On our last day of the project, the UR Vice-Chancellor Phil Cotton hosted our teams and special guests in the UR Headquarters in Gikondo. This gave us the opportunity to share our achievements with our supporters and others interested in the FemEng work, and was a platform for the Rwandan team to publicise their club and proposed future plans.
Visitors included Stephanie May (Bridges to Prosperity), Nick Hu (Zipline), and various Deans from the College of Science and Technology. A schoolgirl from Lycée de Kigali who participated inn our workshops also came along, and gave a lovely testimonial about what the FemEng workshops had meant to her:
“At first I was wondering if a girl can join STEM fields and be successful as men can do. Well one great morning at my school, an event was held. Amazing ladies came to introduce us all about engineering in this project FemEng Rwanda. At the end of the workshop, me and my classmates changed our minds. On my side, I completely fell in love with it, I realised that no job better than engineering. From that time I have took a decision – I will be an engineer.”
Iris, a member of our CST team and Annick, a member of the high school graduate team also spoke about the impact FemEng workshops had on them personally. Afterwards we were given an incredible introduction to the new club in Rwanda, called FutureYou, presented by their newly elected leader Olga. We are really happy that our project has been morphed into something that the girls we worked with wanted for their country, and the room was blown away by the confidence of the team we were leaving behind.
Phil Cotton finally gave encouragements to the teams and we presented everyone with certificates. It was clear to everyone that our work this year is not going to stop once we leave Rwanda, and there was an air of excitement about what was to come.
This was the last time we saw most of the girls, and we said our goodbyes. It was sad to leave them, but for some of us coming back next year, this is not a final farewell.