InspireIT STEM Club Project and Digital Inclusion

Adanna
Posted July 30, 2020 from Nigeria
autism.inspireit.online
Train the Trainer Sessions
InspireIT STEM Club Project (1/1)

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. 

This story was submitted in response to World Pulse Digital Ambassadors.

Comments 35

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Nini Mappo
Jul 30
Jul 30

Hi Adanna,
I am slowly getting to know people here at World Pulse and I am so pleased to learn of your work! I am especially glad to hear you are bridging the knowledge and tech skills gap of children with autism and their carers, whose condition is often misunderstood without skills or resources to support their access to education in rural areas in Africa.
Congratulations for making the BPeace finalist and well done for all the hope and innovation you bring to the girls and women in your program.
Well done Adanna.

Adanna
Jul 30
Jul 30

Thank you so much Nini for your kind words and encouragement.

Welcome to World Pulse.

Love,
Adanna

Nini Mappo
Jul 30
Jul 30

You're welcome, and thank you. I feel at home here:)

Hello, sis Adanna,

Congratulations on your nomination for the BPeace New York!

You’re such an observant woman leader. I commend you for including students with autism. It was an honor to attend in one of your trainings. I wonder if you can record your Zoom meetings then send the links to those who could not attend but want to be kept in the loop.

Yes, you are in the right direction, dear. It’s important to bring different stakeholders together to address challenges concerning autism. Also, women in tech is the future!

I’m proud of you, dear! Keep up the great work!

Adanna
Jul 30
Jul 30

Thank you so much! You have always been amazing and supportive dear Karen.

All our Zoom calls are recorded and will be sent to all who participated and those who could not attend but want to be kept in the loop. It will also be available on our YouTube channel at the end of the sessions in August.

It was an honour and thank you for sharing your experiences.

I appreciate you sis.

Love,
Adanna

The pleasure is mine, dear. How I wish I could attend all the sessions. What's your YouTube channel?

Adanna
Jul 31
Jul 31

Search for "InspireIT" on YouTube dear.
Here is also a link to one of our videos on YouTube.
https://youtu.be/Ga0j3xR5dos

Great! Thank you, dear.

Sowmya Swaminathan
Jul 31
Jul 31

Hi Adanna,

I'm so thrilled to read your story and see a bold, new voice rising from Nigeria!
Thank you for sharing your organisation's story with us - you are doing important work and I'm so pleased to see that you have won your first grant! I'm sure many organisations will line up to support you in your work.
What are some of the challenges you have faced in empowering children with autism? Could you, perhaps, share some examples? Could you also share some of the focus areas of the InspireIT STEM Club project and the impact you have created since 2017?
As an educator from India, I, too, see many challenges in bringing STEM to girls and women in India. Access to technology (be it internet and/or devices) is a challenge too.
I look forward to reading more of your work and learning with you! Thank you for your courage, passion and leadership, Adanna!

Regards,
Sowmya

Adanna
Jul 31
Jul 31

Thank you Sowmya.

Our first grant in 2017 enabled us kick off properly, however, we have won more grants which have also enabled us organise more training workshops and reach more girls especially in rural areas. We still have a lot of work to do and we will continue to do our best. Along the line we noticed that children with autism face a lot of discrimination and many lack digital skills and coding skills. That is why we decided to include them in InspireIT STEM Club project.
Our focus areas:
* Digital skills
*Basic computer programming skills. One example is learning about SCRATCH
*Build strong foundation in science subjects ( physics, chemistry, biology) and mathematics

Since 2017 when we started and now, we have been able to reach out to more than 6255 girls in primary and secondary schools in Nigeria. Our campaigns are both online and offline.
We are targeting more this year and are working towards achieving that.

Some of the major challenges we have faced in empowering children with autism is lack of access to computers/laptops, and few experts (behaviour specialists). Some individuals who take care of autistic kids learn on the job, they have no prior training. There are other challenges which we believe are not being openly discussed and that is why we started "Train the Trainer Sessions" to help us understand these challenges more even as we work towards digital inclusion.

Love,
Adanna

Sowmya Swaminathan
Jul 31
Jul 31

Thank you so much for sharing these in great depth! Your programs and interventions sound very effective and I'm sure they are creating large scale and long-term impact in your community. My best wishes to you, Adanna! Take care.

Regards,
Sowmya

Jill Langhus
Jul 31
Jul 31

Hello Adanna Dear,

How are you doing? I hope you're safe and well. Thanks for all that you do, and for your continuous drive to inspire and help others. You are on the right path! You rock!

XX

Adanna
Jul 31
Jul 31

Thank you lovely Jill for always being very supportive and helpful no matter how little.

Yes, I am well and safe. I will be kicking off another round of training workshops in rural areas later this month and next month. So, I will be travelling a lot.

Have a great week ahead.

