7th February 2017 – Bridgetown, Barbados: The curtain came down this past weekend on the first ever CoderDojo computer coding and programming club in Barbados. The graduation ceremony for 50 children was held by Digicel (Barbados) Limited at the Kensington Oval.
Ranging in age from 7-16, participants from schools across the island received their certificates of participation for the curriculum which covered building a website, app creation and game design. CoderDojo clubs are designed to allow children to explore coding in an informal, creative and fun environment. The course which began late last year, also improved their team work, communication and problem-solving skills.
Addressing the participants, Natalie Abrahams, Chief Operating Officer of Digicel Barbados said, “We are very proud at Digicel to be the local pioneer of such an important initiative. We started our very own CoderDojo in October last year in celebration of our 50th Anniversary of Independence. When we started, there were 1,100 “Dojos” across the world. This one now makes 1,101.”
In addition to the certificates and gifts received by every child from Digicel, awards were also conferred on participants who stood out in specific areas, including most engaged, most diligent and most tenacious. Those awardees were chosen by the mentors, the majority of whom were volunteering Digicel employees, who were joined by choice technology professionals from the private sector.
Chief Executive Officer of Digicel Barbados Conor Looney encouraged other community-centric companies, schools, churches and community groups, to follow Digicel’s lead. “Anyone can avail themselves of the online resources at www.coderdojo.com to host other Dojos locally.” Adding “The resources are free and it only requires the willingness to invest the time and energy in preparing the next generation for a future where the ability to manipulate technology will not be an option, but a requirement.”
CoderDojo is a global community of free coding clubs for young people. Founded in 2011, the Dojos span across 66 countries across the world from Argentina to Australia, from Japan to Samoa, and now thanks to Digicel, in Barbados as well.