Gaborone, 17 June 2021, The acting UNDP Resident Representative, Margunn Indreboe Alshaikh has said that the UNDP shares the vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful continent, driven by its citizens, relying on the power and potential of African people, especially its women and youth and caring for its children. Margunn made these remarks yesterday when giving keynote address at the occasion organized by the Dare to Dream Foundation to commemorate International Day of the African Child with 30 girl students from Goodhope Senior Secondary School, Good Hope village, Southern District of Botswana.
The event was comprised of robotics and coding workshop at Botswana Innovation Hub Science and Technology Park, a tour of the Forevermark DeBeers Group Diamond Store and NGAP Academy hangar at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport as well as a tour of the University of Botswana library, Faculty of Sciences and the School of Medicine.
Margunn urged the students to make the best of the opportunity and recognize that it is not enough for government and organizations such as UNDP to put together programs that aim to reduce inequalities and improve education. She reiterated that it is for each one of them, to take up space, opportunities where they see them, to change and elevate the direction of their lives.
“There will be plenty of barriers and glass ceilings to break through, but you can do it. You just need to believe it and work hard for it. It will not always be easy, but there are always people and organisations who do believe in you and who will support your journeys, just like Kgomotso and the Dare to Dream initiative”- Margunn
She explained that this year UNDP is rolling-out YouthConnekt model in Botswana. She said YouthConnekt is supported by the Russian Federation and will assist thirty-six (36) youth entrepreneurs and start-ups through tailored entrepreneurship and leadership training and mentorship, with a dual focus on economic growth and social impact. In addition, more than three hundred (300) youth will also benefit from digital spaces and dialogues, social change initiatives and linkages to potential markets, financing services, investors, mentors and partners. It is expected that YouthConnekt platform and support services will increase youth job opportunities and start-up success rates.
Margunn added that UNDP is looking forward to working closely with Dare To Dream foundation through the Youth Connekt particularly in the areas of supporting young girls from underprivileged communities to provide them an opportunity to explore the possibility of careers in science technology engineering math (STEM), through provision of Robotics and Coding workshops.
On her part, the President & Founder of Dare to Dream Foundation, Captain Kgomotso Phatsima said that the International Day of the African Child honours young people who participated in the Soweto, South Africa uprising in 1976. She further added that, “It also raises awareness of the need for improvement of the education provided to African children. Hence it is in this regard that Dare To Dream has chosen to impact young girls from rural underprivileged communities, in our effort to build diversity and inclusion and empower the girl child to consider careers in Science ,Technology , Engineering , Arts ,Mathematics and Entrepreneurship.”
Dare to Dream Foundation is a social enterprise based at Botswana Innovation hub Science and Technology Park, dedicated to the advancement of youth, women and girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Entrepreneurship (STEAME) as well as Aviation and Aerospace.
Captain Kgomotso Phatsima: She is the Founder and President of Dare To Dream. She is among the first female pilots to ever kiss the skies of Botswana with a military aircraft. The Author of "Born To Fly- The Story of a Female Military Pilot Rising in Africa". Read more here