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Leading the way for girls in science

Form 5 student Emiliana (above) and Form 3 student Neema (below) are attending WiSci: Girls STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) Camp, a three-week event that started at the end of July in Rwanda
Form 5 student Emiliana (above) and Form 3 student Neema (below) are attending WiSci: Girls STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) Camp, a three-week event that started at the end of July in Rwanda

Two students are leading the way for career-driven females with an invitation to an exclusive camp held by the US Department of State, Intel, Microsoft, Girl Up and the Rwanda Girls Initiative.

Form 6 student Emiliana and Form 3 student Neema are attending WiSci: Girls STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) Camp, a three-week event that kicked off at the end of July in Rwanda. They joined 120 other outstanding high school students from around the world, including Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and the United States.

Before leaving for Rwanda, the duo explained how the camp would make a difference in their lives and help them achieve their dreams.

Emiliana said the camp would be a great opportunity towards improving her future as a doctor, particularly as she would like to specialise in gynecology and children’s health.

“I’m really excited (to be chosen). My grandpa was diabetic, and he had both of his arms amputated, plus his leg, so from that moment I just said I had to be a doctor,” she explained. “I decided I have to help these people, because it was in the village back in Moshi and it was really hard as I had to take care of him and nurse him and do everything. So I just say it would be better for me to become a doctor to help people in such situations.”

Emiliana said she believed there were not enough gynacologists to keep up with need, and she wanted to help more women. “Women get pregnant every day and they need someone to help them deliver safely,” she said.

“With the diverse cultural backgrounds of people from different parts of Africa and America, (STEAM Camp is) a great opportunity to share ideas and learn about other cultures and what they do in their country,” she said. “It’s a chance to try and learn some of the best methods and to bring them back here.”

Neema, meanwhile, is more involved in computer science and has been busy studying programming and software development. “It’s technology, I like computer science. One day I would like to make applications and this kind of stuff,” she said, adding that eventually she would like to get into business and be her own boss. “I think this camp also will increase my skills and knowledge with workshops.”

The oldest of five children said she was flattered to be nominated, and was looking forward to telling her parents the good news as “I think they would be very proud and excited”. “They know I’m very interested in this and would like to think it will make me more inspired to do those things,” she explained. “It’s very exciting.”

Neema

Science and ICT head Mr Mcharo was very excited for Emiliana and Neema, who were chosen from the four nominated St Jude’s students.“I was so moved when I was given the opportunity (to nominate students) and I took caution to select girls who can make impact if given an opportunity,” he said.

“Women in science are very few, perhaps because we haven’t given them enough exposure to the STEAM fields or maybe they don’t see good role models to inspire them into the fields that are highly dominated by men. It’s my belief that Neema and Emiliana won’t be the same when they come back. It’s an opportunity to learn, engage and network, but above all it’s a moment to share how women can take on transformative leadership roles for the 21st Century.”

The camp finishes August 15. We look forward to hearing how it all went when Neema and Emiliana return.

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