can say is, my thoughts took me very far away to somewhere else. I didn’t thought that with these fractions of seconds that we will end up on the street, seeing our house burning down to ashes before our eyes.
After some moment, it started drizzling. The rain was not giving that much of a help to win the power of the fire. But for us, with all the other things going on that street, the rain made it worse. Our wet cloths made us feel the cold weather strick through with in our bones. Even if it was hard to, we stayed there till our parents tell us what to do next.
The fire, which started from 9 or 10 houses away from ours, was moving fast but not fast enough. Our neighbors contacted the fire fighters and they arrived after some moment. Thanks to them the fire and all other problems were resolved as soon as they arrived.
Unbelievably after some hours, we returned back to our home safely. All this things happened with in 7 and 8 hours, and I didn’t believed it was resolved already. To be honest, it took me awhile to think calmly again.
The statement that I have once read will very much remember me that night. “Life is from birth (B) to death (D) but there is C (choice) in between”.
It made me realize that our life is a matter of choices. What we choose determines who we are. And after seeing this experience, I chose to take this accident as one which will make me work hard even more in everything I do. I chose to take each of my days seriously because one day I might run out of time. And I believe, this choice I have made will one day bring a change in my family, also for all the people around me starting from the peoples who are living in my neighborhood. For me this experience was not just an event but it was a great lesson which taught me a lot and helped me decided to be that change and to work my best for it.
Congratulations to our 2018 WAAW Scholars. Five recipients were selected from 3 African countries. Read their inspiring stories below.
MUFIDAT AHMED (NIGERIA)
I am Ahmad-rufai Mufidat Ibrahim born to a divorced mother of three and an absent father. With little to no job opportunity there was very little she could do to with very little capital to raise I and my brothers. I grew up to my mother trying to make ends meet with the little she earned from her kiosk. When I had admission to the university, mom had to borrow money to pay for my accommodation and school fees. My first year was a struggle trying to joggle the stress of school and looking for a job. My search for a job was futile since no employer wanted a part time worker. During the holidays I worked as a sales girl but the money I made wasn’t enough. I started looking for scholarships through the internet and informing my friends at the start of my second year in school. I learned earlier that scholarships were only for exceptionally good students, those with 4.0 cumulative grade point average and above. My brother’s friend told me about WAAW Foundation and reasons why I should join the STEM chapter called Fut-me. After joining the chapter in my second semester, I learnt about the scholarship that the foundation gives to support female education in Africa. It is my greatest hope that I would be given the scholarship because it will go a long way in helping me complete my studies and enable me to be more focused in my studies. I also aim to set aside some of the funds as capital for my future career as an entrepreneur.
ALINE IRIBAGIZA (RWANDA)
I am Aline Iribagiza, a 3rd year Civil Engineering student at the College of Science and Technology
My small family is from a humble background living in a refugee camp. The life of refugees is very difficult and complicated especially for the women and children under 5 years old. At the age of 5 months, my mother died because of the miserable life we lived in. My family was passing through hardship, imagine how I lived without my mother but God is so great. After 2 years, an organization called CICR took all children in that refugee camp to the orphan village, I was also taken there. My father returned to his motherland after 5 years, he tried to search for my exact location, and then by God’s favor he found me. Imagine how happy they were at that moment!!!!!
The journey continues, my father tried to find ways on how we can survive. He is a farmer, but with this job due to its small amount, we could only eat and pay for some basic needs, it could not even pay education finances. By the help of CARITAS Rwanda, I studied in the secondary school and graduated with grade A in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics, I wondered how I will continue my studies in the university because it is so expensive, then the government offers loan for students who are willing to continue to University, this opened the gate to reach my goals. Now, I am in the University and very passionate about Civil Engineering.
In this world, there are few people who are kind, striving for the development of this planet so that we can achieve what we have dreamed for, WAAW Foundation is one of them, I like your policy working to advance African women in Science and Technology. I can’t wait to meet with you my role model. Thanks to WAAW Foundation that has motivated me as a young African lady in STEM Courses.
GRACE OTEH (NIGERIA)
My name is Grace Oteh, I am a 300 level student of the Department of Agricultural Extension, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka. I am a Nigerian and I am proud of my country. I am purpose driven with an unquenchable taste for excellence both academically and otherwise, my education is my first priority to invest in my personality and prepare myself towards the achievement of my career goals and targets. In the near future as an extension agent I hope to bring in new innovations that would significantly impact the Agricultural sector of Nigeria and the world at large.
