Have you ever thought how sociable and empowering coding actually is?
Exchanging tips with your friends, sharing advice on online forums, gathering together to hackathons… Speaking of experience, you cannot overcome your errors alone!
What’s more, coding can lead you to travel the world and making a difference in the society. That’s what happened to Irena Bakić.
She is the Project Lead for CodeBus Africa. Being passionate about equality issues and having studied engineering at Aalto University, she was happy to get the position and work with this exciting project.
In 2017, CodeBus Africa started from Ghana and travelled through 10 Sub-Saharan countries in 100 days. It was part of Finland’s centenary celebration, coordinated by Aalto Global Impact and made possible by many sponsors and partners (like mehackit! 😉 ).
The project had many goals: putting forth ICT skills, supporting employment and equality. Collaborating with local tech hubs, the CodeBus Africa team organized creative coding workshops to inspire youth to discover technology. Their mission was to empower especially girls to explore possibilities that technology has to offer for their future.
But why is it so important to teach young people worldwide to code?
“Because today’s world is based on high technologies”, Irena answers. “How can a society be equal if its tech makers don’t represent the diversity we have in the world?”
According to Girls Who Code, only 24 % of computer scientists are girls, and the percentage is decreasing. And it doesn’t stay in the world of computer science. “In the future, technological skills, like coding, are going to be necessary even in traditional fields like medicine or law”, Irena reminds.
Teachers and educators are in a key role to spread the word and encourage youth towards technology. “We trained 50 African instructors”, Irena tells, and adds that many local partners have continued to organize workshops or implemented courses into their curriculum. That’s great to hear!
And the work doesn’t stop here. Irena is already planning the second phase of CodeBus Africa. “It’s going to be a longer project”, she reveals.
I’m about to ask if they need more voluntary instructors. How I would love to apply!