Driven is the first word that comes to mind when meeting Kalifa Damani. The 26-year-old Chaguanas resident gave off an air of determination and focus as she spoke about her plans to improve children’s self-confidence through the use of technology.
Damani said currently there is no proper policy for the use of laptops which secondary school students in T&T are receiving, and she wants her research to focus on using technology to develop students’ belief in their own competence. She especially wants to focus on academic, civic and entrepreneurial self-efficacy, which reflects confidence in the ability to exert control over one’s own motivation, behavior, and social environment.
She has been accepted to pursue a Ph.D. in Education at the University of Cambridge, beginning next month and ending in 2017. She wants to use the research and findings to help develop policy/plans to better implement Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Caribbean education. Damani described her field as an overlap between Social and Developmental Psychology and Education, and she’s interested in exploring the use of ICT in both fields.
To gather the £20,000 per year needed to fund her degree, Damani has been doing fundraising by doing commissioned artwork, as well as campaigning online and in the media. She also plans to continue to raise funds through working and applying for grants to push forward the whole plan of developing ICT in Education in T&T and the Caribbean at large if possible.
Damani is excited to begin her program and work with Professor Pauline Rose, who was the Head of Education for All research within the United Nations, “I’d very much like to be able to do something like what she does in the future: make education more accessible to less privileged children and youth, as well as use education to help develop the capacity of children. I think it’s a great opportunity, not only to do research, but to learn from a great mentor so that I can best help others in the future. I’ll also have opportunity to work with experts in various fields, from Psychology to Technology and I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to bring international expertise to helping develop the Caribbean.”
To support Damani, check out her gofundme page – (http://www.gofundme.com/FundJendayiKalifa) Donations can also be made through Unit Trust Corporation, KalifaDamani, Account #: 5148889 – 002 OR Paypal with the address firstname.lastname@example.org. She can also be found on Facebook under the name Kalifa Damani.