As a young girl growing up in a society that believes that the female is less important than the male gender, and been raised by a single parent after the demise of my father at an early age of 7, my family and societal background has posed a huge challenge and fear of completing college and this makes me more determined and inspired to pursue my cause against all odds. I am convinced that women can be great organizers when given the right opportunities and education and WAAW foundation has given me this opportunity to be a light in my world. I am ready to soar to the highest of my potentials.
I strongly believe that funds from my WAAW scholarship will go a long way in helping me complete my university education and move on to my postgraduate studies, get to the peak of my career and be an inspiration to women in my society. Thank you WAAW foundation, thank you Dr. Unoma Okorafor for your great benevolence and the entire WAAW team am glad to be a part of this great move and just like an explorer cutting the path through the jungle for the rest of his group to follow, am ready to take the news to the inner cities in my community until I see other young ladies like me with great ambitions succeeding and benefiting from WAAW foundation.
MERCY UDENSI (NIGERIA)
My name is Mercy Chibusonma Udensi. A native of Amankalu Alayi in Bende L.G.A of Abia state, Nigeria. I was born on June 9, 1998. A student of Physics, 200 level, in Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Nigeria. Born into a family of five girls, I am the first child.
Asides schooling and living, I work with an NGO that is keen on impacting the lives of women and youths positively. I also volunteer with various NGOs to help achieve my dream which has been to better the lives of the women and girls by helping to empower them and also enhance their poise by making them go out and achieve their dreams. I also try my best and I’m still trying to help benignly with the eradication of the obstacles that deter women’s contribution in global growth.
I also am a freelance writer, an entrepreneur and an aspiring blogger. I write on general issues of life but major particularly on issues affecting women/girls.
I aim big. I don’t believe there are things I can never achieve. Because I’m born into a society where they feel most things cannot achieved by women, I try as much to bring to naught their efforts of making me believe this and so I get to live the whole of my life espousing positive and constructive ostracized causes.
PAULINE ATIENO (KENYA)
In the village girls were getting married at an early age. I saw all my eight sisters getting married at an early age of 14&15 years because it was a norm in the entire village and no one was able to fight against it. When I was 9 years old, my mum who was the soul bread winner of the family passed away due to the killer virus HIV&AIDS leaving us all alone. This forced us to start feeding ourselves and early marriage was the rescue to child labour.
I had to leave home and stay with a good Samaritan in order to pursue education because my dad has little or no faith in educating girl child as he saw it as waste of resources because he believed that the girl will only help her inlaw’s home after getting married.
Changing environment affected my studies since everything was new but due to my inner self drive to get education and also support and encouragement from my teachers helped me to be firm and optimistic in getting education. Reaching secondary level, I survived with support from bursaries that I got from my county government. But sometimes I had to stay home when waiting for these bursaries to be disbursed so that I may clear fees in order to be in school so I had to miss some classes while at home but this never deterred me from achieving what I want and I managed to perform best at the end of my secondary level achieving a grade of (B-).
Thanks to God now, I’m in University of Eldoret studying for my Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology degree. I am also rearing chicks, which I use to pay my fees. Sometimes, this may delay me to accomplish my degree on time but now, thanks to WAAW foundation that is helping me with funds for my education. That will help me to achieve my goals and even to go back to my community to be a role model to young girls who are seeking solace in early marriage. Thanks to all the support you are giving to girl child in Africa I’m really grateful for the support and may God bless you all and help you in expanding your organisation.
Congratulations to our 2017 WAAW Scholars. Four recipients were selected from 4 African countries. Read their inspiring stories below.
Betty James Ropani (South Sudan)
My name is Betty James Ropani, the third born of my mother. I am from the central equatorial state South Sudan. I came to Uganda in 2001 as refugee and from then has been studying here till date. I started my education in Koboko district in Northern Uganda and I was later transferred to Kampala City where I emerged the best in Primary Leaving Examinations 2006 at school called Red Stars Primary School. Continued to secondary school level at Kibuli Secondary School (one of the government secondary schools in Kampala) and then completed my secondary education in 2012. I have wanted to become an architect since high school but being a refugee limits my ability to access educational scholarships in Uganda and South Sudan.
