Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Africa (KBTA) hosted the first STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Mentorship Camp for high school learners with visual impairments (VI). It was a pioneering initiative that sought to empower VI youth to appreciate STEM subjects as a career path.
The camp was hosted at the Sikri Technical and Vocational Training Center, Oyugis, bringing together 50 VI students from six institutions: Nicco Hausser Secondary, Kibos Secondary School, Ole Tipis Girls, Korara Secondary School, Kipsigis Girls High School and the VI learners from the host institution. The key objective was to provide a special sharing and learning opportunity for the participants with mentors and others passionate and knowledgeable about STEM subjects through lectures and activities.
Witnessing the determination and enthusiasm of the participants from different learning institutions was truly inspiring. Mentors invited to this event, exposed them to a diverse range of STEM disciplines. The students engaged in hands-on, interactive sessions including weaving and a tree planting session.
KBTA supports the high schools with assistive technologies and accessible resources, ensuring they have equal opportunities to engage and excel in STEM subjects.
The camp helped to create and foster a strong sense of community among the participants. Special bonds were formed with the mentors and peers, providing emotional support and encouragement to pursue their passion. Most importantly, this camp allowed misconceptions to be addressed and created a sense of determination for the VI learners to confidently focus on STEM subjects in the years ahead. It debunked the myth that visual impairment hinders one's ability to excel in technical subjects. These talented students proved that with the right support and determination, they can achieve greatness in any field they choose.
As we celebrate the success at this event, we are committed to support the formation of STEM clubs in all the 18 secondary schools that we serve in Kenya. Our goal is to reach, empower and impact even more VI learners to succeed in developing skills in STEM for a career path that will allow them to reach their full potential as individuals.
Our gratitude to all the mentors, teachers, sponsors and the SIKRI community who made this camp a visible success. Together, we are paving the way for a more inclusive and diverse future in the world of STEM. Join us in celebrating this achievement and continue to inspire young minds to dream big and achieve the impossible!