In Conversation With Hackathon Winner, Hayedah Rasouli

Read on to learn about how Hayedah is uses coding as a tool to both express herself and save homeless children!

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

CTI: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us! Tell us about yourself.

HR:  I am 21 years old, I have studied web design for 2 years at Code to Inspire, and I studied English language at literature faculty of Herat University. I also studied ICDL at USWDP.

CTI:  How did you find out about code to inspire? Tell us about your journey to CTI, how do you compare yourself now from the very first day you joined CTI?

HR: I found out about Code To Inspire from one of our family friends. When I heard about it, I thought we would learn about computer programs like Microsoft Suite. I didn’t have the frame of reference to understand what we even would study!

My sister and I came to the school, and on the first day we were shocked by what we saw and learned.

I will never forget how, on the first day, our teacher said, “HTML is like the foundation of a house, and CSS is how you design your house.” That really motivated me, but I was overwhelmed. How could I learn to do all that? Then, I realized the things I could do with coding. It was beyond all of my wildest dreams to be honest. I could finally show the world my point of view, all of my wishes, what I’m made of.

When I look back now at my first day at Code to Inspire, I think it’s safe to say it’s the best thing that happened in my life. I am so happy that I have an outlet through coding and web design to express myself.

CTI: What programming languages or framework you have learned so far?

HR:  We have studied HTML, CSS, Javascript, jQuery, Bootstrap framework, and now we are studying WordPress. I feel more powerful now than I did on my first days of school, and I am eager to become a Professional Front-end Web developer in future. I have so many ideas to help my people solve their problems by coding! I want to share their strengths and weaknesses to the world to have a better country and people!

CTI:  Your group is one of the winners of our March 2017 Hackathon in Herat, tell us about your project and what issue it is addressing?

HR: We wanted to help the homeless children in Afghanistan. it is a very complex problem that we face today as our country has many orphans, and there’s no clear solution. While we know it’s not something we alone can solve today or next week or in five weeks, we wanted to do something to address it. Someone has to!  So I set out three different solutions

  • Through coding, I can raise awareness of this issue and create a platform where Afghans and people around the world can donate money every month to the orphans.
  • Leverage the power and ubiquity of smartphones, and create an app where it’s easy to send the homeless children money.
  • Collect data on which parts of the city need the most help, and mobilize volunteers to go and facilitate donations.

I wanted to create three-pronged approach, so that there’s an option for everyone to get involved.  Our goal, ultimately, would be to raise enough money to create a safe shelter for these children where they have access to school, sports, and food and ultimately find a better life for themselves. If we’re able to help these children, Afghanistan’s next generation, a lot of other issues will settle too like illiteracy and lack of education.

CTI: What is your message to people around the world as a girl in Afghanistan who is a coder?

HR: My message as an Afghan coder girl is that women can do and change any thing that they want and they each other’s strongest supporters. They just need to achieve their rights – rights that have been taken from them. We need more schools like Code to Inspire so that more people will appreciate and support our progress.

Fereshteh and our teachers are making this possible! I really want people to know though that girls who code can solve problems well beyond just herself: she can help her entire society.

CTI:  Tell as the fun fact about yourself

HR: Everything I do, I do to help impoverished Afghans. I have big dreams, and I want to create charities all over the world – beyond just Afghan orphans. I want to save orphans all over the world.

 

Meet Our Hackathon Winners, Morsal Fakoori and Bustan Hashemi!

Today, we’re speaking with two of our hackathon winners. Together, they developed a program to help fundraise for the homeless in their community. Read on to learn more about their experience and their work at CTI.

  1. Tell us about yourself.

Hi I am Morsal Fakoori. I am 18 years old and graduated from 12th grade in 2016. I am interested in Dental, Medical, and Computer Science. I have many goals in each field.

  1. Tell us about what brought you to CTI and how it’s changed you.

Code to Inspire (CTI) is one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve achieved so much as a result of the program.  It’s the best place for girls to improve their coding skills. I really love CTI because my coding has improved so much while I’ve been enrolled.

  1. What programming languages or framework you have learned so far?

Before CTI, I knew HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Bootstrap, JQuery and now I am learning WordPress and Graphic.

  1. Your group is one of the winners of our March 2017 Hackathon in Herat. Congratulations! Tell us about your project and what issue it aims to address.

Our group is so lucky to be a Hackathon winner. In our project, we tried to help those in need, specifically children and orphans who live in poverty. We wanted to use our coding to find solutions to some of their problems.

  1. Why you think learning to code is important for women in Afghanistan?

It’s difficult for women and girls to find work in Afghanistan, so coding is a good option because it’s possible to work from home and still earn money.

  1. What is your message to people around the world as a girl in Afghanistan who is a coder?

Let’s start a revolution through coding and show the world that girls can code and develop amazing apps and websites!

  1. What else do you want us to know about you?

 

I think very deeply about every issue in my life, and I work really hard to achieve every goal I set for myself. I’m funny and I have a ton of dreams and ambitions that I intend to reach.

 

  1. Tell us about yourself.

This is Bustan Hashemi, I am 18 years old and I am in 12th grade at Goharshad High School. I was born in Turkmenistan in 1999. I can speak in Dari, Turkish, and English.  

  1. Tell us about what brought you to CTI and how it’s changed you.

Attending to CTI has changed my life completely for the better. I never even thought that one day I would be able to code.

  1. What programming languages or framework you have learned so far?

So far, we have learned some easy and interesting ones such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JQuery, Bootstrap and now WordPress.

  1. Your group is one of the winners of our March 2017 Hackathon in Herat. Congratulations! Tell us about your project and what issue it aims to address.

We wanted to help orphans and children in poverty. It’s become a serious problem in our community. The website we developed lets us collect money and help and support these children.

  1. Why you think learning to code is important for women in Afghanistan?

Learning to code in Afghanistan is very important because women and girls can learn and improve the country and solve our society’s problems.

  1. What is your message to people around the world as a girl in Afghanistan who is a coder?

We girls have the ability and capacity to learn code and develop applications so please trust us ☺

  1.  What else do you want us to know about you?

I am  impatient and quiet.

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