While carrying out campaigns and training workshops in various primary and secondary schools in Nigeria, I noticed two huge gaps: lack of digital skills and poor foundation in science subjects. I then realized that the one of the issues I always talked about when I spoke at Tech events about being one of the underlying challenges affecting young girls from pursuing STEM careers were playing out before my eyes even though I knew these challenges exist but the campaigns in secondary schools in Nigeria further opened my eyes to how bad the situation is.
These young girls cannot become great scientists and STEM professionals if they do not have solid background in science subjects and if they lack basic digital skills. Majority of them especially the ones in rural areas lack basic digital skills while some in senior secondary classes have never used a computer before not to talk of having one.
InspireIT STEM Club project is addressing this lack of interest in science subjects,poor digital skills and lack of basic computer programming knowledge among girls in primary and secondary schools. Since 2017, when we launched the project and received our first grant from the Pollination Project USA, we have been able to reach out to more than 2225 girls in various parts of Nigeria and we plan to reach more. Also thanks to the Worldwide Web Foundation USA, InspireIT will reach out to more girls in underdeveloped communities in the six geo-political zones in Nigeria including children with autism.
Due to the many challenges faced by children with autism and the discrimination a lot of them face in Nigeria, InspireIT has mapped out plans on how to reach out to organizations, individuals, caregivers working with autistic kids and parents with autistic kids. We are currently running our Train the Trainer Sessions online. It started on July 9 and will end on August 27, 2020. Please check our website for more information.
In March this year, I was among the 32 finalists selected by Business Council for Peace (BPeace) New York . Being nominated has further encouraged me that I am in the right direction and I will continue to encourage, support and mentor as many girls and women as possible. As a woman, it gives me joy to see other women rise in their careers, occupy top positions, train other women or even give other women opportunities for growth whether personal or professional.