Civic Tech Institute alumna reflects on her journey with Equitech Futures

By Anodya Mishra

Fatima Bourhim, an Equitech alumna from Madrid, Spain, currently works as a Regional Coordinator for Al Sharq Forum, an independent, international non-profit organization. After receiving an undergraduate degree in Physical Therapy and a postgraduate degree in Women’s Health, Fatima joined the inaugural batch of the Civic Tech Institute with Equitech Futures in January 2023. Fatima shared, “At Equitech’s Civic Tech Institute, I had the opportunity to learn how my interest in the field of healthcare intersects with data analysis and AI.” 

The Equitech Experience 

Fatima completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies from University of Alcalá, Madrid, before joining the Civic Tech Institute. The intersection of multiple fields like climate action, healthcare, and AI is what intrigued Fatima about the program. 

“My interest in joining the Civic Tech Institute Program was connected to my background in Women’s Health and Physical Therapy, but after the program I have realized that I would like to expand my work in the public policy sector, and I am now hoping to pursue a second masters in Public Health or Public Policy.”

Fatima also shared her experience dabbling with AI for the first time through the program. “When I joined the program initially, I used to have some difficulty in the Civic Tech Toolkit course because it was my first introduction to AI, but the cohort was so supportive of each other that it made things much easier. I think this is my biggest takeaway from Equitech - a supportive and inspiring group of people!”

In November 2023, Fatima received the opportunity to attend an in-person event with Equitech Futures at the University of Oxford. As part of this event, she attended the Rhodes Forum on Technology and Society, held by the Rhodes Trust in partnership with Equitech Futures. She shared, “The Rhodes Forum in Oxford was a space to network, engage and get inspired. Being able to de-virtualize the Equitech experience was the biggest highlight of this event. I was especially thrilled to meet my cohort fellows from the Civic Tech Institute.” She further remarked that this experience enhanced her commitment to the global community of Equitech Futures. 

Social Impact Work

Fatima has been actively involved in numerous social impact driven initiatives since her college years. As a humanitarian aid worker, Fatima facilitated volunteer management during the Turkey-Syria earthquakes of 2023. In her role as a campaign specialist, she collaborated with local organizations in Turkey to design campaigns for women’s health and hygiene issues. Fatima also served as the President of Asociación Sobre Los Márgenes (Association beyond the Margins), wherein she worked towards the inclusion of children of migrants for equal access to opportunities, and conducted seminars and talks on racism, islamophobia, and education. 

In her current role as the European Regional Coordinator of Al Sharq Forum, Fatima dabbles in team management, international coordination, and implementation of programs for the development of different regions of the organization in Europe and in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. 

Fatima also shared her advice for scholars applying for Equitech programs. She said, “First and foremost, ensure you have time. To fully benefit from this program, you need to give it the time it deserves. If you don’t have time right now, you can always do it next year because one of the advantages of this program is it has no age limit! Secondly, always try to learn outside the classroom as much as you have learnt inside. Talk to your cohort, learn from them, share resources and opportunities. Equitech ensures diversity in all its programs, and it would be a shame to miss out on good connections and networks when it is knocking on your door.”

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