Closing education gaps in Lebanon

Rana El Chemaitelly

Rana El Chemaitelly is a 2019 finalist in the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge and a pioneer in the education industry. WE Empower Intern Jacqueline Blisse elaborates on how Rana’s company The Little Engineer has supports United Nations sustainable development goals.

There are various gaps in education systems all around the world, and Rana El Chemaitelly is actively changing that. El Chemaitelly is the founder of The Little Engineer, a Beirut-based educational institution that provides academic solutions to the gaps that are found between theory, practice and implementation in classrooms. Their focus on the broad STEM field has introduced topics such as robotics and renewable energy to students of all ages. The Little Engineer supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by focusing on Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 10: Reduced Inequality, and Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals.

El Chemaitelly and The Little Engineer provide a unique experience to those living in rural areas, and through partnerships they are continuing to educate more people in order to effect more lives.

“By doing so we are allowing for a new generation of engineers that are not only ready for the labor market, but are passionate enough to give back to the wounded world,” El Chemaitelly said.

Question: How has the WE Empower Challenge changed how you see the future of your business?

Answer: We Empower Challenge allowed me to filter the social impact and feel the real impact I am really doing to my community in Lebanon, Regionally and Globally. It allowed me to value the effort of my team who is supporting the vision and aligning with the mission for a better tomorrow.

Q: What is your main goal within your community?

A: The main goal now is to provide quality education for all (SDG 4) — for both boys and girls (SDG 5), in private and public schools in urban, peri-urban, rural, and underprivileged areas (SDG 10) — through proven, hands-on learning and innovative STEM curriculum. All could be easily implemented with partners who believe in our goals (SDG17).

Q: As a woman, how do you ensure gender equality is part of your company’s culture?

A: We always try to follow the UN vision and we are trying hard to contribute to SDG 5 by recruiting equally, and investing and empowering equally. SDG 5 is a must in all our contracts with our local and regional partners and stakeholders.

Q: How do you see your company progressing in the next 10 years?

A: I am a big dreamer with strong momentum, and the will to make my dreams come true. I see myself shaping education on the global level to prepare talents for tomorrow’s jobs, and this will be done through collaboration with the ministries of education to secure the quality education for all.

Q: Has the WE Empower Challenge changed how you view the world’s progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

A: I am living with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and try to see most of them in every task or project I do. I was very glad to see that many women are on the same path. I guess by itself the WE Empower Challenge is very inspiring to move forward with the SDGs for a better tomorrow.