CodeWeekend is Afghanistan's first and largest developers community and has been actively educating the next generation of Afghans to learn to code for the past 9 years. Since its founding, CodeWeekend has conducted hundreds of coding sessions, training and seminars for Afghan developers and those who want to learn to code in Afghanistan, alongside multiple large-scale coding conferences in the country. In the past 7+ years, CodeWeekend engaged with, provided opportunities to learn to code and helped with the up-skilling of over 1000+ computer science students and developers in Afghanistan.
Last year (2022), among many other programs, we graduated 30 full-stack developers as part of our 3rd CodeWeekend full-stack development bootcamp cohort. Our graduates were able to secure jobs in both local and international markets and for those who haven't, we are providing active support and mentorship, so they put their skills at work. You can see the list of our graduates and their profiles here: https://codeweekend.net
Nex month (August), we are launching our 4th cohort and need your support. We will also open our cohort to Afghans both inside Afghanistan and those recently displaced to neighbouring countries or refugee camps. As part of our offering, we are planning to establish partnerships with companies and organizations abroad to offer internships and job opportunities for our graduates. The Coding Bootcamp will be for six months, and a lifetime of coaching and mentoring for our graduates.
The objective is to create new or better employment options for Afghan youth. The overall purpose is to:
- Empower Afghan youth with new and in-demand skills
- Create employment opportunities in industries that have labour shortages
Students are required to commit at least 40 hours per week to the sessions, activities and assignments. The program will enable the students to develop responsive user interfaces as well as create backend code to create fully functional web applications. The program will facilitate job placement for successful graduates. The placement includes either full-time, part-time or freelance and remote jobs.
On August 15, 2021, the Taliban seized control of the government of Afghanistan, the culmination of a series of shocking and tragic events in the preceding weeks. The consequences are that the country is now facing economic collapse. One aspect of this is that thousands of youth have suddenly found themselves jobless, with no income to support their family, and facing an uncertain future.
Most government offices remain closed, unable to pay salaries, and a majority of local and international NGOs and private sector companies suspended or completely shut down their operations in Afghanistan, some, indefinitely.
These youth need other options, urgently. Now is the time to equip Afghan youth with skills and capabilities that they can use to work internationally: up-skilling that allows them to work remotely from Afghanistan, while being a migrant in another country, or to legally relocate abroad. Afghan youth already outside the country will gain skills and experience that allow them to better integrate into their new societies and demonstrate transferrable skills that lead to meaningful jobs.
Technology pushes creativity and creates shortcuts for development. The growth in usage of the internet and technological devices globally including in Afghanistan has pushed businesses, organizations, institutions and government to be more tech savvy and thus to create employment opportunities for those with the necessary skills. Most of these skills rely intensively on software and on the people who can code it.
Coding skills bring agency and equity between men and women and create opportunities where women and men can work from home, or work at jobs from different parts of the world. Given that anyone with a laptop and an internet connection has the same power and opportunity, coding gives confidence and opportunity to young people who want to actively participate in the economy. A program that graduates skilled developers with the knowledge and hands-on experience required in both local and international markets is thus essential and can create meaningful employment. It also opens opportunities for individuals to work as freelancers online, making alternative ways of generating income accessible.
How the funds will be used?
We are aiming to admit 50 Afghan youth (25 female and 25 male) in the next cohort of CodeWeekend coding bootcamp and provide them with the following facilities and resources:
• 6 months of full-time coding classes
• Monthly internet package for our students in Afghanistan
• An online library of coding lectures and coding resources
• Monthly events & student support
• Job placement support
• Alumni relations/management
• Dedicated instructors
• Dedicated mentors
• A range of benefits from our local & international partners
The minimum cost per student is $CAD1000. In case we exceed our funding goal, we will be able to get into a stable situation operationally and can better serve our students with their education and their attempt to find a job after their graduation.
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