Due to the instability of our country, my mother could not be able to raise all the tuition for the five years in Architecture school so that is why I try to look for work and search for scholarships that will help me pay for my education, unsuccessfully. I tutor other students at the university but I find this is becoming difficult to maintain as I need more time for schoolwork. Architecture is an expensive courses with numerous demands for materials to achieve the design studio tasks and other assignments but I have managed to struggle through until today. I am currently fourth year student of the bachelor of Architecture program at International University of East Africa in Kampala, Uganda. Besides studying, I volunteer in teaching children at barracks that is near my university, I make fruit juice and sell it to earn my upkeep and accommodation fee. I knit African bags and sell African fabric to meet my different needs as a girl, I teach Sunday school kids at my local church every Sunday and do some social or community works for the community at the end of every semester.
I am a social person with melancholic traits such as analytical, persistent, self-sacrificing, considerate, respectful, sensitive, orderly, detailed, loyal, behaved, thoughtful, idealistic, scheduled faithful and cultured
Phanta Sackor (Liberia)
During my early childhood, I enjoyed the hospitality of my parents. However this was short lived when I lost my father at an early age, during the Liberian civil war, leaving my mother in long years of depression. My mother is a peasant petty trader who struggles to keep us meeting our daily needs.
To continue my junior high education was a challenge for my mother, who could barely raise an income to up keep us. Mater became worse when fire begot our dwelling and burnt all of her business goods. She then moved back to her home town, Gbarnga to resettle. In Gbarnga, my aunty and her husband took charge of my education and enrolled me at the Konola Academy Mission, in Margibi County, where I continue my junior high education.
My guardians could not continue to cover my education cost, so my mother and I moved to another county, Grand Gedeh and resided in Zwedru where I enrolled at the Bishop Juwle Catholic School, Where I remain until I graduated from high school in 2016. My school days at Bishop Juwel high school was challenging as my mother had to sell daily to pay for my school requirements.
Upon graduation from high school, I moved to Monrovia to seek admission to University, and I was admitted at the Stella Maris Polytechnic College.
Years in High school was better because, I came home daily to see my mother at home unlike enrolling at college and living alone. My mother became more depressed in trying to raise my school fees, and had no time to think of books and other stationaries which are also basic needs for a college student.
At Stella Maris, I heard about the WAAW foundation through a friend, and I apply for the scholarship. The WAAW funds will be a great help to me in paying for my tuition, http://www.mindanews.com/buy-paxil/ books etc. The scholarship will release me off the stress I have gone through worrying about my school cost and stay at the college. The WAAW funds will help me achieve my career goal, because I will remain in school to complete my studies as an “ENVIRONMENTALIST” to help contribute to the development of my country and Africa.
Stella Murugi (Kenya)
My name is Stella Murugi Muthungu, I am a girl aged 22. A Civil and Structural Engineering student at the University of Eldoret. I also have a passion for girls’ empowerment because where I come from girls are less advantaged than the boys. I chose to do an Engineering course because of my love for Math and Science subjects since I was little. When I was joining the University people would ask me if I was sure I would make it because of the fact that I am a girl, but I believed in myself. My ultimate goal is to do Masters in Environmental Engineering preferably in a developed country and work in my home country- Kenya
The biggest challenge that I have always faced is payment of my school fees. I come from a humble background of a single mum. After my dad passed away few years ago, it has been a struggle for my mum to raise my school fees and making both ends meet for my siblings. It had reached to a point that I had planned to call of my fifth year. This is the sole reason that I applied for the WAAW Foundation scholarship. I am thrilled to be one of the scholarship recipients.
The Scholarship will help me achieve my educational goals. It will cater for my school fees. It will also finance my final year project, which is a vital part of my course. Thank you WAAW foundation for your generosity. On behalf of all other girls out there, thank you for believing that we too, can tackle STEM courses. You are doing an amazing job.
Winifred Odunoku (Nigeria)
I’m Winifred Odunoku, a 300 level Microbiology student of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria. I am 20 years old , goal-oriented and have a zeal to lead while others follow. My femininity is, of course, my greatest asset.
It happened that not quite long after we (my twin brother and I ) were born, my dad lost his job and the hopes of getting another went bleak. Consequent upon this loss, the family upkeep and welfare rested solely on my Mom’s shoulders . For as long as I can remember, my mom has been paying our school fees and meeting the basic needs of a family of 8. In 2014, my twin brother, elder sister and myself gained admission into 3 different state institutions and this further compounded the financial stress. My mom had to take on loans to pay our admission acceptance fees, tuition fees and all, to ensure we didn’t lose the admission altogether . I wouldn’t like to start studies for a degree and not earn it at the long run and I needed to act fast. This prompted me to start looking out for undergraduate scholarships via the net and my search so far has really paid off.
