KeAWARD-IVVN African schools outreach team deliver workshops in Kenya
The IVVN African Schools Outreach Programme was established to provide a network of women scientists in Africa with the knowledge and resources (in the form of a mobile laboratory in a suitcase) required to deliver scientific workshops in their local schools. Since its inception in 2019, the Kenyan scientists involved in the programme, together with KeAWARD partners, have visited two schools and empowered 120 Kenyan girls. Unfortunately, activities have been disrupted due to Covid-19; however, the Kenyan team recently resumed activities and were able to deliver workshops at two schools in June 2021.
The Kenyan outreach team visited Naivasha Girls Secondary School on 12 June 2021. During their visit, the team hosted two rabies vaccination workshops, engaging 82 girls aged 16 - 17 years old. The workshop is designed to teach students about the importance of vaccination and gives them the opportunity to practise micro pipetting, before performing an experiment to determine the percentage of dogs that have received a rabies vaccine. An important part of the workshop is that the students can interact with the scientists leading the experiment to find out more about being a scientist. Following the experimental session, the team gave mentorship and career guidance presentations to 1,000 schoolgirls in the school hall.
Three days later, on 15 June 2021, the scientists visited St Loise Girls Secondary School and hosted the hands on workshop to 40 girls aged 13 - 19 years old.
Feedback collected from both school visits showed that all the girls agreed women can be scientists and that they could become scientists in future. They all reported learning that vaccines are used to prevent animal and human diseases from spreading and that they would tell their families about the experience they had during the workshop.
At the end of both school visits, the scientists, teachers and the students marked the successful outreach activity with a tree planting session to symbolise the mentorship visit, promote afforestation and teach the students environmental conservation. These included fruit trees (paw paws, mangoes, avocados, bananas) and other assorted trees.
My favourite part of the workshop was interacting with the scientists. Because they are all women who are dominating in the field of science, and this inspires me very much.
The scientists were awesome, fantastic and proud of their jobs.
My favourite part of the workshop was testing the vaccine to identify those who were vaccinated. It was really enjoyable, fun and interesting. When asking questions, I am really motivated and inspired.
Kenyan outreach team
Congratulations to all involved in the delivery of the outreach activities!
- Dr Esther Kanduma (UoN/KeAWARD)
- Dr Catherine Taracha (KALRO/KeAWARD)
- Tabby Karanja (KALRO/KeAWARD)
- Nakami Wilkister (ILRI)
- Regina Njeru (ILRI)
- Susan Njuguini (National Museums of Kenya/KeAWARD)
- Jackie Kirruti (Kenya Bureau of Standards (KBS))
- Celestine Makokha (KALRO)
- Perpetua Wangui (KALRO)
- Dr Immaculate Maina (County Government of Nakuru)
- Sarah Akwabi, (Directorate of Veterinary Services/KeAWARD)
- Beatrice Tuei (State Department of Livestock/KeAWARD)
- Patricia Muiko (KeAWARD)