FemEng in Rwanda: Update and Overview

Hello from the team here in Glasgow and a warm welcome back to our blog. As the project gathers momentum and begins to take solid shape, we thought this was a good time to update you with our progress and developments thus far. We’ll also take this opportunity to provide an outline of our project from its core ideas to plans and practicalities.

Update:sandra white

Firstly, we are delighted to welcome onboard MSP Sandra White who was has offered her firm support to the project. Deputy Convener of the Equal Opportunities Committee and MSP for GU’s local region, Sandra will be a fantastic asset as we try to gain recognition from a wider pool of interest. This link will enable us to host a reception at the Scottish Parliament some time in the coming months. More information will be posted as plans solidify.

So what is the project really all about?

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FemEng go to Rwanda: the 5 Ws

What?

  • The project seeks to encourage females to pursue careers in engineering and create a network of support which will follow them from school to higher education and into industry
  • By combining the creativity, knowledge and drive of two teams of female engineering students (one at the University of Glasgow and the other based at the University of Rwanda (UR) ) we hope to do so by working together at UR to deliver workshops aimed at local High School students for several weeks this year
  • The workshops and activities will focus largely on Alternative energy sources in Rwanda and we will explore potential career opportunities in the field with the intention of fostering an interest in this in the students
  • The planning for this has begun remotely from Glasgow and will continue into the first week of our stay in Rwanda

Why?

  • Engineers are essential to the progression, economy and success of every country and can take on a vast array of forms spanning different skillets and talents. Though It is universally acknowledged that girls are as capable as boys at STEM subjects in schools, the industry continues to be male dominated.
  • It is first vital that girls are given the opportunity to learn these subjects and are given the support and encouragement they need when deciding on future plans
  • Our team here have visited local schools in Glasgow to present workshops of a similar nature and have experienced the rewards and inspiring effect this can have on young minds. We would like to be able to do this on a much larger scale, in an environment where much more is at stake for the students.
  • We have all also benefited from our FemEng group in many ways; being part of a network of girls with common interests and similar goals allows females to feel comfortable and be inspired to strive for the best.
  • The country of Rwanda have an enormous drive to get girls into STEM subjects and with this shared vision, we hope to create a successful project.

Where?

  • Our work will be based at The university of Rwanda in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city. Rwanda is one of only two countries in the world whose parliament has over 50% of its members female. We are excited to discover what we can learned from Rwanda’s culture.

When?

  • Our preparatory period has begun and will continue until we leave for a 3-4 week period beginning at the start of June 2016

Who?

  • You’ll be introduced to each member of the Glasgow team on the blog in the coming weeks, along with key supporters and people who are helping out with the project. The Glasgow team:

Ellen Simmons, Nina Birchard, Magda Kowalska, Beck Hunter, Emily Breen, Kelsey Kordakis, Anna Robb, Brogan Gauld and Catriona Holland.

With the project underway, we have begun to look into the logistics; travel, health precautions and crucially, funding. If you would be interested in supporting the project, please get in touch.

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IMG_2876

A picture following one of our most important meetings with attendees such as the Rwandan Minister for Education an the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Rwanda.

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