I got the WAAW foundation scholarship award on the 24th of December, 2016 and it did make my yuletide fabulous. I knew about this scholarship from one of the scholarship sites I’m subscribed to and thereafter determined to be a beneficiary someday. Consequently, I applied in 2015 and reapplied last year again just to ensure my goal is reached. I’m so happy to have achieved my aim this time around.
As a WAAW foundation scholar, I’d stop at nothing to impact lives, contribute to my country’s national progress, and also tell people about WAAW & make this opportunity more real to them. I’m gonna use this award to pay my subsequent fees, buy a mini laptop for my project and also improve my study by getting necessary stationery and reading materials.
I really want to use this medium to show appreciation, express my excitement towards your benevolence and also to pledge allegiance & commitment to the WAAW foundation. Many thanks all the way.
Congratulations to our 2015 WAAW Scholars. Four recipients were selected from 4 African countries. Read their inspiring stories below.
Najara Rebeccah (Kenya)
I am a 21 years old student at the University of Nairobi, Kenya pursuing Civil Engineering. The last born to elderly, peasant farming parents in a polygamous family of 13. Hailing from a financially disadvantaged background, I attended the free primary education program and due to my good academic performance was later selected to attend Starehe Girls’ Centre, a charitable institution that provides free secondary education through sponsorships, both local and international, to bright girls from disadvantaged backgrounds. I was challenged to constantly pursue excellence and quickly rose to being the fourth school captain of the institution, accruing vast experience in servant leadership.
I am very passionate about mentorship and hold strongly that it is key in reaching out to students and especially to girls in remote areas to help them unlock their full potential in academic and co-curricular activities. Through mentorship, many will develop and sustain the interest and confidence needed to venture in male dominated STEM careers as well as take up leadership roles in society, effectively redressing the imbalance that has been there for ages.
I would like to venture in petroleum and water resources management and real estate development. I hope to gain technical skills in science and engineering to team with my fellow engineers in designing, progressing and introducing systems that will exploit our petroleum resources in an economical and environmentally friendly manner without having to depend on foreign experts. I am driven by my desire to help Kenya and indeed Africa solve the drought and flooding paradox that has continued to dog us.
It saddens me to note that out of the population, only 10% of Africans are decently housed and most Kenyans live below the $1.25 a day poverty line according to the World Bank. I therefore intend to design a project that will see Kenya kick out slums.
The WAAW scholarship funds will go towards my academic expenses and upkeep at the University.
Genet Melake (Ethiopia)
I grew up in the orphanage center in Mekelle city, Ethiopia. My grandmother used to come to the center where I was nurtured, but she died when I was in the fourth grade. I have tried to find out facts about my parents, but to no avail. Despite this, thanks to my teachers and the orphanage center who helped me to continue my education, I am now studying Civil Engineering at Mekelle University.
When I become an engineer, I hope to contribute to solutions for the continuing challenges prevailed in Ethiopia’s construction sector. Recently, many new towns and cities have been growing as the result of population pressure and trade linkages. However, their construction plans are being done by traditional unskilled masons. It is very usual to see improper housing construction in most of small districts I visited. In contrary, I have seen many houses in big cities demolished by the government to keep their master plans properly. So, why is the proper construction of small towns disregarded? Why are unnecessary resources wasted to demolish the towns constructed by unskilled masons?
Once I graduate in Civil Engineering, I will address such problems by introducing standardized urban development plans and saving resource wastage. This will be possible if I collaboratively work with government administrators, lawyers and mayors. Specifically, my focus will be to work with those traditional unskilled masons by giving them training on future construction plans. For me, studying Civil Engineering is to learn about the construction of buildings, irrigation schemes, bridges and highway roads. Hence, my professional vision is to be an engineer who will be able to provide affordable construction services to marginalized communities in Ethiopia.