XX

Jill Langhus
Aug 01
Aug 01

You're welcome, dear:-)

Great to hear! Sounds like you're on fire. Please take care and stay safe.

You, too, dear!!

XX

Chi8629
Jul 31
Jul 31

Thank you for sharing Sister.

Adanna
Jul 31
Jul 31

Thank you sister.

Chi8629
Jul 31
Jul 31

Anytime love . Bless you .

Fanka
Aug 01
Aug 01

Hello Adanna,
I am very happy with what you are doing in Nigeria. Our girls all over Africa needs to be encourage to study science especially digital skills as part of the solution to gender equality. Congratulations on your
InpireIT project.

Adanna
Aug 01
Aug 01

Thank you very much Fanka!
Yes, it is part of the solution to gender equality.

Love,
Adanna

Busayo Obisakin
Aug 03
Aug 03

Great Job dear Sister and well done!
Love
Busayo

Adanna
Aug 03
Aug 03

Thank you very much ma.

Love,
Adanna

ARREY- ECHI
Aug 03
Aug 03

Dear Adanna,
Huge Congratulations for all the strides you are making and for your nomination.
I was particularly moved to read about making this inclusive for kids with autism. These bright, imaginative kids are often neglected because of huge gaps in available resources designed for them in Africa.
Keep on impacting.

Adanna
Aug 03
Aug 03

Thank you my dear sis!

Indeed, there are huge gaps in available resources designed in Africa and we are working towards making technology accessible for all.

I appreciate your kind words.

Love,
Adanna

Kirthi Jayakumar
Aug 05
Aug 05

Congratulations on your nomination for the BPeace New York, dear Adanna! SO proud of you! Thank you for all the work you do and for braving on <3

Adanna
Aug 05
Aug 05

Thank you very much dear Kirthi!

Love,
Adanna

Anne-Chantal
Aug 05
Aug 05

Wao! Congrats on your work Adanna. It's amazing what you are doing for these young girls. Lack of digital skills is a big problem in sub Sáhara African countries. I think the lack of access to computers in early school days is one of the key factors causing it. I remember doing a little research in Cameroon as project officer for the UK diplomatic mission in that country, and my team and I noticed this. We later pushed for a project that targets training of women to teach basic computer skills as well as more advanced STEM courses from junior school and upward. Please do share on how your worked with autistic kids. I work with kids and families with Sickle Cell. It's a big challenge for them dealing with their health and with lack of access to educational tools including IT.

Adanna
Aug 05
Aug 05

Thank you sis.
Indeed lack of access to computers and lack of digital skills are still big issues.
InspireIT is currently running "Train the Trainer Sessions" and the sessions will end later this month. Our sessions will be shared on our YouTube channel when it is concluded. Meanwhile you can also check out the website (autism.inspireit.online).

Love,
Adanna

Anne-Chantal
Aug 10
Aug 10

Many thanks Adanna. I would check on the video. The website is very interesting. Reading through it made me reflect on how important IT/STEM skills is for sickle cell kids. Lots of them are prevented from doing physical activities, this they could catch up on through online sports games or getting other skills from IT platforms. For SS kids who have hearing problems because of their health condition, apps that translate words into text can help them with communication. Thanks for sharing. I have learnt a lot.
Love
A-C

Adanna
Aug 10
Aug 10

This made me smile :)
Thank you so much sis! I am glad reading through the website got you thinking. I love the idea that you are considering doing something similar for sickle cell kids, it's a good one.

Much love my dear sis,
Adanna

Tamarack Verrall
Aug 07
Aug 07

Dear Adanna,
You have been working hard on this for many years now. What leaps forward, and with this grant so many girls are being reached, including being able to offer help to autistic children. A big congratulations on being a finalist in the Business Council award. I love that you are experiencing joy these days, seeing women rise.
Sisterhood love,
Tam

Adanna
Aug 07
Aug 07

Dear Tam,

Thank you so much!
Indeed, the grant has been very helpful in helping InspireIT work towards achieving its goals. I have been working on it for many years and it's been amazing watching it grow from strength to strength.

We still have more work to do but I am very happy that we are reaching out to many girls in underdeveloped communities and helping them understand the power of technology.

I always remember that beautiful STEM materials you sent few years back to support InspireIT. I am still grateful for that.

Much love,
Adanna

Vanora.Lee
Aug 07
Aug 07

Thanks for sharing, it opens my eyes open indeed. Great to see Your passion, your love and your acts .... Big Congratulations to be BPeace finalist! Train the trainer is a great idea. Keep it up! God bless you !

Adanna
Aug 07
Aug 07

Thank you for your kind words dear Vanora.

Yes, "Train the Trainer Sessions" have been wonderful.

Love,
Adanna

lemonadelemon
Aug 30
Aug 30

Keep up the good work.

Adanna
Aug 30
Aug 30

Thank you and welcome to World Pulse!

Love,
Adanna