First Coding School for Women in Afghanistan Receives $25k Google RISE Award




Code to Inspire ​Recognized by Google RISE Awards

First Coding School for Women in Afghanistan Receives $25k Google RISE Award

New York City & Herat, Afghanistan.  ­April, 22 2016​: Code to Inspire, a not-­for-­profit organization focused on teaching local Afghan girls in Herat how to code, announced today that they have received a 2016 Google RISE Award for its efforts to increase access to computer science (CS) education for youth.

CEO of Organization, Fereshteh Forough, said, “with Google’s support we will be able to continue our efforts teaching these young women how to code and with those skills they can empower themselves and their communities”. “This collective effort to inspire our next generation of technology innovators and creators will reach tens of thousands of students this year,” said Nicky Rigg, Google’s RISE Awards program manager. “We are excited to include Code to Inspire in our recent cohort of 28 organizations across 16 countries. Our RISE Awardees make up a community of passionate and vibrant educators and advocates; they are changemakers that engage, educate, and excite students about computing through extracurricular outreach.”

Code to Inspire currently has 53 students receiving daily lessons as part of a curriculum that teaches introductory concepts such as HTML, CSS to more advanced training like Mobile Application Development. Currently, 85{1e5b5b8455e4fd0a501a0ba32c7b6cedbd9d99491662a4a0878218331661888d} of women in Afghanistan have no formal education and are illiterate yet 80{1e5b5b8455e4fd0a501a0ba32c7b6cedbd9d99491662a4a0878218331661888d} have regular or casual access to a mobile device. Code to Inspire aims to empower young women by teaching skills that will help them find employment and build mobile applications that address local needs and challenges. With the support of partners like Google, the foundation will continue its work.

Code to Inspire is a nonprofit organization headquartered in New York City with operations in Herat, Afghanistan. Founded in January of 2015 by Fereshteh Forough and John Lilic, Code to Inspire currently has one school open in Herat, Afghanistan providing daily lessons to 53 girls high school or university girls. 

The Google RISE Awards is an annual grant program for informal education organizations around the world that promote computer science for K­12/pre-­university age youth. The program emphasizes participation from girls, youth in low ­income communities, and minorities who have historically been underrepresented in the field of computer science. Since 2010, the Google RISE Awards have contributed over $5 million dollars to 239 organizations across 28+ countries reaching over 850,000.


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Check out this Forbes article about CTI; How One Non-Profit Startup Is Helping Underprivileged Afghan Women with Bitcoin


If you have read any of my prior articles you know that the blockchain enables my company, Bitwage, to process international payroll in minutes instead of the days required by the current banking system. The blockchain technology that provides the foundation of Bitcoin, is much more than just a form of digital money. The disruption blockchains bring to the information technology field are as momentous as the effect that PC networks and relational databases had on the mainframe market a generation ago.

But that isn’t the only thing that is being disrupted. Last week I came across an education nonprofit, Code To Inspire, and they have a compelling use case of their own which is going to empower women in Afghanistan.

The country is roughly the same size and population as Texas, but the average altitude of the non-desert regions is about 6,000′, which is similar to Colorado. The largest mountain, Noshaq, is nearly two miles taller than Colorado’s Mount Elbert. This high, arid, permanent frontier has islands of human occupation separated by forbidding terrain. Wired internet isn’t common but GSM phone coverage reaches 89{1e5b5b8455e4fd0a501a0ba32c7b6cedbd9d99491662a4a0878218331661888d} of the population.

Read more at Forbes by Jonathan Chester 

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