Ghana’s all-girls Robotics team is receiving local support from media and corporate bodies as they prepare to participate in the FIRST Global Robotics Competition in Mexico City from August 15 to 18. Many of the corporate supporters will be in attendance at the cocktail fundraiser being held on the 9th of July at the Carbon Luxury Lounge starting at 6:00pm to raise funds to cover competition registration fees, a robot kit required for all teams, travel from Ghana to Mexico as well as visa application fees, food, lodging, and uniforms that will be needed during the team, represented by girls from Wesley Girls Senior High School stay in Mexico City.
Over the past few weeks, media outlets including TV Africa, MyJoyonline, Class FM, Radio XYZ and YFM have provided the team and their sponsoring organization, STEMbees with a platform to share their story and quest for community support. Corporate organizations including YOLO Experiences (owners of Urban Grill, Carbon and Coco Lounge), KLM Air France Airlines, Corona Beer, Liberty Professionals Football Club, Ampersand Technologies, WaxPrint Media, and Mexico’s Embassy in Ghana have also pledged their support with a variety of cash and in-kind services for the team to participate in the FIRST Global Competition, an annual Olympic-style international robotics competition that brings together youth from all around the world to share in their passion for STEM.
“We are grateful for the support we have received from media and corporates since we embarked on this journey to garner media awareness and financial support to ensure our girls participate in the competition however the task is not yet done. We are a month away from the competition and actively soliciting donations in all forms to reach our goal of $25,000 to cover the team of 5 girls and 2 mentors trip to Mexico,” says Lady Omega Hammond, Operations Director of STEMbees, the team’s mentoring organisation and non-profit that engages primary and secondary school girls throughout Ghana in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) activities.
Team Ghana was the only all-female team from Africa at the 2017 FIRST Global competition held last year in Washington, D.C., USA and ranked 66 out of 163 teams from 157 nations. This year Ghana will join other participants from over 150 nations in the challenge entitled “Energy Impact”. Each team will collaborate with two other nations to fuel power plants, activate renewable energy sources and fully construct and program a robot from a standardized kit of parts.
“We believe that Ghanaians and businesses operating in Ghana can and will support home-grown talent and initiatives. Many of the companies we have approached such as Carbon, who happen to have an all-women management team, were very open and willing to support our girls. There are a wide range of benefits both locally and globally for corporations and individuals who join us in making this trip a reality for the team,” adds Hammond.