Team Rwanda is made up of 7 students from seven different schools and one Technical mentor.
Régis Aimé RUGERINYANGE from lycee de Kigali
Paola IKIREZI from Excella high school
Aubin Marc MUGISHA from Remera Rukoma secondary school
Serge BYISHIMO from SOS technical school
Frank MUHIRWA from Saint Andrew secondary school
Benita Olga ISHIMWE from Stella Matutina
Joselyne UWIHOREYE from Saint Ignace secondary school
We are 7 students from all parts of the country and one Technical mentor. We all have a common passion for robotics and we are very fascinated by the subject. Our team is made up of 4 boys, 3 girls and one Technical mentor called Marie Claire Murekatete. Marie Claire works at Rwanda Development Board as software development division manager (Technical lead). Sadly, our team has never participated in other robotic competition because robots are not frequent in our country it is the first time that Rwanda gets to participate to an international robotic competition like this one.
Our team is a very united. We have been working together for 4 months and everybody has been working really hard to make this project a success. We meet twice a week mainly in the weekends because we all have classes, but we do hope that this a lifetime opportunity to participate into that is why the time we do meet we make it as productive as possible.
Our team has other activities it is involved in. We tour in different secondary schools telling the youth about STEM based careers but mostly robotics. We talk about our experiences and the benefits that FIRST Global provides by helping in problem solving and in STEM, also motivate them and encourage them to think creatively. We also exhibited and informed participants of the Transform Africa Summit about the FIRST Global and technology STEM, this summit had 4000 participants.
In addition to that, our Technical mentor has been empowering the Rwandan youth across the country as she is the vice president of Girls in ICT Rwanda, Technovation Challenge Master Educator, Africa Code Week ambassador and Techwomen Alumnae.
The obstacles were many but our main was the time of meeting it wasn’t easy since most of us are in boarding school and the day scholars have tight schedules, we had to coordinate the sessions with everybody’s classes and this made it hard for us but we got help from our Technical mentor and the Minister of Education who made it possible for us to meet twice a week instead of once, this increased the productivity in a significant way.
We also had the challenge that we didn’t have enough knowledge about building up robots where by at the beginning, we built several prototypes before we had come up with a final design, with a lot of support from our technical mentor and advisor team also our passion for robotics we have helped us to progress a lot.
For us the First Global competition is a unique experience and a life changing experience, we are really looking forward to attend the global robotic Olympic, the first in the world’s history to happen. Being part of such an innovative program will makes us the light in our country and all over. We hope to continue sharing the acquired skill to different schools and youth in our country. We all know the next world’s vision is focusing on automation and robotic will be a key to that, we hope to contribute to our country’ development using technology, as it is the only investment toward success that do not require capital to start the business with, as by only a passion and idea, anyone can start from nowhere to somewhere.
We are also grateful for our country by encouraging the spirit of innovation among young people. From a bad history of the genocide that occurred 20 years ago, we have moved first to rebuild our country and as youth First Global Challenge program will be one of the major pillars to support innovation in Rwanda.