A Girl with a Passion for Science, Tanzania
Neema, from rural Tanzania, is just 13 years old and she already knows that her passion is helping other people. Her dream is to be a doctor. When she told her family about her goal, they rejected and criticized her. In their community, girls do not study science and they do not become doctors.
Historically, girls in East Africa have been afraid to study science subjects because of discouragement from parents, relatives, and communities. Girls did not believe in their own abilities to succeed in the field of science, but support from educational organizations has been empowering girls like Neema to triumph over the social constraints.
Neema has been able to pursue her education thanks to the help of Asante Africa Foundation’s Bridge the Gap course. This 11-week course prepares Tanzanian students for secondary school by providing lessons in English, math, science and ICT. Through this program, Neema says that she felt empowered and her interest in science developed further.
On February 11th, the United Nations raises awareness of this social issue through the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. On this day, women and girls are formally recognized for their importance in science-based careers and encouraged to strive for gender equality in all science fields.
For Neema, educational support has helped her realize that she is capable of excelling in science. She looks forward to continuing her education and achieving her goal of becoming a doctor.
“I was afraid to follow my path as no one around me trusted my passion, but now I’m free to trust myself and my dream”– Neema