Initiative Update

Project Kuongoza: Mentoring Young Women and Girls in STEM despite the COVID-19 Pandemic

Amanda Obidike
Posted August 7, 2020

I am so delighted to share our Project Kuongoza mentoring program for the year which we kick-started yesterday, the 6th of August 2020. The project Kuongoza initative was born out of the need to address the under-representation of young women and girls in STEM who are in Sub-Saharan countries.

According to a recent survey, 13 out of the 15 countries in the world - where more than 30% of secondary school age girls are out of school -  reside in Sub-Saharan Africa and MENA Nations. As girls get older, the gender gap in education steadily widens. By upper secondary school, there are gender disparities in 91% of 21 countries. The pandemic is also threatening the commitment to eliminate gender disparities at all levels, including education.

We understand this economic challenge and offer mentorship to improve women's acquisition and adoption of critical soft and technical skills in STEM pathways and, in this way, contribute to reduce the skills mismatch that are affecting womens’ productivity and organizational' competitiveness in the rapidly changing context.

The Project Kuongoza mentoring program aims to empower, support and connect STEM career development for three groups of women and girls in Sub-Saharan Africa:

1. Underskilled/Under-employed young women and girls in entry-level STEM-related pathways,

2. Disadvantaged females in Secondary schools and Universities.

3. Mid-level skilled women working in STEM fields or considering to delve into STEM-related fields.

Expanding the Project Kuongoza reach is our way to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and the existing social exclusion. We took a bold step to accept more intakes for the year irrespective of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the few mentors we have. Due to the overwhelming number of mentees who qualified, we re-strategized by assigning five (5) mentees to a mentor. In our quest for these girls and young women to effectively transition from education to employment, we took great care matching them together based on their focus topics and the mentor's expertise. Upon sending out the program plans and details to 165 of them, we also advised they communicate with their colleagues and the professional mentor as to the best way communications will be held that can host all six of them conveniently.

We also gave them tips and agenda items to take into their first mentoring meetings, like getting to know each other to help build the foundation and trust needed for a great mentoring relationship, setting the ground rules for  better mentor-mentee relationship.

I am so happy to share that we successfully brought onboard 38 mentors, 165 young mentees from 21 Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and MENA Nations.

We are looking forward to accepting more mentors for next month because we still have over 700 mentees on the waiting list to be connected with mentors.

 

Would you like to join to give back to the community by mentoring young women and girls who are in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics or Entrepreneurship? We would love to have you onboard as a STEMi Mentor.

Thank you.

 

 

How many people have you impacted since your last update?

165

Comments 19

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Tamarack Verrall
Aug 07
Aug 07

Hi Amanda,
It is always such good news to know that girls are being introduced to STEM. Every girl going through your program will have such important information and new skills. Good luck with your call for Mentors, and being able to expand for those waiting girls. What great successes and ongoing plan.

Amanda Obidike
Aug 07
Aug 07

Yes, Tama!
We really need to. Empowering them will lead to the Economic Development of their community.
Thank you so much for the kind words.

Chi8629
Aug 08
Aug 08

Thank you for sharing Sister.

Amanda Obidike
Aug 08
Aug 08

Thank you so much Chi.
You are well appreciated.

Chi8629
Aug 08
Aug 08

You are amazing .
God bless you.

Nini Mappo
Aug 08
Aug 08

Hi Amanda,
It is a great report about the work of project Kuongoza. It is wonderful that you are supporting disadvantaged University students as well, as they too need mentor-ship and role models in the job markets.
Good on you and your team for being the shoulder atop which marginalised girls can see their future, and work towards it!

Amanda Obidike
Aug 08
Aug 08

Thank you so much, Nini!
Indeed, there is alot we can do for these young girls as to having a clear direction and being job-ready for the changing labor market.
Well done to you too. I really appreciate the endearing words.

Thelma obani 2020
Aug 10
Aug 10

Hi dear.
You are loved always.
You are doing well and supporting the disadvantaged.
Keep winning and stay strong.

Amanda Obidike
Aug 10
Aug 10

Thank you so much, Thelma. Your words mean a lot. I really appreciate this.
God bless you!

Hello, Armanda,

Wow! Bravo to you and your team, dear. Your project's development and impact are impressive. Kudos to all of you for increasing the number of women in the STEM world. Keep it up.

Looking forward to reading your future updates!

Amanda Obidike
Aug 13
Aug 13

Hi Karen,
Thank you so much for the words of encouragement. I really appreciate you. I am also thankful for the wonderful women mentors and my team for the unwavering support as we strive to provide young women and girls with the support and competence for our workforce.

You're welcome, dear. Keep it up. We'll be here cheering you on one initiative after the other!

ngozimoguguah
Aug 13
Aug 13

The girls I am mentoring in this programme are very smart.

Amanda Obidike
Aug 13
Aug 13

Oh Waow!
It's so great to have a mentor in the World Pulse Sisterhood.
Thank you so much, Ngozi!
I am confident the girls would have a great and life-changing experience with you.
We really appreciate you!

Thank you so much.

ngozimoguguah
Aug 13
Aug 13

You are welcome. Keep up the great work.

ARREY- ECHI
Aug 14
Aug 14

Hello Amanda,
This is such a laudable initiative.
Just maybe, If I had a mentor growing up, I sure would have ended up in the step field . I have always wanted to be a Dr but had to change career plans for many reasons.
I am glad these girls are having someone to mentor them to pursue their chosen fields.
The idea of having one person mentor six people and all agreeing to a common time to have their mentorship is great one. It makes it easier and builds strong connections.
All the best for you and your team.

Amanda Obidike
Aug 17
Aug 17

Thank you, Arrey - Echi.
I completely agree with you. I am also thankful for having women who are giving the time, support and commitment towards ensuring these girls do not miss most opportunities like we did when we were younger.
Thank you.

In a short while, i would share some good news on additional milestones we have covered.
I hope you have a great week.

okwuchiikpo
Aug 18
Aug 18

I joined this platform because of you and i am happy you did not disappoint. your story inspires and makes alive. We hear about your great work in Tanzania, Kenya and Namibia. Thank you Ma for what you do for these young girls.

Amanda Obidike
Aug 21
Aug 21

Great! Thank you so much. This is really great. I am happy our story inspired you. So grateful.