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EHV BIG SISTER PROGRAMME

Creating an international mentor network for young women 

In the spirit of our Women in Science talks held in January 2018, EHV hosted its first ever Big Sister session with the girls at Santa Maria Foundation in Chia, Colombia, and a group of female student scientists from Oxford university in a joint effort to promote and empower women in science.

On Saturday 7th April 2018, Oxford students Floren, Laura, Olivia, Sofía and Tatiana spoke to the young girls at SMF via Skype about their research, ranging from biotechnology and cancer treatment to aerospace dynamics. The purpose of this session was for the girls at Santa Maria to recognise that such women do exist and that, if they share similar interests and want to pursue them at university, that these women may offer them mentoring, advice, or even just a friendly chat.

This session was the first of our EHV Big Sisters Programme, designed to connect young women in UK universities with girls from disadvantaged backgrounds like those at Santa Maria Foundation. As Maria Wright Edelman said, 'You can't be what you can't see'. Indeed, this is a way for girls to believe that they, with the help of their 'Big Sisters', can actually visualise themselves in their position and thus widen their perspective of future career possibilities.

We are currently planning on connecting the Big Sister programme with young Palestinian women in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.