In pursuing these goal, I have faced financial challenges. I tried to supplement my financial shortages, especially to fulfill my school materials and clothing, through searching various income sources. I was hired in a traditional hometown hair making style, but the money I was earning was insufficient to cover all my monthly expenses for my education. These financial, educational and family related challenges have created inconvenience in my academic performance. The WAAW Foundation scholarship will help me attend my education properly
Igbonezim Judith Chikodi (Nigeria)
I am from a family of eight with little or no means to cater for us because my Mother is the bread winner of the family since my Father became ill with Diabetes for over 15 years now. My Mother is a civil servant teaching in a government primary school and also engaged in petty businesses to support the family. After secondary school I had to give private lessons to both primary and secondary school students to raise funds to assisting my Mother in the best way I could.
Since childhood I grew up knowing that education is an important basic necessity of life. It pains me to see the less privilege lose the opportunity to this basic necessity of life. I have been a great lover of mathematics and I am currently studying mathematics in school. Right from my primary school level, I have always excelled in mathematics. I represented my school in several inter school mathematics competitions and always emerged tops in all competitions.
It’s my desire to train girls that have the zeal to study mathematics just like me. This will in turn give them the sense of responsibility and ability to make better choices. I have the intention to become a great and well recognized mathematics scholar in the world as a whole. So I want to study to the highest degree obtainable in mathematics starting from the Bachelor’s degree to Master’s degree and PhD. I want to be rated among the greatest Mathematics scholars like Isaac Newton, Archimedes, Carl F. Gauss, Leonhard Euler, Bernhard Riemann, Pierre de Fermat, Niels Abel, Évariste Galois, John von Neumann to name a few. I intend to leave my foot prints in my country through the study of mathematics by setting up a mathematics foundation Centre with global recognition in order to promote the study of mathematics and assist the less privilege.
I strongly believe that though my dreams are wide, and my financial capability is on the low side, I will surely achieve all my dreams. This scholarship is going to assist me in reaching my high desired level of knowledge in my chosen course of study. It will also help to reduce the burden from the shoulders of my mother but most especially giving me a great platform to reach out to other girls in my community.
Mektrida Patrick (Tanzania)
I am 22 years old and was born in the Kagera region in Tanzania. I am the second child in our six children family of which four are girls and two are boys. I am a Roman Catholic and got my primary level education at Nyanza Primary school, Mwanza Tanzania from 2000-2006, I then joined my ordinary level education at Ashira secondary school at Kilimanjaro Tanzania from 2007-2010. I was then selected for my Advanced level studies at Nganza secondary school Mwanza Tanzania from 2011-2013. After the completion of my advanced level studies I then attended National service army program for three months. I am now a student of higher learning at ST Augustine University of Tanzania, which I started after my army experience in September 2013. I expect to earn my Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 2017 November.
On top of that I am a volunteer member of Tanzania Red Cross, in which I help educate members of my society, both of my age and older, on sexual transmitted diseases especially HIV/AIDS, giving hope to the infected and also supplying them with some of their basic needs.
I like Singing, playing net ball and exercising these are some of the things I do after my studies.
After I complete my first degree I plan to extend my knowledge by joining the Masters degree in Electrical Engineering and would like to come up with project which will help to solve the power problem in Africa.
I got to learn about WAAW foundation from my Aunt, and realized not only will WAAW Foundation assist me with my school fees but will also help me to reach out to girls and help educate them on the importance of being science majors. Most girls in Africa have been put in inferior science subjects and believe that the science subjects are for men.
Congratulations to our 2014 WAAW Scholars. Five recipients were selected from 4 African countries. Read their inspiring stories below.
Monica Gitundu (Kenya)
I am 22 years old, female from Kenya. Currently a student at The University of Nairobi pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering. I have always been passionate about science and mathematics. This made me develop an interest in engineering. I always worked hard and dreamt of being an electrical engineering.I did very well in my junior and senior schools and was always a top student despite studying in less privileged schools. In the year 2012 September, I was admitted at the University Of Nairobi to pursue B.sc Electrical Engineering. Unfortunately, two months later, my father who was the sole bread winner of our family passed away. This posed a very great challenge my mother who was unemployed and aged. She started selling vegetables so as to make ends meet.However, her income was very low and could hardly sustain us and pay my university fees.
Through WAAW FOUNDATION, my dream to be a competent female engineer will soon be realized, I intend to mentor other young African girls to realize their dreams and be competent engineers. My goal is to come up with efficient and reliable energy sources so as reduce the cost of manufacturing and transport in Africa. Through the skills gained in electrical engineering like CAD and programming, I will be able to apply it in the vision of electrification of the many rural parts of Africa and hence largely boost industrialization and development. Words cannot express how grateful and humbled I am by the support from WAAW.
