From Ukraine to Spain, Meet and Code continues to empower young people from different paths of life with the necessary digital skills for the future.
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Aligned with EU Code Week, which took place between 8 - 23 October, over 33,700 participants took part in this year’s initiative, with the majority of attendees between the ages of 8 and 16 years old.
Meet and Code reaches smaller communities.
The 2022 events took place across 21 European countries and saw a great shift between big and small cities. Events taking place in cities with less than 10,000 people saw an increase of nearly 16%.
“Our vision is to ensure that youth from all walks of life, especially those who are underserved and underrepresented, have access to learning digital skills,” says Anna Sienicka, Vice President at TechSoup. “We understand that digital skills will play a massive role in the future of the workplace. This means we are not only helping for today but also doing our part in building skills for the future.”
Meet and Code supported over 1,000 fun and interactive workshops hosted by non-profit organizations (NPOs) across countries, including Austria, France, Romania, Poland, Germany, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. To assist in hosting and facilitating the workshops, funding of up to 500 euros per event is provided. This year, 68% of NPOs said that their events were only possible because of the funding provided.
Spotlight on Ukraine
Despite the disruptions in Ukraine caused by Russia’s invasion, young Ukrainians were more than eager to learn to code. In total, the number of refugee participants from all over Europe with Ukraine origins was more than 3,600.
Sienicka adds, “Even those who found refuge in other countries or lived outside Ukraine managed to join. For example, in Poland, we had 426 Ukrainian children attending, and 166 attended in Germany.”
Advancing Digital Skills through partnerships
Gabriele Hartmann, Senior Director for MEE Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP, says, “Education has a ripple effect, and through initiatives like Meet and Code, social and environmental challenges can be resolved.”
She continues to say that Meet and Code is not just an educational or skills initiative, it is a reflection of how different stakeholders can play their part in supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and help the world run better.
Aside from providing quality education (SDG5) and collaboration for a sustainable future (SDG 17), Hartmann says Meet and Code supports other SDGs, too. “Changing society and transitioning to a green and digital economy requires solid digital competencies. Boosting digital skills at all levels helps increase growth and innovation; it builds a fairer, more cohesive, sustainable, and inclusive society. These aspects are all part of SDGs.”
Amazon has been a local partner to Meet and Code in Germany since 2021. This year, it expanded its contribution as a local partner in Austria, France, Italy, Poland, and Spain to support children and young people, especially those who are underserved and underrepresented, on their journey toward a digital future. The company supports Meet and Code’s vision of empowering young talents to use technology to help shape their futures.
Clemens Frede, Managing Director at Haus des Stiftens, has thanked and congratulated all the NPOs who participate in Meet and Code workshops, he says, “The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2025, 97 million new jobs could emerge of the introduction of machines and algorithms. We would like to thank the NPOs who selflessly play their part in making sure that young Europeans have the necessary skills to participate in future job markets.”
Since 2017, we have reached over 243,000 young people between 8 - 24 in 35 European countries, enabling more than 6,700 coding projects hosted by local non-profits.