2021 End of Year Executive Director's Report
2021 brought with it renewed hope, especially after living through one year of the pandemic. After having had to shut down most of our programmes and convert them to online programme within a short space of time, in 2021 we were able to resume some of our programmes with caution.
It is perhaps inconceivable that after close to 2 years, the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet in sight. However, vaccines and greater knowledge of the safety protocols have meant that we are able to live and move around with a certain degree of ease.
We are happy to share what W.TEC has achieved in spite of these challenging situation.
Over the last year, we:
A.) Increased our engagement with our stakeholders and the wider public, by:
I.) Forging new partnerships on a number of programmes. This included:
- Lagos State Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) on the W.TEC Academy in Lagos, our technology-focused co-curricular programme, which is running in x schools.
- ACT Foundation, who funded the SHE CAN with ICT, our technology programme for female entrepreneurs
- Youth Initiative for Sustainable Human Development in Africa (YiSHDA) on our MakeHer Space
- STEM-METS on a STEm workshop for girls in Abuja
II.) Continuing to work with existing partners. This included:
- The Ajoke Ayisat Afolabi Foundation (AAAF) on the SHE CAN with ICT programme
- org for our MakeHer Space
- Children’s Developmental Centre (CDC) on the Inclusive Technology for All (IT4ALL) programme
- Breakthrough Foundation (Netherlands), Nectarus (Lithuania), Ready4Life (South Africa) and Afri.ko (Lithuania) on the Digital Generation Youth project
- Lafarge on the International Girls and Women in Science Day
- In all we reached 2,599 through speaking engagements at online and in-person conferences, workshops and other fora. We impacted 2,647 people through our programmes.
- Our work was made possible by our dedicated team of volunteers. In all we were supported by 68 volunteers across our programmes.
B.) Expanded our programming to new locations:
- Transited the MakeHer Space programme from the virtual programme, which it was launched as in 2020 to a fully in-person programme. The MakeHer Space programme equips girls aged 11 to 25 to identify and solve problems is their communities by building solutions from locally-available materials. We implemented this programme in partnership with the Youth Initiative for Sustainable Human Development in Africa (YiSHDA) and this reached 887 young women across Abuja Federal Capital Territory, Bauchi and Nasarawa states. In 2022, there are plans to expand to Lagos and Kwara states.
- After 3 years, the TEC Academy – Lagos (W.TEC’s co-curricular technology club for girls) resumed operations in Lagos with 262 students across 9 secondary schools.
- Through the TEC Academy – Kwara we hosted our first online hackathon. The online database competition involved 34 students building databases. This culminated in a 4-hour pitch competition, where Basin College emerged the winner. Overall, the W.TEC Academy – Kwara had 582 students all through the year.
- The Early Innovators Camps (for girls and boys of 7 to 12 years) and the She Creates Camps (for teenage girls) ran online for the second year in a row. Participants not only from Nigeria, but from Europe, joined in the programmes.
- Our Staying Safe programme, which is implemented during the annual 16 Days of Activism campaign against gender-based violence, and which seeks to create awareness about strategies to use the internet safely and responsibly reached 550 girls across Lagos and Kwara states.
- We hosted the SHE CAN with ICT technology programme for female entrepreneurs for the first time since 2019. ACT Foundation was the sponsor for this programme, with 339 women reached through the in-person and virtual sessions.
C.) Increased the breadth and depth of our curriculum:
- The Early Innovators Camp is aimed at harnessing the innate curiosity of children by introducing them to computing and science concepts through play and exploration.. In 2021, the students focused on 3D Modelling in week 1, Video Game Design for Beginners with Kodu in week 2, Video Game Design for Intermediates with Roblox in week 3 and Junior Filmmakers in week 4.
- The She Creates Camp participants learnt Website Design and UI/UX Design in week 1 and Creative Film Editing in week 2.
- The MakeHer Space curriculum draws from digital electronics and mechatronics and saw the girls creating exciting and practical projects that included door alarms, solar-powered power banks, and rechargeable lights.
We are thrilled at what our girls were able to accomplish in such a relatively short period of time and look forward to supporting them through future programmes to achieve even more.
D.) Received awards & media features:
In 2021, the organisation received some notable commendations, which included:
- Being a finalist for the World Summit on Information Systems (WSIS) 2021 Prizes in the Capacity-Building category.
- Being selected for UN’s Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC) Special Consultative Status. Special consultative status is granted to NGOs which have a special competence in, and are concerned specifically with, only a few of the fields of activity covered by the ECOSOC. These NGOs tend to have a rather narrow and/or technical focus. Consultative status is granted by ECOSOC upon recommendation of the Committee on NGOs, which is composed by 19 Member States. This special status confers upon W.TEC the privilege to be accredited to participate in UN events at any of their headquarters (New York, Geneva and Addis Ababa). This status also provides NGOs with access to not only ECOSOC, but also to its many subsidiary bodies, to the various human rights mechanisms of the United Nations, ad-hoc processes on small arms, as well as special events organized by the President of the General Assembly.
- Featured as 1 of 3 African organisations being funded by Google.org at the Google for Africa event. Watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kiKcTaaBjw
W.TEC welcomed key member of staff from the Facebook (now Meta) headquarters in the United States, Mr. Emeka Okafor Jr., General Manager – Product Lead.
During his visit, I shared with him W.TEC’s work and where we see ourselves going over the next few years.
From the bottom of our heart, we thank you again for supporting and sharing our work. Because of you, we have been able to increase our reach and improve the quality of our programming.
Together, we can keep working to build a pipeline that supports girls and women throughout their journeys from early engagement to a career in technology and sciences.
Please continue to support us financially so that we can do even more. Consider becoming a recurring donor and setting-up automatic monthly payments to us. And please share our work with others in your network.
As you start this new year, we wish you an exceptional one. May this year be the stuff of dreams.
Partners for the Year 2021:
W.TEC Academy – Lagos:
Lagos State Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC), Lagos State Ministry of Education, Anglican Girls, Methodist Girls, Stadium Senior Secondary School, New Era Senior Secondary School, Aguda Community Senior Secondary School, Surulere Girls Senior High School, Gbaja Girls Senior High School, Lagos City College, Aguda Junior Secondary School.
W.TEC Academy – Kwara:
Oracle; Oracle Academy; Kwara State Ministry of Education; Queen Elizabeth School, Ilorin; National Library – Kwara; Government Day Secondary School, Tanke, Ilorin; Government Day Secondary School, Oko Erin, Ilorin; Lower Niger River Basin Secondary School, Ilorin; Government Day Secondary School, Adeta, Ilorin; St. Bananas Secondary School, Ilorin; Baboko Community Secondary School, Ilorin; C&S College Sabo-Oke, Ilorin; Ilorin Comprehensive High School, Ilorin; Ilorin Grammar School; Offa Grammer School, Offa; St. Clair’s Secondary School Offa; Federal Polytechnic Staff School, Offa; Anglican Comprehensive College, Offa;
Community Secondary School, Offa.
Inclusive Technology for All:
Children’s Development Centre
SHE CAN with ICT:
ACT Foundation, Ajoke Ayisat Afolabi Foundation (AAAF), International Women’s Society (IWS), Youth Empowerment Foundation
Our media supporters for publicity were: Bella Naija, News Agency of Nigeria and Tech Cabal, The Nation Newspapers, The Punch Newspapers, Guardian Newspaper.