We’re thrilled to announce that Re:Coded is one of 30 organizations in 18 countries receiving a 2016 Google RISE Award! The Google RISE Awards is a program for informal education organizations around the world that promote computer science (CS) for youth that are traditionally underrepresented in CS!
Shereen Messi· Software Engineer · Erbil, Iraq
“I always loved science and math, but when I was a kid I didn’t know that one day I would go to college. None of my family members went to university or even high school. As a kid I thought that people only go to middle school and that’s it. My family supported me in going to college, despite our culture where girls don’t have the right to study or work. I was accepted to the Software Engineering program. I didn’t think about what I want to be, I just wanted to learn everything, I feel so lucky that it happened this way.”
There are over 230,000 Syrian refugees living in Iraq alongside 3.5 million internally displaced Iraqis. They are, on average, expected to spend the next 17 years uprooted and in need of assistance. To put that into perspective, it would be like if everyone in Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island and Boston were unable to return home until 2034.
“They have no access to higher education and their employment opportunities are limited,” Alexandra Clare, Founder at Re:Coded said. “We really wanted to start a program that gives people more opportunities than the existing humanitarian aid programs. They tend to be short term and don’t let people become upwardly mobile.”
At a training course in northern Iraq, people displaced by the wars in Mosul and neighbouring Syria are learning how to code.
Some are already being sought by global companies even though they live in sprawling, dusty camps near Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish region, not far from Islamic State's last major stronghold in Iraq.