A new year is upon us. When we look back to the beginning of 2011 for Appropriate IT, I remember feeling like we were wishing upon a star. We had an audacious idea of what we wanted to achieve – enable under-privileged young women become full participants in the global economy. What was not clear was how we will achieve this goal. What a difference a year can make.
It is with much fanfare (and a little exhaustion from all that work) that we are proud to announce our new initiative – Appropriate IT Development Academy. The Academy (a.k.a AIDA) creates learning opportunities in software development for disadvantaged youth, combining it with employment skills such as team work, communication, and lifelong learning as well as life skills including empathy, facing change, and causing change.
The concept and sample curriculum were pilot tested in the first Development Academy in October in India. 17 young women gathered in RVS College of Engineering, Coimbatore for an intensive course on website development with Wordpress (see below for more). We look forward to the second Academy in May 2012, where mobile and app development courses join the roster alongside website development.
Buoyed by our experience, we have already launched an ambitious plan for the future. In 10 years, Appropriate IT Development Academy will grow to encompass 100 locally-owned training centers across India managed by 200 women entrepreneurs and will impact the lives of thousands of youth.
The first steps of the 10 year plan are already in the works. Our first training center (a physical location...yay! yikes!!) will open in Coimbatore in 2012. An exciting advisory board is shaping up while conversations with partners and investors are also making progress (check out Appropriate IT's website for upcoming announcements).
While wishing upon a star has helped, it would not have been possible to come this far without the wishes and support of many, like you, who have shared parts of this journey with us. So, thank you for the learning, experience, support, friendship, and fun.
Here is wishing you peace, joy, and prosperity in this New Year. And, more importantly, may we all find more stars to wish upon...
Founder & CEO