vSolutions proud to be supporting SMART Sistas

SMART Sistas team members — Casandra Olul (top left), Lana Molivurae (bottom l), Lilia Raptigh (right). Ayla Nganga (top right) is their team mate (who is hopeful of making the team for the 2018 First Challenge competition) pose with their just completed robot. vSolutions Managing Director, Brendan Toner, (Standing top).

By Jonas Cullwick

The SMART Sistas team to compete at the First Global Robotic Challenge next month (July) in Washington, DC, has successfully completed building the robot it will be taking to use to compete at the challenge with over 160 other countries.

The team’s success is due in most part to the generosity of vSolutions whose Managing Director, Brendan Toner, was approached by the SMART Sistas team in April when they were looking for a place to build their robot.

“When Rodney Philemon (Chairman of the SMART Sistas Committee) explained that there would be three girls from Vanuatu competing in a competition with 160 other countries and that they would be building a robot, we got very excited,” Toner said.

He added that vSolutions had been very proud to provide office space for the SMART Sistas to use while building their robot which will then be taken to Washington, DC, where the girls will compete in the inaugural FIRST Global Challenge.

“It has been a pleasure to have a group of enthusiastic and bright young ladies in our office as they build their robot and we wish them every success when they travel to Washington, DC, next month.

“It is going to be an amazing experience for them and we have seen the girls working hard into the night and over the weekends on this,” Brendan Toner said.

vSolutions provides ICT and financial systems consulting services including web site design and software development.

“We expect to be expanding our software development services over the coming months and we look forward to the growing number of women in the ICT area and applaud the efforts of the SMART Sistas and their mentors.

SMART Sistas Committee Chairman Philemon said the total budget for getting the three girls to Washington DC to compete and a mentor will be Vt1.7 million and they still have another Vt500,000 to raise to reach this target.

He said there will be a fundraising for the SMART Sistas tomorrow (Sunday) at the Market House in Port Vila with a sausage sizzle and a chance for the public to see the girls working on their robot.

“There will be a donation box and we encourage everyone to assist these amazing girls to help fund their trip to represent Vanuatu in the USA next month,” Philemon added. The fundraising will start at 11am and end at 4pm.

The Team Vanuatu is comprised of Lana Molivurae from Epauto School, Lilia Raptigh from Central School and Casanda Olul from Malapoa College.

The girls will be travelling with a mentor, Sum Abiut, one of the IT administrators for the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu.

So far 163 countries have confirmed their participation in the event.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: jonas@dailypost.vu. Cell # 678 5460922

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