Due to the underrepresentation of women in the science fields globally, the WiSci camp was introduced with the aim to bridge this gap by giving girls access to education, mentorship opportunities and leadership training in a cross-cultural learning environment.
During the camp, the participants were educated about the various career possibilities in the STEAM fields, further gaining practical knowledge from experts from companies and organisations which include GirlUp, Google, Intel, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and NUST academics.
“I encourage every girl to apply for the next camp. One should be open-minded and ready to learn, not only about science, but other cultures too,” said Hilja Aukungo, a learner from Windhoek High School. Another learner, Renata Happie, from St Petersburg High School in Florida, USA said: “This has exposed me to a community of girls and women from all over the world who are interested in the same things as I am. I have learnt about the different types of careers I can venture into within the STEAM fields.”
The girls also acquired skills in leadership, mobile applications development, coding, robotics, emergency medical care, media and engineering amongst others. Overall, the WiSci camp goals are aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to achieve gender equality and empower all girls and women.
The camp was funded by the U.S. State Department, while the U.S. Embassy acts as local liaison for the event. The learners came from the Kingdom of eSwatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, the United States of America (USA), as well as Namibia which had 36 girls from 11 different regions.