Girls Wings For Africa - STEM & Scholarships
Malawi only has six female pilots in the country. Female pilots remain a rarity especially in Africa; worldwide just 5% of pilots are women. The numbers are starting to increase but it is still a miniscule amount. The African Section aims to work with schools, careers and offices to help enthuse girls to look into gaining a career in aviation. The African Section will teach educational sessions to the youth to bolster Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in Africa through the “Girls Wings For Africa” (GWFA) project. Working with under privileged children visiting local schools in villages and starting STEM camps will inspire youth and a new generation of youth to reach great heights. We will have a mentor pilot in each country in Africa who will start STEM and promote STEM for youth and females. Every two years we will select at least 5 females from all age groups in each country to participate in STEM camps locally within Africa or Internationally.
Educating the masses reduces poverty! Science is everywhere in the world around us. Technology is continually expanding and evolving into every aspect of our lives. The key skills needed in today’s work place: problem solving, analytical thinking and the ability to work independently. Therefore, with the assistance from your company it will bring STEM to the fore front it exposes the children and youth to explore STEM related concepts, hopefully encouraging them to develop a passion for aviation and pursue a career in a STEM field.
With the global shortage of pilots and shortage of skilled aviation professionals and gender disparity. STEM is needed now more than ever. More women and girls need to be engaged, excited and involved in aviation and STEM related fields. Aviation alone has a myriad of essential services aerial firefighting, air ambulances in Africa are needed desperately, Air Traffic Controllers, Airport Management etc are all fields that derive from STEM and many countries in Africa, especially Malawi lack the resources for these type of fields.
Aviation is practically non-existent in Malawi. In this age of today it should not be the case. Many African countries and Malawi face significant challenges in educating their youth at all, due to lack of equipment and access to basic amenities like electricity, as well as non-attendance in school. As a result, many children may be unable to read even after several years of education.
Girls in rural Malawi and in Africa still have the mindset that this is not something they should do, it’s a male dominated field. This could be due to a lack of females as role models and cultural barriers still exist. Many girls in Africa do not participate significantly or perform well in STEM subjects. This situation becomes more pronounced as the level of education increases and a combination of factors, including cultural practices and attitudes, and biased teaching and learning materials, perpetuate the imbalance. Once we saw the same with doctors and surgeons but now there are more women than men training in those professions. The aviation industry have incredible women pioneers that are role models enlisting more women into STEM fields.
Most pilots likely run out of money at some point during their training. There are not many resources out there to help females in Africa unlike Europe, USA and Asia where they have scholarships and bursaries to assist females from a level of private pilot to becoming airline transport pilots. Some airlines in the west now have started female cadetship programs.
We the African Section will promote advancement of aviation for women through education, scholarships and mutual support while honouring our unique history and sharing our passion for flight. We therefore have set up Girls Wings For Africa Scholarship Fund & STEM to enable females in Africa to start a professional career in aviation obtaining a pilot certificate, to assist with the renewal of licence, help female pilots in obtaining type ratings and other ratings such as night ratings, instrument ratings and so on, scholarship towards one year degree in aviation or aerospace for example bachelors, masters or doctorate in the fields of aerospace engineering, air traffic control, aviation business management and funding towards emergency manoeuvres training.
We need to inspire more females and youth to be involved in such rewarding and indispensable industries like aviation and other STEM related fields promoting gender equality and women empowerment. We have to adopt a more collaborative and concerted approach to help drive initiatives that will build capacity at the scale and speed required to bridging the skills gap and building the right talent for Africa’s future.
“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” —Amelia Earhart
The African Section Ninety Nines success depends on your support. Your partnership in the education of Girls Wings For Africa Project – STEM & Scholarship for the youth will be an investment for the future generations in Africa on a whole. Your partnership, will help us in our effort of contributing to dreams coming true. The sky is the limit!
“Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world”~ Nelson Mandela former Ex President South Africa