Sponsorship 2018!

Our project would not be possible without the support of our many sponsors, and we are extremely grateful for their contributions!

We would like to thank Western Ferries, STAR Refrigeration, IESIS (Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland), Chancellor’s Fund at University of Glasgow, Incorporation of Hammermen of Glasgow and Allan Glen’s School Club for their continued support.

 

 

With planning of our trip in full swing, we look forward to updating everyone soon!

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Ready to Launch 2018!

Last week proved to be a busy week for us! Following on from the success of a great presentation at the IESIS AGM the night previously, the team were ready for the formal launch of FemEng in Rwanda 2018 on Wednesday the 18th of April.

At 5:30, the doors of the grand atrium of the Wolfson Medical building opened to welcome friends, family, university staff members and of course past, present and potential sponsors of the project to hear more about the trip.

The night kicked off with a drinks reception, allowing the guests to meet the team members, both past and present, as well as to socialise with each other and take the opportunity to view our poster gallery- a display of images from previous trips. This proved to be very successful and provided an excellent talking point in regards to what we plan to get up to during our time away.

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Drinks reception.

We then moved inside to listen to Professor John Briggs, the International Dean for Africa at the University of Glasgow, who opened the evening presentation with an excellent summary of the work that the University does and has done over a number of years both with the University of Rwanda and our other African partner institutions. He was very careful to emphasise the collaborative aspects of the project and how important they are to the team, which was very much appreciated due to their position as an aim at the forefront of the project. Professor Briggs then introduced our Project Manager Paula Pappas, who went on to give an excellent presentation on the history and formation of the project, how it has developed over past years, what we have learned from each visit and how we intend to use this information to improve and extend our impact this year. This was vitally important due to the ever changing nature of the project, as we try to mould our focus to what best suits our Rwandan counterparts each year. Paula closed the presentation with a summary of how we fund the trip, where our funding goes and ways to get involved- both financially and ideologically.

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Paula explaining the core values of the project.

In my personal opinion, the most promising aspect of the evening was the interest following Paula’s presentation. The entire team were kept busy answering questions and generally discussing the aims and motivations of the project at least half an hour after the presentation had closed. It was incredibly encouraging to see so much engagement, participation and personal interest in something that is so close to all of our hearts; the entire team left feeling incredibly inspired by the whole evening.

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Morgan and Eloïse discussing the project with Western Ferries.

On that note, we would like to thank kindly all that came to support us last week over both events. We thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet and speak to as many of you as possible and look forward to keeping you updated as the project progresses.

If you would like any further information on the project, would like to contribute in any way or simply would like to communicate with us, feel free to get in touch: femengrwanda@gmail.com

Written by Holly-Mo Vyse, 4th Year Civil Engineer.

IESIS and FemEng Rwanda

On Tuesday the 17th of April the 2018 FemEng Rwanda team were honoured to be invited to give a talk at the IESIS AGM. After a brief speech by John Briggs – in which he gave a background to the project and the university’s links with Rwanda, our project manager Paula filled the IESIS members in on the aims of FemEng in Rwanda, her past experiences of the project and what the 2018 team hope to achieve.

Members of Glasgow 2018 team with IESIS president Karen Dinardo

It was an exciting trip for the team to meet one of the sponsors that have been behind FemEng Rwanda since it launched in 2016 and also answer any questions that the members may have had about the project.

Many thanks from the Glasgow 2018 team to everyone at IESIS.

FemEng in Rwanda 2018 Launch!

Our new team has been busy planning our project for 2018 and we are extremely excited to announce our FemEng in Rwanda launch event!  We look forward to seeing supporters of the project as well as new faces on Wednesday 18th April, 5:30 pm in the Wolfson Medical Building.

Hear about the work FemEng in Rwanda has achieved so far as well as our plans for this years project, accompanied by a drinks and canapés reception.

Please find more information below, all are welcome.  We look forward to seeing everybody!

 

 

 

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And it Begins!

The FemEng in Rwanda 2018 team has been assembled and we are excited to start preparations!  After a couple of group meetings, team roles have been assigned and planning is underway for our launch event.

We have also had some exciting news from Rwanda – A huge congratulations to Aline Iribagiza who is a member of our Rwanda team.  Aline has been awarded a scholarship from the WAAW (Working to Advance Science and Technology Education for African Women) Foundation.  The WAAW Foundation is a brilliant initiative to encourage African women within STEM subjects.  This is an incredible achievement, well done Aline!

