Let us educate the next generation of Afghan devs

CodeWeekend is Afghanistan's first and largest developers community and has been actively educating next generation of Afghans learn to code for the past 7+ years. Since its founding, CodeWeekend has conducted hundreds of coding sessions, training and seminars for Afghan developers and those who want learn to code in Afghanistan, alongside multiple large scale coding conferences in the country. In the past 7+ years, CodeWeekend engaged with, provided opportunity to learn to code and helped with up-skilling of over 1000+ computer science students and developers in Afghanistan.

In the year 2019, among many other programs, we started the CodeWeekend web development coding bootcamp, and made it our main focus under CodeWeekend. With limited resources and a lot of demand, we launched our pilot program and did it completely free of charge. We were successful in our pilot, and graduated 12 out of 20 of participants, where you can find their profiles and more at: https://codeweekend.net

We want to expand our program to an intensive, full time offering that will cover Afghan youth inside. 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 youth in Afghanistan. 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 for 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.

Why Now?
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 without 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 shutdown 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.

Why Coding?
Technology pushes creativity and creates shortcuts for development. The growth in usage of the internet and technological devices globally including in Afghanistan have 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 for 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 100 Afghan youth (50 female and 50 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 relation/management 
• Dedicated instructors
• Dedicated mentors
• A range of benefits from our local & international partners 

The cost per student is $CAD2500, but initially we are aiming to raise the minimum fund to run our program and thus only raising money to cover our students internet packages and to pay an appreciation salary to our instructors and our local team in Kabul. 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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Jamshid Hashimi 
West Vancouver, BC

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