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Code to Change Program

by Emily Peed

The Code to Change program is an extensive 5-month program that is aimed at women who are looking for new challenges and want to learn the skills necessary to be successful in Information Communication Technology (ICT). The kick off point for this program started in October of 2015, as the first Code To Change conference began with 62 applicants. It was a multiday effort that explained careers in IT, shares stories of how some of these women got started in coding, the projects they are working on now, how they got to where they are, and then showcased hands-on workshops. The workshops had the goals of enabling participants to tackle issues within the professional realm that have to do with what is holding them back and embracing leadership roles. Through these workshops, they found support for mutual experiences and found it to be an overall confidence building experience for those who headed these workshops, as well as the participants who were rallied to pursue the ICT industry.

                After the conference had been drawn to a close, the second phase was then launched. Since November 2015 until January 2016, the participants were placed in mentoring partnerships. How this occurred is that participants were urged to learn to code independently but while having the invaluable experience of seasoned professionals to call on should they run into stumbling blocks as they learn. The current phase, starting February and lasting until April of this year is one where they will continue to hone their acquired skills and gain real-life experience by working together with a mentor. This is similar to an internship; participants will do assignments with the possibility of obtaining a job at the end of the final phase!

                The Code to Change program is working on continuing their mission to empower women to become active in technology through renewed efforts for 2016. Sometime this year the project is pairing with a shelter that serves victims of domestic violence in Germany to continue their efforts. They also have their sights set toward a summer educational effort in Italy. More information is available on their website at: http://thecodetochange.org. A conference date has been set for October 15th-17th for the second iteration of this concept in Amsterdam for 2016. The Code To Change program is created by and currently being overseen by ChunriCoupaal. ChunriChoupaal is an international non-profit organization whose mission is to empower women to become change leaders through harnessing the power of digital media for social and economic progress. The word ChunriCoupaal is symbolic in its meaning. It is derived from ‘Chunri’ - which is a bright scarf used by women in Southeast Asia and around the world. The word ‘Choupaal’ refers to a sitting place of village elders, typically men, in Southeast Asia to make decisions. The concept of ChunriCoupaal represents a meeting place for women, which is otherwise non-existent in many cultures around the world.

                Additional information can be found at http://thecodetochange.org website, the parent http://chunricoupaal.org website, or with program and charity founder and creator Iffat Gill at [email protected].