October 26, 2017
This year for the first time in Ukraine the week of coding (EU Code Week) Meet and Code was held. Twenty six organizations became participants of the Program. Through different events in various formats they showed how interesting the digital world could be.
The Meet and Code initiative is implemented by GURT Resource Centre in cooperation with TechSoup Europe and Haus des Stiftens gGmbH and funded by SAP. The EU Code Week took place from 07th until 22nd October 2017. Throughout Ukraine seminars, lectures, trainings, workshops, hackathons, film shows, competitions were organized. These events present the latest technologies to young people.
Anyone interested, from kids to student youth, could participate in these events. Organizers of the events also thought about adult participants, master classes and lectures were held for them too.
For many participants these events became an opportunity to try something new. In Vynohradiv, Zakarpattia Oblast, the organizers suggested for school kids to create their own cartoons using SCRATC Program.
«Very interesting and non-standard project. I was glad to observe how kids with big enthusiasm and desire to win the prize were preparing these cartoons. Everyone tried to create something unusual, but this is not so simple. My grandson is studying at another school, where, unfortunately, there are no classes like that. It’s a pity because I see how much joy and enthusiasm it gives to our kids. I sincerely thank all the organizers of the competition and I hope the program will continue», Svitlana Slyvka, Teacher, said.
For some pupils such events are the first step in professional development. 15-year-old schoolboy Denys Pomeluiko, who attended the ExpressHub training in Borova, Kharkiv Oblast, said that programming was his hobby for a long time. «In our small village there are no special schools or courses related to programming or robotics. I am interested in automation, microcontrollers. First, I mastered C++ individually, found textbooks on the Internet, searched for answers because I wrote the program for the game. In the process I got acquainted with Arduino, ordered boards, sensors, began to compile the first circuits for LED control. I wanted to create an automated watering system for flowers. So when I heard about this event, I was really glad that could get more detailed information for implementing my project. Maybe my future profession will be connected with this particular field”.
The gender issue was also in the focus. In Sumy, Meet and Code supported the project «Girls Encode». One of participants, Karina Vostotska, Freelance Writer, shared her vision of the current situation in this area: «As a child of the 21st century, I am well versed in the latest electronic devices from a diaper. But the society in which I grown up remained patriarchal and full of gender stereotypes. Therefore, in my own experience, I felt that being a woman in IT was difficult. First of all, because of psychological pressure of this society, which states that girls are not smart enough to code, instead of it their place is in the kitchen. The project gives new impetus to the formation of younger generation views and destroys the gender stereotypes. So young girls now have less problems on their way to dreams”.
The Code Week in Ukraine finished by the hackathon from the Computer Academy «Shag» in Kyiv, where public activists and IT representatives have met. Together they discussed the problems of civil society and have been searching for solutions in the IT field. Roman Malkevich, Programmer, emphasized that he was glad to take part in this event, because it could help civil society representatives better understand how technology could help to solve urgent problems. “At the same time, I’ve better understand the existing problems in NGO’s area. IT solutions can be implemented by template sites, different free apps. The problem is NGO activists don’t know about such opportunities”.
For joining the Program organizations applied during period from July to September. For implementation of their plans they received mini-grants, up to 9000 hryvnias per one event. One organization could offer several ideas and receive funding separately for each initiative. Civil society organizations, schools, IT professionals, enterprises, computer clubs could apply and receive grant. The main condition for participation was the status of a non-profit organization.
The initiative Meet and Code is implemented in the following countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Poland, Rumania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine and this year also in Ukraine.
More information about Meet and Code read here.