Malin Frithiofsson is setting up an entrepreneurial program at Mavuno all-girls school in Tanzania, together with Engineers without borders

Whilst some of us are spending our vacations on a beach, or on a boat, others have found more challenging ways to spend their free time over the summer. One of those is our colleague Malin Frithiofsson.

Malin will be spending about 2 months in Tanzania over the summer, running a project for engineers without borders (EWB). We got a chance to speak to her about it before she goes:

What is your project all about?

– The short answer is that I’m setting up an educational program in entrepreneurship, for the Mavuno all-girls school in the Karagwe region of Tanzania. The long answer is that EWB ‘s long time international partner, the Mavuno school, had expressed wishes to incorporate entrepreneurial thinking in their education. I so happened to have the extreme privilege of having 8 weeks of vacation, which allowed me to take on the project. I have created an 8 week program, based on the specific opportunities and obstacles the context offers, that I will head down by myself to implement. I am very much looking forward to working with these girls and hopefully use the magic of the entrepreneurial mindset to create both cool projects and instill higher self-esteem.

Image: Mavuno Girls Secondary School in Tanzania

Will we be able to follow your progress?

Hopefully! I will try to showcase as much of the program on my Instagram and official EWB channels. I’m not sure how reliable my internet access will be however, but fingers crossed!

Is there any way to help?

Of course! We are in the process of setting up a swish account specific for the girls-school, so that people can contribute to the school and the girls it hosts directly. I’ll try to blast it all over social media once I have it.

Did you have any doubts about going?

I did, in the very beginning. Not because I’d rather do something else, but because I didn’t want to make the mistake of falling in to the colonial narrative of white saviourism. However, I did some soul searching and realized that there are ways to create benefit without assuming or determining hierarchy. I have this one thing to teach, whilst I’m sure these girls could school me in just about anything else, but the Swedish model for entrepreneurship is globally acknowledged, and it’s an educational privilege not available to everyone. I am also sure that even whilst being there teaching this program, I will be the one learning the most.

It’s also important to me, as well as EWB, to have a sustainability aspect of this and all programs. In this case, that means making sure that this isn’t just a one-off thing, but instead finding ways to incorporate it into the regular education given. Which is why I’m very happy to be doing the program with a local woman named Angelica, who is currently employed at the school. I am sure that we will be a great team, and that her involvement will lead to the project being more sustainable over time.

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Once back in Sweden later this fall, Malin Frithiofsson will summarize her learnings here on chalmersventures.com.