Odette Mih (Cameroon)
I am a 23year old studying electrical engineering at the National Advanced School of Engineering (NASE) in Yaoundé Cameroon. I am the second child in a family of 8 children and I lost my dad in 2007. To this effect the upbringing of the 8 of us was left solely to our mother who is involved in a petit trade as her only source of income. Throughout my primary and secondary education I had always been one of the best in my class and even during my high school education I had a tuition free study because I was the best female in my district. I have always been an inspiration to the youths of my community and a challenge to the females the very thing I feel fulfilled doing. From childhood I had this strong passion to know more about electronic devices, to know how they function and what they are made of; always opening up devices in the house to see what they constitute.When I lost my dad during my first year in high school I thought all my dreams of becoming an engineer had come to an end since by then my mum had no source of income. Due to the fact that I had a tuition free high school I was able to go through with my high school and was now faced with the challenge of what next. After high school I wrote the competitive exams into NASE where I made it and now I was faced with the challenge of going through my studies in NASE so I had to teach some students after school in their homes in order to make some money to support my mum. I am so grateful to WAAW Foundation for having chosen me as one of their scholars this will be a great relief to my mum for it has not always been easy for her to pay for my tuition, accommodation, feeding and stationeries. I am so looking forward with much excitement to work together with WAAW Foundation in order to give hope to other young girls out there whose dreams are at the point of being abolished as a result of lack of inspiration, motivation, knowledge, information and funds.
It has always been my desire to organize outreach programs and reach out to the females of my community and make them bring out the potentials in them and use it for the advancement of our community, our nation ,our continent Africa and the world at large. Thanks to WAAW Foundation and its Sponsors this is now possible.
I say a big thanks to WAAW Foundation and its Sponsors.
Lilian Kamara (Uganda)
I am a twenty one year old female student from Uganda currently studying a bachelor of science in computer science at Makerere university .I was born on 24th may 1993.I intend to complete my degree and after that I intend to go for a graduate traineeship program so as to learn practical skills in computer hardware, computer networking, system design and development. I hope to continue and study a master’s degree in computer science.My decision to enter into a male dominated field was faced with many discouraging comments from many people, but I decided to take on the course as a challenge. My motive is to acquire computing and technology skills that I can use to contribute to my society.
I intend to contribute to the development of health systems in my society and Africa at large. I love leadership and intend to use the opportunity during the stem program to share my vision and goals with other girls. I love working with teams and being an inspiration to others.
I have two brothers and three sisters .Iam the second born and the eldest girl in my family. My family is headed by a single mother after my father passed on in 2009.My sisters look up to me, so this gives me motivation to work even harder so as to be a good example. Through the WAAW scholarship I will be able to pay my tuition in time without many challenges. I believe in the saying “Educate a girl and you would have educated a nation”. I long to see more girls in the technology field and that is why am ready to participate in the stem outreach program .Through this program I will encourage more girls to take up the computer science course. I also believe that through the outreach program I will be able to improve my communication skills and become an inspirational speaker. The program will empower me to carry out motivational talks and community activities to enhance science among girls in Africa.
I will forever be grateful to WAAW for having chosen me as one of the scholarship recipients this year. WAAW has given me a reason to press on harder and become a great computer scientist.
Ilyasele Christian (Nigeria)
I am a 23 years old female Chemical Engineering student of Delta State University, Nigeria. I am the last of six children from a polygamous home where none of my siblings has had the opportunity of acquiring a higher education.My dad died at his early stage of his life leading to every mother responsible for their words.My mother could only afford to do very little for me and my brother, hence leaving us to our fate and making us understand that whatever we become in life will be a product of our effort and determination.I knew at a very young age that my success can only come through education as a result of inspiration i got from the stories of successful people. My passion for education made me excel in almost all subject at primary and secondary level. I did excellently well mostly in science related courses leading to my passion for engineering.
My choice for Chemical Engineering is as a result of the backwardness of female engineers in this part of the country where i come from, as engineering is believed to be a man’s field and also as a result of the immersive impact the chemical industries play in the development of any nation at large.
As a female chemical engineer, I would contribute to the growth and development of my nation by involving directly with the chemical processes taking place in these industries which has wide range of applications and I will also encourage more female to embrace engineering fields as an ultimate choice.
I am most grateful to the WAAW Foundation for the kind gesture bestowed on me and for their believe in me in my future. This scholarship has given me what i need to attain optimal success in my career goals as it will help pay my fees, buy books and laboratory materials and others. I need not be afraid anymore because WAAW Foundation is watching.
