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Watch: 9 Inspiring Jacobs Volunteers Share their STEM Build Malawi Story

Documentary following the inspirational Jacobs women who travelled to a small African community to build vital educational resources

In May 2019, a group of 25 women from around the world, including nine Jacobs women, volunteered their time to help build a brighter future for a small community in Malawi, Africa.

We proudly supported these employees who joined 16 others on the trip of a lifetime, travelling to Malawi on a STEM Build expedition. The team, comprised of primarily engineers, documented their journey to show the enormous impact and terrific outcomes.

The group hoped to empower the local community and enhance the aspirations of young people towards careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), while also helping to build a new science laboratory for the school, Rainbow Hope Secondary School in Mangochi near Blantyre, Malawi.

Reading and hearing about another society can only express so much; sometimes you need to see it for yourself. The STEM Build Malawi documentary follows the construction of the new science lab in the Mangochi District of Malawi, Africa and explores what this means for the students of Rainbow Hope Secondary School.

Uniting a range of engineering disciplines and other expertise, the world-wide team collaborated on a sustainable design for the science lab, as well as working closely with the Malawian construction contractors, the local workforce and the wider community, to share expertise and assist with the construction.

The science lab, something the students previously went without, included resources and equipment to enable students to engage in STEM education, and for many of the students watching the build, it was the first time they had seen women working physically.

During the trip, the volunteers also hosted workshops for the students, teachers and other community members, where they learnt how to build cars, bridges and boats. More importantly, they were given the opportunity to explore an area of learning that could unlock new possibilities for their career and life after school.

With many young people not finishing their secondary education and a system that is particularly disadvantageous to women, an injection of change was needed in the Mangochi District to break the cycle.

The team benefited greatly from the experience, growing both personally and professionally. The expedition offered them a unique opportunity to expand their network within Jacobs and other professionals, build site experience, as well as connect with the local community and nurture cultural links.

Watch the documentary here.

At Jacobs, we’re always looking for dynamic and engaged people to join our team. Bring your passion, your ingenuity and your vision. Let’s see the impact we can create, together.

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