US denies entry visa to robotics students from Gambia and Afghanistan in the upcoming international robotics competition. This month Washington, D.C. is hosting its first international robotics competition, but the sad news is that the robotic teams from Gambia and Afghanistan have being denied entry VISA to U.S.A. The robotics competition is not just about the robots.
Due to this, the organizers and the participants from Gambia and Afghanistan were so disappointed.The robotic team groups falls between the ages of 14 and 18, have been denied one-week travel visas to enter the United States.The sad news is that,even the Afghanistan team is made up of only girls.
Why should The he Gambian high school students Robot be shipped to Washington, DC, for the event without its inventors.According to Al Jazeera, Moktar Darboe, director of The Gambia’s ministry of higher education, research, science and technology, told Al Jazeera that the team, made up of high school pupils aged 17-18, were “very disappointed”.
It’s about the young people people who came together to build Robots.But the question is why were they denied entry VISA?”They put in so much effort into building this, and now, after all the sacrifice and energy they put in, they have been left disheartened,” Darboe, who is also the team’s mentor, said on Monday.
The robot, a ball sorting machine, will be shipped off in the next day or two, he added.The Gambian American Association will represent the team at the event and the students in The Gambia’s capital, Banjul, will watch it over Skype.
Fatoumata Ceesay, the team’s programmer, told Al Jazeera that she had come to terms with the fact their creation will be run by other students in the US.
The 17-year-old said they had worked under trying conditions, day and night, and with little guidance over the entire Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.
“And we started building it after the [visa] rejection. We built it despite knowing we weren’t going,” she said.
Gassam says that she was disappointed that she wouldn’t be able to represent The Gambia and “show the world [that] ‘yes, we can do it'”.
“But we’re not giving up, despite the challenges we face, we still continue to work hard,” she said. “Next year it will be somewhere else, so I think next year we have hope to get there.”
The FIRST Global Challenge is open to students aged 15 to 18 from across the globe. According to FIRST, around 158 countries will be represented, including 40 African countries. Only the teams from Afghanistan and The Gambia have had their visas rejected so far.
Darboe said that the visa was denied shortly after their interview at the US embassy in Banjul in April. They were not given any explanation.”We were only told that we did not qualify and that we could try again.”According to Darboe, the students had to pay $170 each for the visa application. “Their parents had to sacrifice a lot to pay this fee.”
The students continued building the robot despite being denied the visa, hoping the decision would ultimately change.They were further buoyed by a visit of US Ambassador C Patricia Alsup to their project site last month.
“She gave us hope not to give up, and she said they would give us all their support to help us go further,” 17-year-old Khadijatou Gassam, a science student and spokesperson for the team, said.
The US embassy in Banjul told Al Jazeera that it did not comment on consular affairs. Kevin Brosnahan, a spokesperson for the state department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, said he was unable to discuss individual visa cases.
I believe efforts will be put in place to resolve this situation.Currently, We are still monitoring the situation.What do you also make of this?