According to a youth survey report issued by the National Bureau of Statistics, in Nigeria, young men are almost twice as likely to have a career in computer science and technology-related fields as women. This clearly demonstrates a gender disparity in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. As a result, the STEM4Girls, OYO project was born.
STEM4Girls, Oyo is a project that is geared towards sparking an interest in excellence and influence in young female, especially in the STEM fields. It is a 3-month community project funded by Girl Up and implemented by the instructors at The Sapphires Development Initiative. Girl Up is a program for the development of female leaders that emphasizes equity for girls and women in settings where they are underrepresented or unheard. Girl Up runs a global network of regional affiliates that has affected over 195,000 girls and young leaders in 152 countries and all 50 states in the United States. Girl Up has further created transformative leaders who advance gender justice globally.
Interestingly, the STEM4Girls project in Oyo is similar to the STEMXX Nigeria project funded by TheirWorld (which is nearing completion). These two community impact projects were borne out of the need to change the status quo of young females in Nigeria after carrying out the International Day of Education 2022 outreach where students’ and teachers’ voices were spotlighted.
The project is aimed at training/empowering 50 rural secondary school girls in Ibadan to be drivers of social change in their community. These 50 girls would go through an intensive 8-week training in the following areas: STEM fields, breaking gender stereotypes, SDGs, climate education, mental health, and civic responsibilities. Achieving this would not only ensure that these girls are well grounded and can contribute to their communities, but would also ensure that these girls develop a passion for the STEM fields in particular. Imagine what would happen if all 50 girls went on to become prominent women in the STEM sector and replicated this passion.
So far, a baseline survey has been carried out in the two schools (Isabutudeen Girls Grammar School and Bola Oye High School) to ascertain their awareness levels and to guide the instructors on what areas to really focus on. Furthermore, trainings on the SDGs have commenced, and the girls are being taught about their roles in achieving these goals. So far, a baseline survey has been carried out in the two schools (Isabutudeen Girls Grammar School and Bola Oye High School) to ascertain their awareness levels and to guide the instructors on what areas to really focus on. Furthermore, trainings on the SDGs have commenced, and the girls are being taught about their roles in achieving these goals.
We cannot wait to complete this project and see what amazing interests these girls would have acquired. It is indeed an amazing journey that Girl Up and The Sapphires Development Initiative have begun.