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In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you all at our launch event.  More details will be released soon, stay tuned!

IESIS James Watt Dinner, 6th October 2017

Last week, some FemEng in Rwanda Glasgow team members (old and new) had the pleasure of attending the IESIS James Watt Dinner at the Radisson Blu in Argyle Street.

We were given a stall in the drinks reception area which we were able to use to display a few photos from our time in Rwanda and promote this year’s project.

We were also given a page in the programme to promote FemEng.

As well as being a thoroughly enjoyable evening and dinner, we were very inspired to hear speeches by the IESIS President, Karen Dinardo (pictured above with the team), and award-winning journalist, author and broadcaster Dr Vanessa Collingridge.

The evening was a great success as it provided us with the ideal opportunity to network with industry and others interested in our work and to promote the FemEng in Rwanda project.

Many thanks to George Leslie Ltd, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd and WES members Carol Marsh and Anne Madsen for sponsoring our tickets to this event.

21-24/07/2017: AFRIpads & Uganda Trip

The final few days that the FIR17 Glasgow team spent in Africa were surprisingly in Uganda, accompanying a group of Year 4 Architecture students from the University of Rwanda on an educational field trip. As one of their project requirements in order to complete the year, these students need to visit another country and frame their project around the architectural differences they observe between this country and Rwanda. For us, this was both interesting from an academic perspective, a new cultural experience and a way for us to have a short holiday to round off the project.

Our first stop was Kabale and Lake Bunyonyi. The lake is believed to be the second deepest in Africa, and contains 29 islands, including the famous “Punishment Island” recently featured on the BBC (article here). We stayed in a lovely resort overlooking the lake, and took a boat ride around some of the islands, taking in the beautiful scenery and enjoying the cooler weather!

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Locals travelling in boats shaped from tree trunks

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Punishment Island

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The second destination was Mbarara Town, near Lake Mburo National Park. We took a day trip around the safari, managing to see all sorts of animals – giraffes, hippos, impala, warthogs and zebras, to name a few!

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One handy aspect of this short trip was that here we were able to purchase and pick up the AFRIpads, for which we had held a fundraiser during the time leading up to our trip. A Deluxe Kit costs ~£4, which meant we were able to purchase 180 from the raised funds. As the company is based in Uganda, doing all the transactions and shipping within Uganda saved us a lot of time and money, and ensured we would receive the kits before we left Africa.

Although our initial plan for the AFRIpad kits was to distribute them ourselves, we realised that they were most needed in areas that were far from the city. Consulting with our Rwandan team, it was clear that this was a good job for them to do without us. We already decided that it would be inappropriate for the Glasgow team to be going to villages, as we felt that the novelty of a visit from foreigners may overshadow the content of the workshops and the meaning behind the project. Therefore, we are happy to leave our AFRIpads behind and allow the FutureYou group to take care of the distribution efforts. We know our Rwandan girls are passionate about taking this project outside Kigali, therefore have no doubt that we will see great things coming from their club in the coming months.

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Group photo after the Celebratory Reception on Friday – what a team!

 

20/07/2017: APE Rugunga & St Emmanuel

After three intense weeks of hosting workshops in schools, today was the last day of outreach activities for the FemEng in Rwanda team.

In the morning, we visited the nearby APE Rugunga secondary school. There was a strong sense of excitement in the room as the students had just finished their exams. The students were very engaged in the workshops and were particularly interested in the design challenges from the Civil Engineering and Architecture workshops. One boy in particular combined the straw tower challenge with the architecture schoolyard design concept and created a unique structure.

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After the last FemEng in Rwanda team lunch together at our local church canteen, we attended St Emmanuel Secondary School. This was a great milestone for us, as not only was it our 10th and final school visit, but we also managed to hit our target of reaching out to over 1000 students! We were very happy about this, especially since we reached out to double the number of students compared to last year’s project.

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To celebrate the past four weeks of working together on the project, we hosted the Rwandan team at our guesthouse for a farewell party. After a dinner together, we painted each other’s nails and made friendship bracelets to mark the bonds that were formed within the team. We also projected a slideshow of all the photos taken throughout the project which was a great way of looking back at all the nice moments we had together.

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21/07/2017: FemEng Celebratory Reception

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.

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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.

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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.