Updates from Iraq
The fellows in Iraq are working in teams to create an Android app prototype for clients from all over the world! This month we wanted to feature one of our clients - I’ll Go First, a non-profit organization dedicated to leveraging storytelling and mobile technology to provide emotional well being and trauma recovery care for under-resourced communities around the world.
Our fellows are building a prototype of the STORY app, a personalized daily companion which uses guided journaling and tailored exercises, to aid psychosocial support for trauma recovery for its users. Founder Jessica Minhas, stated “we also hope that the STORY app will teach and reinforce positive coping and self-healing behaviors. We believe healing is best achieved when fostered from within.”
The idea for the mobile app came about after surveying their constituents who stated they would like ongoing supportive care for their recovery journey. According to Jessica, “studies show that people who have experienced some form of trauma have been shown to benefit and improve patient health outcomes from consistent psychosocial support and communication with their healing team. If they are not in a location easily accessible for health resources, mobile communication narrows that gap.”
Google Developer Group Erbil + Women Techmakers
Building on our commitment to grow the tech ecosystem in Iraq, we’ve just launched Google Developer Group Erbil and Women Techmakers Group. In 2018, we’ll be hosting monthly meetups to inspire the developer community, find new talent for our programs and launch the first DevFest in Northern Iraq.
Updates from Turkey
From December 7 to 10, our fellows in Sanliurfa traveled north to visit Istanbul and discover how the technology ecosystem in the city works from the inside. During the trip, we visited an innovative mobile development company called Hipo and one of the biggest co-working spaces in Istanbul, Kolektif House, where the fellows participated in Creative Engineering workshop led by Epigra, a full-service digital agency. One of the highlights of the trip was a three-hour long visit to Microsoft Turkey where fellows learned about the latest product research, what Microsoft looks for in an employee, how to prepare yourself for the jobs of the future. The cherry on the cake was a pledge from Microsoft to accept one of our students for a year-long internship at their HQ in Istanbul.
#ReCodedFellows: Abdullah AlJadaan
"Hi, I’m Abdullah and I was born and raised in Al-Hasakah, Syria. After finishing high school I moved to Deir ez-Zor to study Mathematics before moving to Damascus where I studied to become a teacher at the University of Damascus. I am now learning to code as a Re:Coded fellow and I also volunteer for NGOs where I support children with special needs and those who have lost their parents in the war.
In University, I took a couple of classes on coding which is where my interest started and just before I left Syria, I started to learn about iOS and Android development. My vision is to improve my coding skills so I can change careers. So far I have learnt how to make good layouts for apps and basic Java. I’ve enjoyed every part of the Re:Coded bootcamp from the trainers to the course. I’ve never attended anything like this where we are expected to learn on our own and then apply these skills in the classroom!"
Turkey Social Innovation Hackathon
December 8 - 10, 2017
On December 8th, Re:Coded kicked off our Hackathon at Impact Hub focused on “Hacking the glass ceiling: Tech solutions for gender equality”. The event brought together over 60 developers, designers, social entrepreneurs, and humanitarians to co-create technology-oriented solutions in Turkey. The winning team was Safe-R, which was led by Reem Al Ali Alghrsi, an 18-year old girl from Raqqa, Syria, with the brilliant idea of connecting women who have experienced sexual violence and trauma to psychologists using a mobile application. The winning team exclaimed, “this was the first hackathon we attended and it was mind blowing actually! We didn’t expect to win! I think the main reason that we did win was that our idea was original and something that is really needed. We felt happy, excited and proud and all other mix of feelings when final decision was announced.”
The runner-up was Breaking Lab with the idea of creating gamified online training to combat sexual harassment. The two third places were SafeLik, a mobile application that can alert friends that you are in danger of being sexual harassed, and You4Her, a mentorship platform for women in the workforce. This news story from TRT World captured the spirit of the event.
If you would like to support any of these teams or other teams in the hackathon to move forward with their ideas, please let us know. We need help from partners to make the outcomes of the hackathon sustainable!
In The Works: 2018
Here’s some new initiatives we’re hoping to launch in 2018! If you would like to support any of these programs, please let us know. We need help from individuals partners to make these dreams a reality!
Re:Code Your Future
In January 2018, Re:Coded would like to launch “Re:Code Your Future”, a 3-month program coding program designed to educate and equip conflict affected children in Iraq with fundamental digital skills in order to increase their coding, language and cognitive skills, while also improving mental health. During the program, children aged 7 - 15 years will take part in after school training and get hands-on experience in computing concepts, programming fundamentals, and algorithms as well as the softer skills of collaboration, communication and problem-solving.
All Girls Bootcamp in Turkey
Inspired by the need to close the gender gap in tech, Re:Coded would love to launch an all girls coding program for female teens aged 12 - 17 year olds in Istanbul and create a pipeline of women for our signature bootcamps. Ali Clare, Re:Coded’s co-founder, said, “when you teach girls STEM, they become change agents in their communities. We also hope to connect all the girls in this program to role models and mentors in the tech industry who can help give guidance, support and inspiration to participants!”