Inspiring girls to Lead and Succeed: A Project Kuongoza Web Conference

Amanda Obidike
Posted October 18, 2020

It is no doubt that women contribute majorly to the socio-economic development and prosperity of a Nation. In Sub-Saharan Africa and MENA Nations, Girls face multiple challenges that compromise their education opportunities. One area of longstanding concern is the low rate of female participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation (STEMi) education and consequently STEM careers. Girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not only during these critical formative years, but also as they mature into women.

To commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child, we hosted a Project Kuongoza Web Conference to encourage girls to LEAD and SUCCEED in their STEM Career and academics, therefore, defiling all cultural stereotypes and existing challenges. The event had Bianca Cefalo, a Rocket Scientist who has spent nearly a decade between Germany and the UK, driving space thermal technologies developments and contributing to the delivery of multiple commercial science missions sponsored by NASA, ESA, DLR, UKSA and EU – including the HP3 instrument embarked on the NASA/JPL InSight Mars Mission; Stephanie Okeyo (Kenya), the Founder of Under the Microscope, a Royal Academy of Science International Trust (RASIT) Ambassador for Women in Science, East Africa and the representative to the United Nations Office, Geneva; Mervin Azeta (Nigeria/Congo), a Product & Service Delivery Manager with Schlumberger; Mehiret Walga (Ethiopia), the Country Curator for STEMi Makers Africa, Ethiopia, Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Addis Ababa University Institute of Technology and Co- Founder of Abugida Robotics Technology center and 66 participants that were in attendance on Saturday.

 

The Project Kuongoza conference was to inspire girls from all the Speakers shared stories, the break-out interactive sessions and the Q & A session. We believe every girl should Be Free to dream. Be free to Lead and Be free to Succeed.

The event was also a wake-up that there is room to do more in raising young women and girls who can serve as role-models and mentors. We are planning ahead not to leave the younger generation feeling displaced and inheriting a more fragmented and disconnected world than we live in today. Feedback has been dropping in and so delighted we addressed these challenges.

I am so thankful to our Speakers who did so well to further share resource tools and opportunities that girls can explore alongside my team who designed a laudable program.

This story was submitted in response to My Voice, Our Equal Future.

Comments 6

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Tamarack Verrall
Oct 18
Oct 18

Hi Amanda,
Congratulations on a great conference, and on tending to such challenges. What a tremendous line-up of speakers. I'm sure that the girls who were able to attend will never forget. All the best with your ongoing work. So important!

Amanda Obidike
Oct 19
Oct 19

Good morning Tam,
Thank you so much for the endearing words. Yes, the feedback has been so encouraging. It shows there is more to do as we address these challenges in more communities.

I appreciate this, Tam. Thank you. Wishing you the best as well.

Justyneema
Oct 19
Oct 19

oh this very amazing...
congratulations to you Amanda.. yes, girl can be free to dream and succeed...
hope girls will face every challenge in their life.
thank you for sharing with us, stay safe.

Amanda Obidike
Oct 19
Oct 19

Hi Nema.
Thank you so much for the kind words. I really appreciate this.
Trust you are doing well and keeping Safe too?
Take care.

Nini Mappo
Oct 20
Oct 20

Hello Amanda,
Congratulations on a successful conference. My first question was how you scout for such a portfolio of high-flying speakers! Good on you and the Project Kuongoza. The girls are all the richer for your tireless efforts.

Amanda Obidike
Oct 20
Oct 20

Hi Nini!
Thank you so much. Getting phenomenal Speakers has not been a challenge. I just tap from my network. Most times, when i am invited to Speak, i have the opportunity of meeting fellow speakers in the event and after the event, we connect.

I figured that when you are doing something exceptional, people will want to identify with you or lend their support and I am so thankful that women support each other in the social impact space.

The girls loved it. We've been reviewing feedbacks from the forms and social media and in awe with their shared Experiences.