After a morning of last minute souvenirs and secret santa shopping, the whole team met up for our last school visit of the 2019 FemEng in Rwanda trip. This school, Camp Kigali, was located right next to the University of Rwanda college of science and technology (the campus we were staying at), and was the school rescheduled from Monday. Our team set up each engineering subject in a different corner of the school hall, and students wandered around reading our posters and asking questions as we gave short presentations. This science-fair style set up helped, as the students had minimal English abilities and the Rwandan girls did the majority of the speaking and presenting in their native tongue, Kinyarwanda.
The afternoon started with another trip on the mototaxis! No longer scared, the ride on the back of a motorbike is exciting and fun for the Glasgow team, and part of everyday life for the Rwandan girls. We drove about 10 minutes, to a nearby area of Kigali where we met up with Materne Mateso and Frida Kamikazi. Ellen brought us into contact with Materne as he had helped discuss Rwanda with her when she first started the project, four years ago, as he was born and raised in Rwanda. He completed his undergraduate in food science in Egypt, before traveling to Glasgow to do his master’s in food security. After finishing his degree, Materne returned to Rwanda to found his company, FarmPal. This is an online platform for external investments into farming projects. The company assists and manages the farm projects, to reduce risks and ensure time management and completion during the projects. This benefits the farmers by giving access to capital that they wouldn’t be able to achieve due to harsh bank loan standards. Materne talked to us about his company, and about the challenges and rewards of being an entrepreneur.
We were also introduced to Frida, who founded AMASHAMI, a company working with refugees on social change projects, particularly focused on young mothers. The programs run for these young mothers “focus on leadership skills, goal-planning, financial literacy, building a network, exposure, community engagement, skill-building, sisterhood building, and socio-emotional learning”. After some good conversation at the rooftop café, we said goodbye and thank you to Frida and Materne. The Rwandan team caught mototaxis back to the hostel as we were done for the day, and the Glasgow team travelled into the city.
We returned to the market area, where we met up with the seamstress who had been making our clothes. She had finished the alterations from the other day, and we tried them on in the corner of the shop. With only a few small alterations needing done, which were quick fixes, we all had our new outfits all done! Each of us requested different styles of clothing, and in different patterns and colours of the African wax material, so each had a unique outfit to remember our trip to Rwanda by.
The FemEng in Rwanda Team 2019 🙂