By Jenny Cordle.
One of Hadi Toure’s goals is to give back to her home country of Mali. As African Sky’s Environmental Health Program Director, she is committed to providing opportunities for Malian girls to succeed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Hadi previously worked at STEMusso as a project manager and has continued to facilitate a partnership with African Sky. STEMusso is a nonprofit organization created to “strengthen the potential of Malian women by facilitating their access to STEM,” according to their online mission statement.
Recently STEMusso created the DIANA program to inspire development and innovation in Mali. Hadi coordinated the pilot program and implemented it in partnership with African Sky.
“It was intended for young girls who aspire to become scientists,” Hadi explained. Globally, girls and women are underrepresented in STEM careers.
The culmination of the program took place at Bambougou N’dji High School in Markala, Mali, where ten participants learned about environmental health, the theme of the first event. Markala is a commune in the Segou region of Mali.
“The girls learned about the different stages of water filtration and the impact of human activities on the quality of the Niger River,” she said. The Niger River extends for 2,600 miles throughout West Africa. Participants worked for two days, spending four hours each day, crafting water filters and brainstorming an action plan to stop the pollution of the river.
Hadi, along with STEMusso, wants to facilitate more DIANA projects focused on various environmental health topics throughout communities in Mali. “The goal of STEMusso is to develop a tailored program for young girls in Mali in order to encourage them on the path of sciences and offer them continuous support,” Hadi said.
African Sky promotes capacity-building, empowers individuals through education, and develops innovative leaders for social change.