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.
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.
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.
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.
A passionate group of young Africans each representing our countries as Next Einstein Forum Ambassadors for Science and Technology.
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).
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.
If you wish to donate a different value to what we have suggested here, select the orange "Back this project" button above and then choose the 'No reward' option, you will then be able to enter the value you wish to donate.
You will enable the training of a single mentor, who will thank you personally once training is complete and share their learning objectives with you. At the end of the program, they will send you another letter sharing whether and how they met those objectives.
This will fund an entire block of one-on-one mentoring and we will send you a digital "thank you" letter with a snapshot from the block of one-on-one mentorship that you sponsored.
Your contribution will make possible one workshop and we will give you the chance to introduce yourself to the workshop participants at the beginning of session through Skype to wish them good luck! We will also provide you with a digital "thank you" letter and a picture from the workshop that you sponsored.
Gives you the chance to select a student-led Skills Assessment Challenge project that you wish to support. The student will then acknowledge your contribution to making their project a reality in the MOVAAR Closing Ceremony and provide you with a snapshot of their presentation.
You will make possible a student project of your choice and we will give you exclusive access to the MOVAAR "Building Communities through Skills Formation" dashboard on our website. Here you can stay up-to-date with the program and even vote with your friends for your favorite projects. We will also give you (an optional) special mention on social media and in our outreach activities through emails, interviews, podcasts etc.
Providing young graduates around West Africa with college and workforce readiness skills to develop local capabilities in their communities