It has been six years since CoderDojo Belgium kicked off. How time flies when you are having fun! With more than 130 Dojo’s across the country and over 1400 youngsters diving into coding every month, there’s no denial anymore: CODING IS COOL!

CoderDojo bij RWDM

A bigger community brings new challenges and new ideas! Back in 2017, we decided to participate in a subsidy call from the Digital Belgium Skills Fund where projects were requested that actively include socially vulnerable in a digital way. CoderDojos are all about giving youngsters the possibility to discover and develop their digital potential, so there is no need to say that that call

appealed to us. We set up a plan on how we could reach and attract those kids and teenagers to our Dojos. With success as we have been granted subsidies for the third year in a row now! It is thanks to the initiatives and efforts from Dojos that we reached 1661 kids in 2018. And we’re back and ready to go for another CoderDojo4All project year in 2019!

Partnering with social organisations

Just like in previous years, our focus within this project is to set-up long-term collaborations with other (non-profit) organisations that work with these youngsters on a regular basis. We try to find a sustainable way of working together in order for us to give a maximum number of kids the possibility to learn, play and discover the cool CoderDojo world. There is no one-way-fits-all concept in terms of working together, but there are two styles that we’ll always propose:

  1. GUIDING: We promote CoderDojo at the partner organisation through a pop-up, flyers, mail…. Subsequently, the partner organisation actively subscribes the kids that are interested to nearby CoderDojos.
  2. POWERED BY: Partner organisations are often willing to organise their own CoderDojo within their organisation. We support and train them in the set-up and advise them to guide passionate youngsters to other CoderDojos, where they can further develop their digital skills.

James discovers his digital talent

In November 2018, Fedasil Kapellen started with CoderDojo in their computer room. As from the first session, James* (10y) was excited about programming! He took a peek into our events box and saw one of the mBots, which made him dream right away! “I want to work with the mBots!” he said. We explained him that he first needed to master Scratch, before he could start working with the mBots.

Since that moment, James does not only attend all CoderDojo sessions in the asylum centre, but also visits CoderDojo Kapellen and CoderDojo Kalmthout!

*We chose not to use his real name

This year, we have defined a couple of special focusses. We’ll try to set-up collaborations with more Fedasil asylum centres, just like we have active collaborations with CoderDojo Fedasil Kapellen en CoderDojo Fedasil Poelkapelle at the moment. Next to Fedasil, we’ll also try to work together with sports clubs, just like we have had a pop-up at RWD Molenbeek and the collaboration with BC Lions in Genk for example.

All thrilled about this social initiative? Participate as a Dojo and extra material comes your way!

If you are a coach and/or Dojo and you adhere to the purpose of this project, we have got good news! CoderDojos that are willing to welcome these kids, receive extra material such as laptops and printed exercises for example.

You’re all excited to step into this project and want to socially engage? Great, that’s what we like to hear! Roos is happy to hear from you!

For those of you who would like to know more, you can:

Let’s get going!

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