February 25, 2019
It takes an empowered female to transform her community.
FemITI is instilling knowledge in STEM-related and IOT in young females, working closely with partners and government ministries to drive sustained development and transformation of slum communities in Ghana.
What: Spearheaded by the DreamOval Foundation, FemITI (Females in Tech Initiative) is a platform that trains young girls to develop problem-solving skills through STEM and IoT (Internet of Things) training. This includes skills and knowledge in coding, electronics, embedded systems, internet cloud systems and applications as well as product design and design thinking.
With a goal to empower 50,000 girls from slum areas across Ghana, FemITI is structured to provide long-term impact.
When: FemITI is organised four (4) times a year, one session in each quarter. Young girls are selected from slum communities to undergo an 8-week intensive training, followed by a 2 day Bootcamp where they are awarded certificates of participation and completion.
FemITI Bootcamp 2019 was held at the Pentecost Retreat Centre, Mampong on the 16th and 17th of February, 2019 with 45 girls who had completed the 8-week intensive training in STEM.
Why: DreamOval partners other organisations in Africa and globally to address;
SDG 4 – Quality Education
SDG 5 – Gender Equality
SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure
SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities & Communities
SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
As part of addressing SDG 4 and 5, DreamOval Foundation introduced FemITI to dispel the belief that STEM and IoT courses and programmes are for boys. The DreamOval Foundation is breaking the myth and demystifying the perception around girls exploring and having careers in the tech space.
After an hour’s journey to the location for the Bootcamp, the girls quickly launched into the activities of the day with an ice-breaker session. Amid laughter and excitement, the girls enjoyed a game of riddles to refresh their memory of what they learnt over the 8 week period of intensive training in October and November.
Mr Francis Ahene-Affoh welcomed the girls to the Bootcamp and encouraged them to learn everything they could over the period. Shortly after this, lunch was served to refresh the girls.
Lady Omega led an entrepreneurship session with the girls on the topic ‘Introduction to Lean Startup’. She taught them the basics of being an entrepreneur and starting a company a lean way. The girls were given a project to understand how the lean startup could be implemented.
Shortly after this, the girls divided into the project of the camp which was an Automatic Streetlight to conserve energy and promote safety. The girls took a break at 6 pm to have supper and rest. They returned to their projects shortly after. The day ended at about 9:30 pm after which the girls were ushered to their camp rooms.
Day 2 of the Bootcamp began with a dawn aerobics session led by Francis and Mina. The second day proved more exciting as the girls finished and presented their projects to Honourable Dr Mustapha Hamid, Minister of Inner city and Zongo Development.
In a congratulatory talk to the girls, Honourable Hamid said ‘I am happy the DreamOval foundation chose to work with girls from slum communities, starting with Nima. They could have easily gone to pick girls from more plush communities. I am excited about the practical demonstration you have made. You girls need to be disciplined and morally upright to be the engineers you want to be.’
Females in Tech Initiative (FemiTI) is an initiative of the DreamOval Foundation and sponsored by SAP. Started in 2013, the DreamOval Foundation aims at using knowledge to power the Ghanaian society through Knowledge creation, knowledge sharing and knowledge utilisation.
The Foundation runs various social intervention programs such as its flagship free ICT training for teachers, known as iTeach. The organisation is also the main anchor for Africa Code Week in Ghana, a coding program for children across Africa. With over 190,950 young people engaged in Ghana over the past three years, the success of Africa Code Week in Ghana speaks volumes about the impact of public-private partnerships on capacity-building strategies in the digital era.
The Foundation is passionate about fulfilling the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) of Quality Education, Gender Equality and Partnerships for the goals. This is why we are organising this initiative to work together as partners to bridge the digital divide and provide an opportunity to the girls.