2017 Mandela Washington Fellow Malshini Senaratne joins CASME on a two-week practicum as she learns how the organisation strives to change the lives of learners through mathematics and science, and apply that experience towards the development of a ‘Girls in S.T.E.M.’ program for the Seychelles. She is one of 130 Fellows chosen this year to undergo professional practicums across Africa in partnership with private, public, and non-profit companies.
So far, Malshini has participated in several practicums and school visits managed by CASME’s experienced staff, including a Physical Sciences Training Program for Grade 12 children, a Natural Science Learners Practicum at Buhlebemfunde Secondary School for Grades 9 and 10 and memorably, a school visit to Nqakatahela Secondary School to observe Grade 10 English and Mathematics lessons. She enjoyed traveling with the CASME team and especially enjoyed spending time with the school children, learning more about them and their academic journey. She is also taking the opportunity to learn a few isiZulu phrases, and has so far mastered only Sanibona (work in progress).
Malshini is the co-founder and Director of the environmental engineering company Eco-Sol Consulting in Seychelles. She launched and manages the company’s community initiative being a volunteer teaching/mentoring program with secondary school girls. As the only private company running such a program in the country, Malshini is keen to scale her program up with a Girls in STEM initiative for a nation-wide impact.
Malshini has high hopes from this practicum; ‘My goals revolved around securing a learning and development role with this practicum, one where I can get hands-on experience and hone my leadership skills and so far, CASME has fulfilled and surpassed my expectations! I am very grateful to the Fellowship for identifying a dream match, and CASME’s Director Henre Benson in particular for accommodating my placement willingly. I’m excited to learn and work closely with the CASME team in order to develop, launch and then package a sustainable Girls in S.T.E.M program for not only the Seychelles context but other Indian Ocean islands as well.’