Supported by UNICEF, and funded by the German government and the Kingdom of Netherlands, Girls Got IT held its biggest event so far, gathering more than 600 girls in the USJ campus (Damascus Road) on May 4th, 2019. In this 9th edition of “Girls Got IT” (GGIT), more than 600 girls were introduced to a world of potential in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).
Believing in the need to bridge the gap between the youth’s education opportunities and the future market needs, “Girls Got IT” started in 2016 with the idea of empowering young girls and adequately equipping them with relevant education and experience, to be able to become engaged citizens with a big role to play in the development of their society and country.
And since the beginning of this life-changing road, more than 3,500 girls were engaged from all areas of Lebanon: Beirut, Mount Lebanon, Tripoli, Akkar, Beqaa and Tyre, and they were invited to join the movement and delve into the world of innovation, learning from the country’s brightest and most accomplished entrepreneurs through customized programs and hands-on workshops.
“Girls Got IT” is a joint initiative between five Lebanese NGOs, led by the Lebanese League for Women in Business (LLWB), in collaboration with the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE), supported by UNICEF, and funded by the German Government (KFW) and the Kingdom of Netherlands. Believing in partnerships as a key factor to any real social change, LLWB has collaborated with over 40 entrepreneurs from the various ecosystems (Mount Lebanon, Beqaa, Beirut, North, South), and were able to attract and engage 120 volunteers from different universities and NGOs.
Asmahan Zain, President of LLWB (Lebanese League of Women in Business), proudly and inspired by the 3000 girls and GGIT graduates, addressed the audience: “GGIT partners, thank you for your equal belief and dedication to the GGIT movement. A 9th edition of this magnitude would not be possible if your passion did not match and even exceed our own, and if your achievements and endeavors did not make the essence of the GGIT cause a reality. Our growth today is a joint success, a beautiful synergy of collective efforts, and indisputable proof that this program is an absolute must for the education and advancement of our youth in today’s competitive world.”
H.E. Adel Afiouni, Minister of State for Investment & Technology, addressed the audience: “I stand here today not merely as a minister, but as a man in awe at all the women here today. I respect and commend you for your courage in wanting to break the cultural stereotypes that surround women in STEAM subjects by exposing young women to essential technology skills and leading our future. You are not merely doing yourselves a favor, but you’re doing a favor to all your male compatriots in taking the pledge, and I pledge that as long as I am here, you can count on me as your ally in your quest to thrive and lead”.
“UNICEF believes in equity among all people, equity means the opportunities available for boys are also available for girls. We have believed in the value and potential of Girls Got IT from the start and we saw our missions and visions intertwine to ultimately serve the same purpose: to empower girls in Lebanon to become whatever it is their heart desires” said Tanya Chapuisat, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon, in her opening speech. “Girls Got IT is one of the first phases of UNICEF’s Generation of Innovation Leaders Program (GIL) where students have access to hands-on workshops, talks by industry leaders, and tutorials to help the youth explore innovative new digital concepts” explained Tanya Chapuisat, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon. She focused on the fact that “when youth participate and learn together, they create a sense of community and belonging to more than just individual interests; they also create a future that benefits all of them as future leaders.”
GIL, powered by UNICEF, is a program designed to address the high unemployment rates among youth nationwide and their inaccessibility to the knowledge economy. GIL Innovation Labs operate nationwide to make sure the program reaches even those residing in the most secluded and marginalized areas. In these labs, youth are provided with trainings, workshops, and events where they discover new opportunities, network with like-minded people, and develop their digital and entrepreneurial skills.
During the event, students were able to choose between more than 30 topics delivered in different workshops. All workshops were developed and led by successful startups and entrepreneurs coming from various STEAM industries:
Coding and Development:
- Scratch Coding – DOT Lebanon
- Game Design and Development – Spicatech
- Build your first website – Teens who code
- Design and Code for Change/ 3D Design and Coding through Virtual Reality – Edutek
- Control Systems using Arduino (controlling a Traffic Light System) – Edutek
- Introduction to Coding – SE Factory
- How to develop a mobile application? – ArabWIC
- Create a Mobile App for Social Good – Riyada for Social Innovation
- Advanced Training: App Inventor Workshop – DOT Lebanon
Robotics and Artificial Intelligence:
- Teach Machines to Think – ArabWIC
- Smarter Machines – WIE IEEE
- Autonomous Robots – Cherpa
- Joints Design and Prototyping for Small Scale Products | Design 3D Modeling and 3D Printing – Berytech
- 3D Printing – The Makers Hub
Engineering and Agriculture:
- Hands on Engineering – Tiqany
- Bildits – Bildits
- Architecture Design Building – Parallel Studio
- Introduction to Graphic Design – Top Designs HD
- Art & Graphic Design – Rural Entrepreneurs
Photography & Animation:
- Mobile & Camera Photography Animation – Top Designs HD
- Drama Skills and Video Content – Rural Entrepreneurs
- Introduction to fashion and make your own headpiece – Nicolas Maalouf
- Discover the World of Fashion, Relooking and Styling – ESMOD
- Innovation – Bloom Edu
- Innovation & IoT – My ioLab
- Renewable Energy – Green Robot Tech
- Advanced Training: High-tech Entrepreneurship – AUB MSFEA
- Shaping the next generation of STEAM leaders – NuMinds Enrichment by Tatweer Baladna
In closing, an awards ceremony took place during which 2 girls from each workshop were chosen as stars; these outstanding performers are then integrated into the GGIT Alumni Club, currently consisting of 210 members.
Hence marking another successful edition in the GGIT event series, this time making its mark in the capital.
For more information about GGIT’s past and upcoming events, please visit https://www.girlsgotit.org/ or find GGIT on Facebook @Girl.Got.IT, Instagram @girlsgotitlebanon, and Twitter @GirlsgotITLeb.