After a crazy closing party the night before, most of the girls were looking forward to a long lie and spending the last few hours with the Rwandan team. As an amazing end to a very successful project, Hannah, Lydie and Ellen were invited to share the projects story with a UNESCO training programme, focussing on delivering quality gender-responsive STEM education. Ellen spoke about the importance of STEM and how she founded the project 4 years ago, while Hannah highlighted the successes of this years project, with the team reaching over 3500 children across Rwanda. Lydie discusses her plans to continue the projects outreach initiatives through a new student society called FutureYou, in order to encourage more children into STEM long after the project ends. At the end of our presentation, almost all of the countries represented at UNESCO said they too wanted to emulate a project just like ours!
We spoke alongside Josephine Malonza, an architecture lecturer at the University of Rwanda who is instrumental in coordinating the project (really, she is amazing!) Josephine was just the 18th woman in the whole of Africa with a PhD in architecture, therefore, used this platform to share her wisdom, particularly the importance of school teachers guiding students into the appropriate university career.
After saying a very teary goodbye to our Rwandan girls, the Glasgow team packed our bags for a 2 night stay at the Women’s Opportunity Center eco lodge. Designed in collaboration with Women for Women International—a humanitarian organization that helps women survivors of war rebuild their lives—the center uses architecture to create economic opportunity, rebuild social infrastructure, and restore African heritage. The center partnered with local enterprises to create water purification, biogas, and other sustainable systems that can be maintained by the inhabitants themselves. We were extremely looking forward to having a chance to relax on our last few days in Rwanda (with an ACTUAL hot shower).
We spent dinner on the shores of Lake Muhazi, while taking a boat ride over the lake and watched the sunset. Golden hour really did bits for our pictures!
We all debated whether to swim in the lake but eventually, Gratien our driver was the only one brave enough. After a few Smirnoff ices, we were all excited to get back to our luxurious beds for the night to prepare for a very early start to Akagera in the morning!
The FemEng in Rwanda Team 2019 🙂