A very big thank you to WAAW Foundation.
Damaris Waema (Kenya)
I am a second year student in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, taking BSc. Computer Technology. I applied for the 2014 WAAW Foundation scholarship and I am so grateful because my humble request to be considered for the scholarship met the organization’s kind approval.
My heart is filled with nothing but gratitude to the person who donated the money used to award me the scholarship. It will be of great help in assisting me to pay for my school fees and help me take care of other academic expenses such as buying stationery. Since I joined campus I have been taking on part time jobs to help me raise funds for paying my school fees as well as for upkeep, since my family is not that well off in terms of finances. I am happy that WAAW has taken this burden off my shoulders.
Upon completing my undergraduate’s degree, I intend to enroll for a master’s program in Software Engineering. This is because I have a great passion for writing computer programs. I believe that the correct use of IT in business organizations can increase the profit margin of these organizations, and this would directly or indirectly lead to economic growth not only in the business organizations but to the nation as a whole.
As a part of giving back to the society, I plan to become a lecturer in IT and Computer Science/Technology. I will enjoy doing this because I have a lot of interest in imparting knowledge and helping people achieve their academic goals. I also plan to start a charitable organization to help women, especially those from the marginalized communities know their role in the community, as well as championing for more women to get into STEM based careers. I know through experience what it means to be poor, and I intend to teach people, especially women who are the pillars of their families, on how to equip themselves with the skills to create their own wealth and eradicate poverty. It is my desire to work hard and ensure that one day I will change someone’s life through the act of giving as it has been done to me by the WAAW foundation.
As I conclude my story I would love to share this piece of advice that my mother tells me every now and then: YOUR ONLY LIMITATIONS IN WHATEVER YOU CHOOSE TO DO ARE THE ONES YOU CREATE FOR YOURSELF, OR ALLOW OTHERS TO CREATE FOR YOU.
WAAW also works with our partners. donors and volunteers to support our goals and objectives. Click here to become a partner and support our work or volunteer your time and talent to help our various projects.
Congratulations to our 2013 WAAW Scholars. Four recipients were selected from 3 African countries. Read their inspiring stories below.
Kondana Kamsesa (Malawi)
I am a 22 year old female from Malawi. Currently I am in my second year at The Catholic University of Malawi. I am the eldest of four children, with a large extended family presence in the house. In many ways I have been like a second mother to the household. Through this, and watching other women struggle, I have always been inspired to strive for better, and I knew from an early age that education was the way forward and that it would be my saving grace.Starting from secondary school I have always a good performer academically, with a good ability in mathematics, surprising others and at times even myself, time and again. This was great for me because I enjoyed mathematics. What drew me to this course was knowing that there is always an answer to every problem, and if you think hard enough, work hard enough and apply some creativity, you can always find it – a philosophy that I have applied to my life many times over. My dream is to eventually become an actuary. We do not have any Malawian actuaries in Malawi; they have to constantly be hired in at great expense. People will discourage me that it requires a lot of work in mathematics and statistics and you are a girl, why not choose something easier? I say no. That is not a valid reason for choosing not to do something.I would like to greatly thank the WAAW foundation for this opportunity and do not take it for granted. It is great to know that someone believes in you so much that they are willing to invest in your future. May God bless you for that. This scholarship will help pay for my tuition fees. I am the eldest of four children and live together with both my parents and my mother’s late sister’s three young children. The tuition fees are already a stretch for my family and this was exacerbated by a devaluation in the currency that Malawi went through this year which led to an increase in tuition fees by 60%. The impact that it will have on my college career and life is great and I cannot wait to start STEM cell outreach. Just as I have been helped, I would also like to serve as an inspiration and aid to some of the many other girls in my country who also need it. I am young, gifted, and hardworking and now have a WAAW Foundation scholarship. The world is truly my oyster.
