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Women In STEM: Esther from Malawi

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My name is Esther Chikapa and I work for African Bat Conservation  (ABC), as a Trainee Research Assistant in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Six years ago I travelled from my village Zomba Tamwambo to Lilongwe as a single mum with my two children Boniface and Nathan to look for work and a new life. Unfortunately I dropped out of school when I was younger due to having children and so don’t have any qualifications. I found work as a cleaner and cook for African Bat Conservation but was determined to develop myself and learn as much as I could. African Bat Conservation supported me to learn on the job and progress in the field of conservation, education and science.

Since joining the ABC Team I have realised that women have the same potential to learn about science and I want to help other young women realise their potential. Through ABC's outreach and engagement work which involves visiting local schools, communities and hosting workshops I want to use myself as an example to demonstrate that women can go against the odds and that they should dream big!

Here in Malawi, not many women participate in the scientific field and few outreach projects focus on scientific education in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Most girls in Malawi drop out of school, myself included.  Despite the recent constitutional amendment raising the legal marriage age to 18 for both girls and boys, Malawi still has one of the highest rates of child marriages. Most girls who drop out of school do so because of early pregnancy, early marriages and poverty. 

My goal now is to return to school to receive my high school diploma so that I can then go on to do a Bachelors degree in Environmental Science.

Once I get qualified I will take up a new role as the Women in Science Outreach Coordinator to promote a career in science for other women and girls in Malawi!

Working with my manager at ABC, I have started this fundraiser to pay for my diploma education and to assist with childcare whilst I study. I will continue to work for ABC with reduced hours so that I can manage to do both.

I am hoping to reach my target in the next two months so that I can return to education in the 2020/21 academic year on time. It will take me 18 months to complete my high school education and then I can go on to do my degree!

I hope you can help me achieve this by donating to this campaign and sharing it widely to your networks!  


Pic 1. Esther after delivering a talk about science and research for young girls at a local school in Lilongwe, Malawi


Pic 2. Esther taking biometric measurements from a bat during a survey

Pic 3. Esther at the ABC stand at the Farmers Market in Lilongwe

Pic 4. Esther checking the ABC bat boxes at Lilongwe Wildlife Trust



For more information on African Bat Conservation and the work we do please see our website or follow us! 

Website: http://www.africanbatconservation.org/

Facebook: /AfricanBatConservation 

Instagram: @AfricanBatConservation 

Twitter: @African_Bat 

LinkedIn: /AfricanBatConservation


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Donations 

  • Anonymous
    • £850 
    • 3 yrs
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Fundraising team: African Bat Conservation (3)

Angelena Efstathiou
Organizer
Rebecca Hazlewood
Team member
Emma Stone
Team member

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