Due to their shared dedication to empowering young women, German ASN member Reinhard Gorenflos and Ashoka Fellow Regina Agyare were introduced through the Ashoka Globalizer Summit on Youth Empowerment in Africa in February 2015. Reinhard founded Tua Res Foundation in 2012 and Regina founded Soronko Solutions in 2011, through which she launched a program called Tech Needs Girls. Between Regina’s experience growing up in Ghana and Reinhard’s expertise, together they captured a method to urge young women to follow their dreams. “Regina brought an approach to it which was sort of playful and well adapted to the needs of the girls in Africa… and I like that approach a lot,” says Reinhard.
Regina and Reinhard joined forces to form the Girl Tech initiative to teach computer and technology skills to girls and young women through a modular curriculum. The program has already serviced 2,065 girls in five regions in Ghana, and the girls are taught by female mentors who are studying STEM in a university or pursuing careers in technology. One of their main goals in the program is being able to give thousands of girls an entry into the labor market. “Focus on the nuts and bolts of operations,” Reinhard says, “that will make you grow, as opposed to writing the big business plans.
“I think it’s been a very powerful experience because it’s shown me how we can do things together.”
– Reinhard Gorenflos
Regina and Reinhard both came away from the Globalizer feeling more prepared to grow their idea. “I think it’s been a very powerful experience because it’s shown me how we can do things together,” Reinhard explains. “I was pleased that we were able not to operate on these sort of conceptual… levels only, but get things done.” Regina also says that “the Ashoka Globalizer was an amazing program,” and “the advisers really helped me to analyze how to design the program for maximum impact.” Reinhard and Regina continue to work together, and they also have great things to say about each other. Reinhard described Regina as a “very smart, unassuming, dynamic lady,” and Regina says Reinhard was “very instrumental in sharing his experience and perspectives on a scaling strategy.” Their association illustrates just how successful Ashoka Fellows and ASN members can be when working together.