International Science Camp Puts Tikambechi Face-to-Face with the First Lady
At first, Tikambechi was nervous about attending the Women in Science (WiSci) Camp hosted by the UN Foundation.
Tikambechi is a young woman in COTN–Malawi's Children's Home. She has been enrolled in our program ever since she was a little girl.
But she is used to being brave. When Tikambechi was young, her father died. Her mother was disabled and couldn’t care for her, so Tikambechi was brought to COTN–Malawi’s Children’s Home. She admits that at first “I was scared.” But today, she says, “I thank God that COTN thought of me and took me in.”
As a little girl, Tikambechi faced a scary situation when her father died and her mother was unable to care for her. But she was brave.
Her bravery will come in handy. Getting an education in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and design, and mathematics) is a bold move for a Malawian girl. Even if a girl completes school—and only 31% of Malawi’s girls attend high school—she has little likelihood of breaking into a STEAM field. Only 20% of all researchers in Malawi are women.*
But thanks to her sponsors and other COTN partners like you, Tikambechi has had opportunities that are closed to other girls.
Tikambechi was one of 98 girls to attend the Women in Science (WiSci) Camp.
WiSci Camp brought 98 high school girls from across Africa and the United States to Malawi for the camp. They learned about developing mobile apps, coding, microbiology, and more.
“I made a lot of new friends from different countries, not just Malawi,” says Tikambechi. “I learnt how to connect a robot, and I was also told that girls are most powerful—that we can bring a great change in Malawi.”
Being a young, Malawian woman in a STEAM field isn't easy, but Tikambechi believes she and other girls can bring about change in their country.
One of her favorite camp experiences was when she and a team of Malawian girls presented one of their projects to Malawi’s first lady.
Today, Tikambechi wants to be an engineer.
Just this spring, Tikambechi finished high school! Now she wants to study engineering.
She says, “I believe that everybody can be anything, and I want to empower women that they can be anything.”