FemITI – DreamOval Foundation

Foundation, SAP and Zongo Ministry Organise FemITI Bootcamp 2019

Empowering females from slum areas with STEM and IoT education to transform Ghana.

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 dispell 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.

Girls at the launch of FemITI at Soronko Academy

Day 1 of Bootcamp

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.

Lady Omega speaking to the Girls about lean startup

Day 2 of Bootcamp

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.

Facilitators and Organisers of FemITI in a group photo with Honourable Dr Mustapha Hamid

 

DreamOval Foundation

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.  

 

The video below is a simple documentary on the success of FemITI.

DreamOval Foundation, in partnership with SAP, is breaking that status quo by repackaging and presenting STEM in an exciting way through FemITI. FemITI serves as a platform that creates the enabling environment to actively empower females for the development of Ghana and Africa.

FemITI trains young girls to develop problem-solving skills through STEM and IOT training. These courses include skills and knowledge in coding, electronics, embedded systems, internet cloud systems & applications and product design & design thinking.

Objectives

  1. Train female teenagers from slum communities in Ghana to develop problem-solving skills through STEM and IOT training.  
  2. Empower girls to generate and implement transformational ideas that will alter their immediate environment leading to a tech re-orientation for their peers.
  3. Help Ghanaian youth realize and maximize their potential and confidence.

How the DreamOval Foundation was Forever Changed by a Pro Bono Engagement with SAP

You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” ~Winston Churchill.

Ever the insightful leader, Churchill, in this profound quote, aptly summarizes the mindset shift that resulted from our first encounter with PYXERA Global through its facilitation service for Global Pro Bono (GPB) programs. The meeting set the DreamOval Foundation on a new path by connecting us with SAP in early 2016. The partnership materialized when three pro bono consultants, via SAP’s Social Sabbatical for executive engagement program, arrived in Accra, Ghana in April of that year to give their time and talent over a mere two weeks of immersion, to focus on a series of targeted recommendations to expand the scope of our teacher training initiative.

In the time since, the effect of this union on the DreamOval Foundation—a Ghanaian nonprofit that implements education programs to help Ghanaians thrive—has been transformative. We always wanted to be bold in our ambition to close the skills gap in Ghana, and now we have the tools, perspective, and confidence to realize these dreams. The ripple effects of the engagement, beyond newly streamlined processes and a growth roadmap, include entirely new initiatives for the Foundation.

Whereas prior to the immersive engagement, DreamOval was spinning its wheels trying to scale its education strategy, the learnings and recommendations breathed new life into our mission by helping us to advance it with greater purpose. The Ghanaian government now officially recognizes our teacher training certification for teacher promotion. Through the experience of working with the public sector, our capacity to offer free Information and Communications Technology (ICT) training has also grown, allowing DreamOval to drive deeper social impact across Ghana and beyond.

Now one year after the engagement with the executive pro bono team, DreamOval Foundation is proud to report 100 per cent growth of its ICT education solutions during the recently held iTeach training for teachers.

Females in Tech Initiative

As part of DreamOval Foundation’s mission to reach the underserved, we recently embarked on a new endeavour called Females in Tech Initiative (FemiTI) in 2018. The program aims to introduce girls from underprivileged communities to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and the Internet of Things (IoT). The inaugural class of FemiTI, which is sponsored financially by SAP and inspired by the Social Sabbatical initiative, will include 200 girls who will be introduced to STEM education to help close the skills gap, and more importantly, to encourage them to positively influence the world around them.

Now one year after the engagement with the executive pro bono team, DreamOval Foundation is proud to report 100 per cent growth of its ICT education solutions during the recently held iTeach training for the teachers, allowing for a much broader positive influence.

Females in Tech Initiative

As part of DreamOval Foundation’s mission to reach the underserved, we recently embarked on a new endeavour called Females in Tech Initiative (FemiTI) in 2018. The program aims to introduce girls from underprivileged communities to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and the Internet of Things (IoT). The inaugural edition of FemiTI, sponsored financially by SAP and inspired by the Social Sabbatical initiative, will see 200 girls introduced to STEM education to help close the skills gap, and more importantly, to provide skills for these girls subsequently providing a broader opportunity to impact their communities.

SAP and the Power of Pro Bono

SAP is among a growing number of multinational companies engaging in Global Pro Bono programs designed to achieve a triple impact where the company benefits, the pro bono participant benefits, and the host organization benefits, each in a multitude of ways. In the case of SAP, the Social Sabbatical program has defined education, particularly bridging the digital divide, as an overarching objective for its global engagement.

It is in this way that SAP inspired a new partnership for DreamOval Foundation, with another Social Sabbatical host client, the enterprise development nonprofit Socialab based in Colombia. We met at PYXERA Global’s Global Engagement Forum: Live in the Washington DC metropolitan area this fall, and the potential to deepen our impact through partnership was clear. The collaboration will seek to replicate FemITI in Columbia to reach underserved Colombian girls. We are eager to go global in our education efforts and we trace our trajectory of impact back to our experience with GPB.

PYXERA Global

Our introduction to GPB via PYXERA Global has brought us immense benefit, the extent to which we honestly cannot quantify. The impact of the 2016 exchange with SAP will continue to improve lives in Ghana as we drive our programs within the country and across West Africa.

We are inspired by this collaboration and continued relationship with PYXERA Global and we agree with the following statement from Oscar Wilde: “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” This is not meant to suggest that GPB is another form of charitable giving. We recognize that it is much more than this, but rather the act of engaging on a human level holds tremendous value, and the world needs more of this.

Today, that one encounter with the SAP has brought us great opportunities. We continue to bask in the energy to support others in reaching the pedestal of success. As SAP has had a tremendous impact on the DreamOval Foundation, the momentum charges forward through our mission to educate, empower, and support thriving individuals and communities.

Francis Ahene-Affoh
SVP, DreamOval Foundation
Accra, Ghana

LinkedIn: Francis Ahene-Affoh

DO Foundation Believes in The Creation, Sharing And Utilizing Of Knowledge