Building Community Through Skills Formation

by Making Our Visions And Aspirations Reality (MOVAAR)
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  • This campaign successfully raised
    $95 with 4 backers
    on January 02, 2017
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Providing young graduates around West Africa with college and workforce readiness skills to develop local capabilities in their communities

  Education, Electronics

Across many African countries, the ‘brain drain’ continues to have serious effects on communities. Despite various attempts to encourage young professionals to stay on the continent, many believe that the only way to succeed is to leave. This results in a gap in their communities and a reliance on expats to solve local development challenges. Oftentimes, these attempts sidestep local capabilities and disregard long-term local needs, leaving communities and sometimes even their surrounding natural environments affected. However, studies show that those possessing traditional knowledge, particularly women, are sometimes best equipped to find locally relevant solutions suited to community needs and to the natural environment. But few young girls pursue careers in science and technology, while high school graduates at large mostly lack the skills to complete in the field. Where they do succeed, solutions are profit driven and rarely consider the sustainability of the ecological system.

Students and a young entrepreneur share a photo after a workshop training.

Our aim is to provide youth with access to the platforms that can facilitate school-leaving individuals, especially young women, and encourage them to take up careers in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Furthermore, we will directly expose youth to relevant industry professionals in a network building process for their community-based development efforts. We also want to promote the need to apply environmentally sustainable approaches to how problems are solved.

                     A Sene-Gambian entrepreneur discuss studying abroad with students in the program.

Through a 12 week Skills Formation Program™, youth are paired with mentors who engage them in a series of skills transfer activities through project-based learning. These skills include, but are not limited to, leadership, planning, critical thinking and communication. This is achieved via one-on-one mentoring as well as weekly workshops that provide a group learning experience and also develop students public speaking skills. Toward the end of the project, students get to showcase their talent and acquired skills by submitting solution proposals for challenges faced in their own communities and relevant to their natural environment.

            A student confidently presents his Skills Assessment Challenge project at the 2016 SFP Cycle 1 Closing Ceremony.

Through the Skills Assessment Challenge™, students refine their presentation, project planning and management, research, computer literacy and analysis skills. Upon completion of the Skills Formation Program™, students have the opportunity to apply for the Project Incubator Program™, where we help them make their ideas a reality and pursue income generating activities as potential job creators.


Who we are?

A passionate group of young Africans each representing our countries as Next Einstein Forum Ambassadors for Science and Technology. 

Team members (from left to right): Kebba-Omar Jagne, Lelani Mannetti, Yassine Harzallah, Amido Jalo, Yazid Merar

  Budget Breakdown

Your donation will fund the training of the mentors ($2500); sustain the weekly one-on-one mentoring blocks ($4000); support the organization of 12 workshops ($1200); support students Skills Assessment Challenge projects and the closing ceremony planning ($300).  


  Risks and Challenges

Although there are no risks associated with our project, an inability to reach our funding goal will result in a smaller intake of students. At present, we have willing mentors trained to commence with the third Skills Formation Program cycle. However, your contribution will enable us to reach more scholars and facilitate bigger workshops at more locations. Some issues we have encountered in the past include:

1)    Access to government agencies and students – MOVAAR would like to continue its approach in The Gambia and in other African countries by partnering with ministries of education. Building this first class partership increases our chances of having a more diverse representation of schools in the program. However we are aware that bureaucracy can be slow in some countries, and this could delay our expansion of opeartions. That is why our training of trainers is very important to equip our team to meet this challenge. 

2)    Turnover – In some cases, both coaches and students would fall behind in the program or become completely unresponsive due to other (or new) commitments. Ensuring access and availability of technological resources significantly reduces this risk. MOVAAR is continuing to seek new partners in the telecommunications industry to ensure that our groups are always connected and our services are constantly being improved upon.

3)    Education System – We've encountered student applicants that were very ill prepared by the education system and fail to meet the very basic requirements for entry into the program. This challenge has led to program delays and in some cases, we’ve had to allocate time for special sessions to act as a foundation for incoming students. We will continue to ensure that our standards are always approved by education ministries in the countries where we operate.



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Building Community Through Skills Formation

Providing young graduates around West Africa with college and workforce readiness skills to develop local capabilities in their communities