“It was my first time at an airport and the first time I got in a plane. I want to be a pilot,” said Phemo from the village if Dikgonnye after her day at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport. In celebration of this year’s UN World Creativity and Innovation Day, Aviation for Humanity and Dare To Dream partnered to bring Phemo and 29 other schoolgirls from rural areas in Botswana to the airport for a day of education and empowerment.

Having never been to an airport or seen an aircraft up close, the girls had a day full of firsts. They were taken on a tour of four aircraft models-the Beechcraft Baron 58, Beechcraft Hawker 800, Cessna Grand Caravan, and Cessna 172-and spoke directly to pilots and other aviation professionals. They also engaged with the Airbus Little Engineer program, which allows students to explore STEAME-focused (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Entrepreneurship) learning such as aerospace mission planning, robotics and 3D modelling.

The girls are students in the Artesia Junior Secondary School in the Kgatleng District of Botswana. They live in rural settlements surrounding the village of Artesia. The culture in this region is such that many girls are not aware that they are able to pursue any career, let alone a career in a STEAME field. Following the creativity and Innovation Day event, 15- year- old Kelebogile shared, “ I learned that whilst still at my age  I have to have a dream, work hard, and achieve it. The motivation I had from the Captain inspired me and gave me confidence to work on myself”