tl;dr We have momentum, and have taught 5 teenagers web programming basics. They're starting to self-educate and debug on their own - close to an inflection point!
If you can help with the following, please get in touch:
- CSR or crowd-funding
- Computers for a local lab
- Teaching tech and startups in Sofia and Harare
The last few weeks have seen quite a bit of progress. The Five Roma teenagers I mentioned last time have been venturing into Sofia's city center to learn to code and meet startups!
When we first met them a few weeks ago, they explained how they were making a bit of money with their computer skills. When I offered to teach them either tech or tech business, they thought it'd make sense to get a tech foundation first. They then called me almost every day until I had found a place to teach them - at a local computer club. In five lessons, not only have they learned HTML, CSS and a bit of jQuery, but they're learning to debug and self-educate now. That's the key - to instill a sense that they can do this on their own, to be hackers rather learn to program.
It's some of the most difficult teaching I've done -the slower pace needed when teaching via translators, plus the slow internet and the fact that I'm competing for attention with their girlfriends on Facebook! :)
They've also gone to Betahaus, and met a bunch of different startups, and been co-taught by some local programmers and investors. They're starting to see their potential, though some still don't believe they'll ever be able to do a startup. Though, the idea of getting a programming job is universally appealing so that's good. Here are some pictures: https://www.facebook.com/villageacclerator/photos_stream
My big worry this week is how to keep the momentum, since I'll be travelling for a few months starting next week. I'll need to line-up a bunch of teachers when I'm gone. (So far, I've just asked for help on Facebook every week - it's quite ad-hoc.) Also, I need to find a way to get computers donated. The kids have to travel around an hour each way, and are often late, so a local lab will really help.
Until next time!
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