Former Iimbovane participants continue with science at SU Print

One of the aims of Iimbovane is to encourage learners, especially female learners, to consider biological sciences as a field of study and ultimately as a career. Throughout their participation in the Iimbovane Outreach Project, the learners interact with scientists during regular schools visits and learnerworkshops.

At learner workshops, such as the annual Iimbovane Winter Week, a group of promising learners are invited to spend a week at Stellenbosch University with the Iimbovane team. This event exposes learners to the field of biodiversity and to the study and career possibilities it may offer. The inaugural Iimbovane Winter Week was held in 2010. For several of the learners, the workshop meant more than just a visit to the campus. Six female learners who attended the 2010 Iimbovane Winter Week were inspired to pursue science degrees at Stellenbosch University.

Samantha Witbooi (Atlantis High School), Janine Daniels (Malibu High School), Carmelita Abrahams (Malibu High School) and Leonne Adams (Gerrit du Plessis Secondary School) are doing degrees in BSc Conservation Ecology and BSc Human Life Sciences. Francelyn Abrahams (Sarepta Secondary School) and Bilqees Higgins (Atlantis High School) are busy with degrees in Industrial Engineering and Chemical Engineering respectively.

“Initially I wanted to study medicine. I attended the Iimbovane Winter week in 2010 and loved it so much that I went back in 2011! This is how I eventually knew that I would love to learn more about the environment we live in,” says Janine Daniels, currently studying BSc Conservation Ecology at the Stellenbosch University.  “I realise that my dream will not be without its challenges, but going after your dreams, believing in yourself, never questioning your capability and looking beyond your circumstances are the things that will definitely move you forward.”