Code to Freedom: One CTI mentor on the empowerment coding brings

Code to Freedom: One CTI mentor on the empowerment coding brings

Code to Inspire Mentor

I was born in Herat Afghanistan where I am originally from. I was brought up here. I finished school in 2008 and signed up for the University entrance exam which is the most difficult governmental exam to open the gate to the university.

Computer Science was my first choice for my major, and I was fortunate enough to earn my diploma in computer science in 2013.

After I was done with University, I got the opportunity to work in a public diplomacy program, World In Conversation run by Penn State University. The project was to hold video conversations between Afghan university students and American students as well as NATO cadets. First, I started working as a dialogue facilitator and then became the lead coordinator.

Fereshteh Forough was my university teacher. She was such an inspiring figure in the university and everyone counted on her. She was not only kind to me, but also to everyone in the class. Her kindness and inspiring attitude made her unitinimating, and we spoke often. As a result of our teacher/student relationship, our mutual respect for each other, and similar values, she brought me on the ground floor to Code to Inspire. While I was working, she emailed me about founding a school for girls who are interested in computer science. Her idea amazed me. It was such an honor to be helpful to someone who is so strong and determined. Her plans, determination, mission and vision inspired me to work with her.

As the project manager, I feel strong and determined. We started this entire project from nothing. I can remember painting the walls and appointing the classroom with tables and chairs. We were a completely new phenomenon to our society. And now we are well-known enough. There are a lot of students who know and love our work.

I believe in women’s empowerment, and never underestimate it. I think women should work in tech because they are more innovative than men. They have good ideas and dedicate more time to it. Coding is better and more comfortable for women in Afghanistan because they can code from the safety of their own home. Seeing my students’ passion for coding reinforces my belief that women were born for it. Because in Afghanistan women aren’t exactly allowed or do physical work or to work in the same place as men. adjust Afghanistan is improving, particularly in terms of technology, so women can and should make up half of the tech society.

I wouldn’t imagine young school girls could learn how to code because I couldn’t do it as an adult man, which is why I studied computer networking to escape software engineering. But now when I see them learning with passion and enthusiasm, I feel like participating in the coding classes as a student. Both our school students as well as university students have made tremendous developments in CTI school. They can design websites, develop video games and mobile Apps. This is incredible and not every man or woman can do it. They have experienced two Hackathons in 2016 and 2017 hosted by CTI. Students will be so excited to come to our school and begin coding that they won’t even eat! They’ll show up hungry to avoid wasting time eating or in in transit.They come directly to CTI after they are dismissed from their schools or universities.

I want to say to the world that people are weary of war and terror in Afghanistan. Our people are trying to make Afghanistan a better place, and education is crucial to that. We are studying in the dust, under the hot sun, and in the cold under the storm of freezing snow. We are a strong nation and we’re continuing to educate ourselves despite the fact that there is an ongoing war in our country. The Taliban burning our schools down doesn’t stop us.  And I am saying to the world that now our girls are coding to fight ignorance and build Afghanistan 2.0. This is not small. This will impact our entire society since tiny acts can have profound effects.

The fun fact about me is that I am afraid of coding myself. If I were to pick between collapsing a mountain and coding a simple website, I would definitely collapse the mountain in a day. This is true with most of my male friends. That is why I am more optimistic about females.


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In Conversation with Ehsan Ehrari: Computer Science Student & CTI Mentor Extraordinaire

This week, we spoke with one of male mentors about what motivated him to join Code to Inspire, his students’ progress, and the larger implications of the program for Afghanistan. Read on to learn more!

Tell us about yourself.

I’m 22 years old, and I study software engineering in the computer science department at Herat University.

What was the reason you joined CTI as a male mentor to teach girls coding?

I wanted to join a cause that helped the women of my country  solve many of the economy, security, and social problems they encounter every day.

Which programming languages and subjects are you teaching your students?

I am teach them how to make games with Unity Game Engine and the C# programming language.

As a man pursuing a career in tech, why do you think it is important for women in Afghanistan to learn to coding?

Due to security and familial restraints, women can’t go outside the city to work. I think through technology, they can make a good income much more easily than without it. Also learning programming skills can empower Afghan women to become financial independent.  

How do you see the progress of your students from the very first day until now?

I remember my first day at Code to Inspire some students didn’t have a lot of knowledge about programming, specially gaming. Now they can easily make their own games. They improve quickly and work very well.

If you want to share a message to people around the world about Afghanistan what it would be?

I hope that the skills I’m teaching these women will bring Afghanistan greater peace and security.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

Everyday I love coding more than the day before. Still, today I don’t love it as much I’ll love it tomorrow.

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We are pleased to announce that we are hiring! The Code to Inspire team is looking for a fundraising professional to help us expand our reach and carry out our 2017 goals. Maybe you are interested or know of a skilled fundraiser who should apply?

Check out the job description below and email any questions to  

We look forward to hearing from you!



Do you want to take part in a project aiming to educate and empower girls in Afghanistan? Do you want to help an emerging organization grow and scale? Code to Inspire is looking for a fundraising contractor to join the team and help us expand our reach and achieve our goals for 2017.

Our Mission and Background:

Code to Inspire (CTI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to teaching female students in Afghanistan how to code and find work online. Courses in coding, access to tech & professional resources, and job placement will enable CTI students to attain employment that is both financially rewarding and socially accessible. In areas where women’s travel can be heavily restricted, the ability to work remotely is a key tool in the push for equality. Access to the wealth of the global tech economy enables CTI students to add unique value to their households and their communities, and to challenge the traditional gender roles in Afghanistan with the best argument out there; results.

Description of Need:

We are looking for a fundraising professional to join Code to Inspire Are you interested in forwarding the work of Code to Inspire and helping us in reaching our fundraising goals for 2017? Do you have connections to global foundations and an understanding of the fundraising  process? Do you have a track record of success in fundraising for nonprofit organizations? If yes, we would love to hear from you! A plus – an understanding of Afghanistan and the non profit tech space.

This is a contract position and payment will be negotiated based on the candidate’s skill set and experience.

Description of Desired Outcomes:

At the end of the 2017, we would like to see the following concrete outcomes:

  • At least $40,000 in incremental fundraising
  • Significantly expanded donor network
  • Assist CTI’s Executive Director with establishing fundraising best practices.

Email a resume, cover letter and a reference to We look forward to hearing from you.


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