Young girls challenged to rise to their full potential

Young girls have been urged to pursue their dream careers, no matter the price, in order to break the stereotypes that some careers are male only fields.

The call was made during Kepler’s Women’s Day event held at its headquarters in Kigali under the theme ‘Time is now: Rural and Urban activists transforming women’s lives’. The event brought together over 100 females from secondary schools, universities, and the work force for inspiration and support in shaping the future.

Women and girls discussed challenges, the government’s role in promoting women in science and technology, among other fields, and women’s role in building their careers, to mention a few.

Speaking on behalf of Kepler, a university programme that partners with Southern New Hampshire University, Sylvie Uhirwa, the in-charge of communications and admissions, mentioned that the event was about celebrating and recognising the potential of women, and learning how to overcome stereotypes that hinder young girls from achieving their goals.

“At Kepler, we highly support gender equality, and that is why we thought of having a special women’s event as a platform where women can build interaction to learn from each other for greater future achievements. We want young girls to learn from other women who are ahead, to be inspired by how they made it through to get to where they are now and, learn to make informed decisions so that they too can be successful,” she said.

Natasha Umutoni, a consultant and co-founder of Acacia Book Café, was among the guest speakers, and she shared inspirational insights about how to be successful as a female entrepreneur.

Umutoni said that the secret for women to grow is that they need to follow their passion and look for mentorship or partnership from others who are excelling in the same field.

“The secret for success is always having someone to look up to, someone who can support you, advise you and support you when you feel like you want to quit. The more we cooperate, the more we sustain ourselves,” she said.

Another guest speaker, Emma Ndoringoma, a member of girls in ICT Rwanda and founder of IT and telecom services company, Fidalix, encouraged young girls to have their goals and dreams closer to their hearts.

She said that sometimes one may not be confident to take on their dreams, but start by grabbing each and every opportunity small or big, as that will ensure growth, and eventually, you will reach your destination.

“Acquire those soft skills, the ones that will help you sell your talent and perceive competition as an opportunity to stand out in the crowd, and it will craft your identity,” she said.

She invited young girls aged between 13 and 21 to participate in the Ms Geek Africa competition that aims at empowering girls in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) field and making them problem solvers using technology.

Girls in ICT Rwanda partnered with Smart Africa to expand the competition to its 22 African member states and the deadline is on March 30.