Lethukuthula Samantha Shabalala

SAMTECH- Sisters Advancing in Modern Technology

What does your company do?

SAMTEC is a dynamic educational initiative dedicated to uplifting underprivileged communities, with a particular focus on empowering the girl child. We provide high school students with essential programming skills through a pioneering curriculum designed to prepare them for prestigious qualifications such as NQF Level 5 in Systems Development. Our comprehensive approach includes hands-on learning experiences, mentorship, and strategic partnerships with industry leaders. By equipping students with cutting-edge skills and creating pathways to high-quality employment, we aim to drive economic empowerment, foster innovation, and promote diversity and inclusion in the tech sector.

What is your biggest success?

Our biggest success lies in the conception and initial development of SAMTEC. Observing a significant gap in tech education within my community, Unaville AH, an informal settlement in the south of Johannesburg, inspired me to address this urgent need. The lack of access to quality education and opportunities for underprivileged youth, particularly girls, motivated me to start SAMTEC. The idea has been met with enthusiasm and support from local educators and community members, recognizing the potential impact on socioeconomic mobility. This foundational support and validation underscore the promise of SAMTEC in transforming lives and creating a brighter future through tech education.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Our biggest hurdle has been securing funding and sponsorship to bring SAMTEC from concept to reality. As a new initiative based in an informal settlement, gaining financial support and resources has been challenging. Additionally, creating awareness and building trust within the community has required significant effort. Overcoming societal biases and demonstrating the value of tech education for underprivileged youth, particularly girls, has also been a significant obstacle. Despite these challenges, our passion for bridging the tech education gap and the positive feedback from community members fuel our determination to persist and find innovative solutions.