Mercy Aboh (Nigeria)
I am a 19 year old female from Nigeria from a family of 7. I am currently studying Agricultural and Bio Resources Engineering at the Federal University of Technology. Our mother died in 2006 and the care for the family’s welfare became sorely that of my father who is a public servant. Since my youthful age I had dreamed about reading either an engineering or architectural course. This is because in the region of Nigeria where I come from not many women are in these fields. I intend to become an Agricultural Engineer with emphasis on the fabrication of agricultural tools which at the moment are mainly imported into Nigeria.I intend to focus also on the needs of the rural populace in my country where there is lots of poverty and the farmers there are only subsistence farmers. The skills I shall acquire from my training will help me to establish a cottage training shield for mostly community youths from our villages. I shall give preference to the girls who usually do not have the opportunity higher education.I am glad I was admitted to read an engineering course but I knew that it goes with a lot of financial demands which could be an added stress to my father. The scholarship will assist me acquire the necessary tools and implements required for my practical and field projects. I intend to use part of the grant to buy my text books as well. On completion of my degree program I intend to use the knowledge acquired to raise women engineers in my community through advocacy and other activities. I am really grateful to WAAW Foundation and the sponsors for finding me worthy to be given the scholarship. I promise to do my best to justify the kind gesture. I will live to be a true ambassador of WAAW Foundation in my community. Thank you.
Rose Macharia (Kenya)
I am a 19 years old Medical Student at Kenyatta University, Kenya, majoring in Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB). I was born on 7th October, 1993 and I have two younger brothers. I hope to graduate in the year 2018 and pursue masters in Obstetrics and Gynecology. I went to Karima Girls’ High School for my secondary education, graduated at the top of the class and was the best student in the district and the best student in Agriculture in the nation.I play hockey, chess and volleyball as well as athletics. I am a great lover of books and I subscribe to medical journals and read lots of motivational books. I also carry out peer teaching, motivational talks and mentorship in local schools. I am grateful to WAAW for their initiative through the STEM program for uplifting the young school girls to take interest in science related fields. Through the WAAW scholarship, I will be able to pay my tuition fees, something that has been a challenge in the past. I am a strong believer in girl child education and in dreams that I have. I will soon become the Obstetrics and Gynecology specialist I have always wished to be. I will be able to help women and children lead better lives through improved health care systems especially through treatment of preventable and curable diseases that have more often than not been a killer for women with low living standards. WAAW, through the STEM program, will offer me support in empowering young school girls through motivational talks and community events to enhance Science skills. This will grow my social and communications even further. I will also get a chance to put my leadership skills to practice. I will forever be grateful to WAAW for this noble course and for their support.WAAW has basically given me wings to fly!
Winnie Mogusu (Kenya)
I am a 20 year old female from Kenya and currently studying Civil and Construction Engineering at the University of Nairobi. I decided to pursue civil engineering mainly because I was passionate of Mathematics, Physics and Geography. My decision to enter into a male-dominated field was faced with many discouraging remarks which I’m glad I did not listen to. Shortly after undergraduate school, I hope to begin my Masters to obtain all the academic and technical qualifications required of a civil engineer. I hope to gain contemporary engineering skills such as Computer-aided Design and intend to contribute to the development of the infrastructure in Kenya and Eastern Africa – transportation system, water resources and irrigation schemes. The drainage and sewer systems in major cities and their suburbs are in serious need of reconstruction and sanitation so as to safeguard our people from water-borne diseases. Since I am especially concerned about the environment, I will be at the fore-front in research that will help me come up with construction materials that are eco-friendly. My parents separated in 2005. I am the first born of three children. My mother was forced to educate and provide for my siblings and I single-handedly as my father is an alcoholic and does not support us at all. She is a primary school teacher and her income is too little to support us so she takes loans to cater for our school fees. I have seen her struggle daily to make ends meet. My aim as the first-born is to lift some weight from her shoulders and to see her smile. I will use the funds to pay my school and accommodation fees, to buy necessary text books and stationery, and to meet my meal costs.It has always been my dream to be a role model to younger women. I long to see more females in the engineering field and that is why the Working to Advance African Women Foundation is such an inspiration to me. From the experience that I have and more that I hope to gain, I intend to mentor girls who aspire to be engineers. I also intend to give back to this foundation by contributing and donating to the best of my ability, as soon as I become established as a civil engineer. When you help one, she’ll influence and mentor many more and the wave will spread to make Africa advance in technology. It is obvious that a woman is more creative and intuitive than her male counterparts. Encouraging more women to enter into science and technology will see Africa developed and safe, at a quicker pace, for future generations. I am grateful and excited to be chosen as one of the scholars of the WAAW Foundation. I wish there were better words than thank you to express my gratitude.
WAAW also works with our partners. donors and volunteers to support our goals and objectives.
Click here to become a partner and support our work or volunteer your time and talent to help our various projects.