Oracle Academy joins in celebrating Young Girls in STEM during the Ninth International Day of Women and Girls in Science in Kenya

March 12, 2024 | 4 minute read
Jane Richardson
Senior Regional Director, Oracle Academy, EMEA
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Oracle Academy, in collaboration with the Northern Innovation and Empowerment Hub (NieHub), recently commemorated the Ninth International Day of Women and Girls in Science with a momentous event in Garissa County, Kenya. The ceremony celebrated the achievements of a cohort of 45 students, predominantly girls, who successfully completed a digital skills program aimed at bridging the digital divide and creating opportunities for sustainable growth in Northern Kenya. This digital skills program, through collaborative programs and partnerships with Oracle Academy, the Government of Kenya’s Ajira Digital program, and Garissa University, has played a pivotal role in supporting and empowering marginalized girls and women in the Northern Kenyan regions of Garissa, Wajir, and Mandera, equipping them with the tools and skills they need to thrive in science and technology fields and the digital era.

 

The event, held on February 12, 2024, brought together stakeholders from across the region to honor the accomplishments of these aspiring young scientists and technologists. With the theme "Women and Girls in Science Leadership — a New Era for Sustainability," the ceremony highlighted the importance of empowering women and girls to take on leadership roles in STEM fields for the betterment of society. Under the banner of "Think Science... Think Peace," participants reflected on the transformative power of science and technology in fostering peace and prosperity.

 

The keynote address, delivered by Ebla Minhaj, the County Executive Committee (CEC) Member for Education and ICT, highlighted the significance of empowering women and girls in STEM leadership for achieving sustainable development goals. Emphasizing the role of education and mentorship, the keynote set the stage for an inspiring and enlightening discussion.

 

The two guest speakers from Oracle, Jane Richardson, Oracle Academy Senior Director, EMEA, and Christine Ambetsa, Commercial Sales Director, Technology, Oracle Kenya, provided valuable insights into advancing women and girls in STEM fields.

 

Jane Richardson opened the ceremony and spoke on the importance of global collaboration in breaking down barriers and creating opportunities for women and girls in science and technology. “Given the escalating economic significance of STEM domains, particularly in areas such as AI, it becomes imperative to recognize these obstacles and strive promptly and collectively towards a more inclusive and diverse STEM community,” she said.

 

Oracle Academy, Oracle's worldwide philanthropic education initiative, welcomes educators from Kenya and across the globe to advance technology education, skills, innovation, diversity, and inclusion, and provides academic institutions and their educators with complimentary teaching and learning resources, encompassing curriculum, cloud services, software, and professional development opportunities. These resources are designed to equip educators with the tools necessary to prepare students with knowledge, practical experience, and career-relevant skills.

 

Christine Ambetsa shared her personal journey, emphasizing the importance of overcoming stereotypes, fostering mentorship, and building support networks. Additionally, she discussed future trends and opportunities for women and girls in the tech industry, drawing from her own career experiences. “Believing in yourself and staying true to your passion are foundational principles that pave the way for personal growth and success. The journey towards realizing your dreams may be filled with challenges and obstacles, but it is this steadfast belief in yourself and your passion that propels you forward, even in the face of adversity,” she said. “Remember, the future belongs to those who dare to dream, those who dare to believe, and those who dare to chase their passions relentlessly. So, embrace your uniqueness, trust in your abilities, and let your passion guide you towards a future brimming with fulfillment, purpose, and endless opportunities.”

 

Earlier this year, in January, a cohort of 20 girls attended the Oracle Academy ‘Getting started with Oracle’ hands-on workshop conducted by Grace Gitaari, Senior Account Cloud Engineer, Oracle Kenya. This workshop provided the girls with a foundational understanding of cloud computing, introducing them to essential concepts and practical applications.

 

"Thanks to the Oracle Academy Member Hub and the Oracle Academy Cloud Program, our students have access to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure course that they can complete at their own pace aligned with practical sessions on the Oracle Cloud environment, guided by our instructors. The Getting Started with Oracle Cloud workshop provided additional knowledge and skills development for our girls in preparing them to undertake the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure certification. Oracle certifications offer a significant advantage in the job market, enhancing graduates’ employability. We continuously encourage them to seize this opportunity provided by Oracle Academy fully,” said Mr. Omar Mahat, Software Engineer instructor, Northern Innovation and Empowerment Hub.

 

In conjunction with the graduation celebration, a panel discussion delved into the pressing issue of the digital skills gap, exploring strategies to address this challenge and ensure that students are equipped with the necessary skills to succeed in today's workforce. By bringing together experts from the local community, industry, and government, the panel aimed to foster collaboration and dialogue, driving initiatives that promote access to digital education and training opportunities for all. The panelists included Lorna Juma, Oracle Academy Program Manager, Eastern Africa; Dephence Mrunde, Virtual Learning and Community Engagement Manager, AjiraDigital Program; and Daiman Dakane, Gender Advocate, Garissa County.

 

“Following the successful completion of our digital skills program and the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure course, the girls were onboarded onto the Ajira Digital program for hands-on work experience. This additional opportunity provided them with practical exposure to real-world scenarios, further enhancing their skill set and confidence in the digital landscape. Moreover, these same girls were selected to participate in the Young Scientists of Kenya STEM mentorship program for high schools in Garissa. This mentorship opportunity will allow them to not only share their newfound knowledge and experiences but also inspire the next generation of aspiring scientists and technologists in their community,” said Fatuma Dubow, Executive Director, Northern Innovation and Empowerment Hub.

Top of Form

Jane Richardson said, “

Congratulations to the graduates! Well done! Get networking, make sure your social media profiles are highlighting your STEM skills, make your voice heard. You can bring the change!”

 

Interested in the Oracle Academy membership and its free member benefits to educators and students such as full curriculum, resources, and tools? Join now!

 

https://youtu.be/7fxiezTfME0?si=f-SBtr6RRv6rjjmA

 

https://www-standardmedia-co-ke.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.standardmedia.co.ke/amp/north-eastern/article/2001490133/digital-skills-programme-transforms-womens-lives-in-garissa

Jane Richardson

Senior Regional Director, Oracle Academy, EMEA


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