Canadian charity encourages women to pursue STEM

A charity providing higher-education scholarships to girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa is helping address the issue of gender disparity in STEM by providing scholarships to young women on the continent.

Founded in 2011, Beautiful World Canada has provided more than 500 scholarships to marginalized and at-risk girls and young women in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Uganda.

Based in Toronto, the organization works with local partners in each country who are experts in higher education for girls. Together they identify individuals who possess great potential but have no financial means to continue their education.

In 2014, Beautiful World started the first girls scholarship program in Rwanda for science, technology, engineering and math studies at the college level for 12 pioneer students. The program was created in partnership with the Forum for African Women Educationalists Rwanda and developed in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Workforce Development Authority of Rwanda. The partnership and collaboration help ensure students are placed in programs of their choice and that they have the best chance of employment after graduation.

The charity uses a holistic approach that is responsive to the individual needs of the students in the program. In addition to tuition, each student also receives school supplies, personal supplies, accommodation, transportation, employment training and mentorship.

Equipped with an education in STEM, the scholars are set to be highly competitive in the Rwandan job market, both in the industry and as highly skilled experts.

Education, and particularly higher education, continues to be a lifeline for women hoping to break the cycle of poverty. It provides women and girls with the skills, confidence and independence needed to gain employment and be successful in their chosen fields.

The charity has set out a 2020 strategy to provide 10,000 girls and young women with higher education scholarships. And with a little help, they can make this happen. Find more information on how you can partner with the organization at

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