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Haoua – Education and Technology in the midst of COVID-19

Haoua, TechGirl 2016, Algeria

At the age of 13 years old, I joined the Algerian food bank at a solidarity program within the association of SIDRA in Algeria to help collect food elements and donate them to poor families. I then fell in love with the work and the impact we were doing each time. After that, I decided to join the debate club within the association and be more active in their different initiatives. After joining a summer English camp where we learned English and attended a workshop from Google ambassadors learning more about Google products and some basic programming as well as finding tech solutions to community issues. I remember the last day I left the camp. I did not want it to end and I wanted to take that knowledge and expand it more.

Finding the TechGirls program was a marvelous chance to me and I was so excited to apply knowing that this opportunity will shape my life forever. Now, four years later, I could surely confirm that it shaped my life for the best. I got to meet extraordinary girls from seven countries and build lifelong relationships with them.

Everything started first by making my follow-up camp at the STEM center of Algeria teaching about leadership and introducing young kids to technology using the same learning methods we were taught by the TechGirls program. After seeing that, those kids started coming more often to attend more sessions at the center and noticed how impactful our camp was. I decided then to expand more on my tech knowledge to be able to share more. In summer 2018, I applied to be a mentor of Electronics 101 and Arduino. I enjoyed preparing and delivering my sessions as well as learning from other mentors’ sessions. I was really interested in the lesson planning part and how to teach electronics effectively because as an electrical engineering student, I did not get to experience much while I was in high school.

Six months later, I decided to enroll in intensive STEM teacher training learning about universal design learning guidelines and how to effectively implement them in class. I was a teacher for a virtual exchange program LEVEL UP village where I taught about STEM for kids. In May 2020, I was the winner of the COVID-19 grand recipient by the US Embassy Algiers to implement an educational project for students and learners in Algeria by creating a platform to teach different school subjects in Arabic (Dardja dialect) in interactive ways by implementing multiple strategies while teaching and tracking students’ progress along the way.

I am forever grateful for the confidence and the courage TechGirls and Legacy International gave me and the support I received through this to dig deep in my dreams and boost my knowledge.

My aim is to see Algerian students and teachers loving the process of learning and teaching itself and to giving them chances to explore different subjects to hopefully better shape their future.

I believe that education is the solution for many youth and industry issues in Algeria and I am ready to go further and help even more.

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