Since we suspended our full time girls operations at AvTech, we have been busy working towards the
new Learning and Discovery Centre (planned to open in 2015). We don't get much time to blog, and are busy working to provide specific solutions to specific needs. As a part of our new strategy, we are working hand in hand with schools who believe in inspiration - and that the purpose of education is a step towards employment.
Last week we spoke at a local school where Patricia shared her story - and for some of the girls it was the first time they had seen or touched an electric drill!
As part of this speaking programme, Patricia delivers a modified version of the fun and interactive Stephen Taberner song (with his kind permission) re-titled 'Don't stand between a girl and her tools', accompanied by the Spanner and Screwdriver symbol with a 'female sign' embedded to the screwdriver (see back of Patricia's shirt).
The words to the song are fun, and it is all about 'not allowing anything to stand in your way - because you never know when you might need it' - in other words -'decide what you want and go for it'. One thing is certain, and that is if anybody gets between Patricia and her tool set - they will wish they hadn't! Her passion and inspiration resulted in lots of questions and lots of inspiration.
We hope to soon have a YouTube video of the song to make you smile, and we hope to inspire you all!
After nearly a year we are finally completing the play plane at Kpong
Airfield. Our heart felt thanks go to those who have supported this
So many young people here do not even begin to understand aircraft and the
principles of flight. For many of them access to the air side would
be unnecessarily dangerous. Hence the play plane. It is
a near 1:1 scale replica of a Zenith Ch801 but adapted to playing and learning
within the scope of available materials.
Next up will be to find some creative artists to add the educational paint
Education and health are key focus points of all that we do
here. We use aviation and engineering as conduits and catalysts in
Lydia update: Lydia wounds continue to require a great deal of care. It will take many months to clear it all up, alongside physio and occupational therapy. Currently she is practically kept in air-con as many hours per day as we can, to keep humidity low and sweat down. She can't leave the site for risk of infection. We have found that even a few hours out in the heat with her dressing and brace on is enough to create a whole new bag of worms to deal with. We have modified her brace heavily, but it is still not enough for the conditions we face. We have found a combination that appears to be working (in conjunction with Medical professionals in Germany with extensive African experience). She does not always understand her challenges. Together we are working to resolve issues caused by ignorance and poor historical treatment. Sadly, there are still many who do not understand the care that is needed - some give well meaning but destructive advice. Ignorance (whether locally or internationally) is damaging so many young people in West Africa - our role is to protect and promote - but it is not always easy. Patricia Mawuli and I wish we could inoculate against ignorance.
Last night Patricia spoke at the Ashesi university campus as part of the Wolfpack Women of Worth campaign.
Ama K. Abebrese and Agnes Ntow of TV fame, Women of Worth from the Media, were also speaking.
Patricia took three of her girls from the Avtech Academy along with her two new special tools. The Attitude Adjuster hammer and her Hard Work and Determination spanner. Patricia spoke from her heart and shared on a very personal level the challenges of 'making it' in engineering and aviation in Ghana. Similar stories came from Ama K and Agnes in relation to their career sectors.
All of them spoke out against the use of sex as a control tool used in schools, universities and the workplace. These successful young women made it clear that standing up for your self and working forward with your passion is the only route to success. They all shared their frustrations, and then smiled at their achievements.
Patricia was the only candidate who had gone through her journey completely in Ghana, with Ama K having lived in the UK and Agnes in the USA prior to returning to their homeland. It was clear that Ghana is not an easy place for women to succeed, unless they hold their heads high and refuse the status quo, holding to their principles and not being swayed by 'negative influences' in their lives.
Well done Women of Worth - be those role models that will enable others to stand above the rest.