AWARD

INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION OF WOMEN SCIENTISTS IN KENYA REPORT ON THE KEAWARD-IVVN AFRICAN SCHOOL OUTREACH PROGRAM (ASOP) ACTIVITY

Background

The International Veterinary Vaccinology Network (IVVN) has been running a Schools Outreach Programme with an objective of inspiring the next generation of African scientists through an interactive workshop delivered by female researchers from local universities and research institutes. Since its inception in 2019, Kenyan women scientists have delivered a hands-on workshop to two schools to help explain basic scientific skills and the subject area of immunology/vaccinology that IVVN is involved in.

So far, a total of 120 girls have been empowered in Kenya. In 2021, KeAWARD which is involved in empowering agricultural communities and learners is upscaling its school mentorship mission to grow the number of women pursuing STEM and science careers in Kenya. The Chapter has targeted to empower at least 200 schoolgirls through the IVVN African School Outreach Program. While on a capacity building workshop of extension officers in Nanyuki town, Laikipia County, KeAWARD members seized the opportunity to extend the science mentorship to students of St Loise Nanyuki Girls Secondary School. The school, which was started in May 2007, is an academic centre of excellence for girls from disadvantaged backgrounds. A large part of Laikipia county is home to pastoralist communities and therefore, the school provides quality education and boarding facilities to the less fortunate girls from these and other communities within the County. The school has an enrolment of about 450 girls and has maintained a good performance at the national exams and is ranked among the best schools in the County.