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Learn More About Hasina’s Coding Journey at Code to Inspire

Today we would like to introduce you to one of talented students at CTI as a thank you for all we have raised funds over these past few weeks. She is one of the many young women who benefit from your continued support.

In addition we would like to thank fast company and TakePart video for coming to our school and sharing our story. At the end of the interview we have put links to both these stories.

  • About myself and my family:

Name: Hasina

Hometown:Herat, Afghanistan

Age:20

  • About my family:

My father is an architect. My mother teaches in a high school in Herat city. I have one brother and two sisters. My brother works in the international scholarship market through the internet. My sister is licentiate of the biology department.

  • What do you hope to accomplish by attending CTI?

I attend the CTI center, because it is the best opportunity for improving my coding skills and carry out my ideas.

  • What do you want to accomplish with coding?

In my opinion coding is the best starting point for improving new technology in Afghanistan. I want prove to world that Afghan girls are not afraid of impediments and we can be some of the best creators and most powerful programmers. I think we can solve the problems and deficiency of our society by using technology and coding.

  • Why did you join CTI?

Before I started coding I had many ambitions that I thought would be impossible to turn into reality. But when I entered the world of virtualization and coding, it helped me to understand I could achieve a great deal with the vast world of technology. My dreams are starting to become reality. I found the areas of study  very limited at university especially if you want to really implement ideas.The majority of classes are too based theory. Through Code to Inspire, I have the chance to work in a place that values my thoughts and learning skills. I can use my coding skills to create something concrete.

  • What Coding skills have you learned so far?

I have learned how develop 2D game and different applications for different computers and mobile platform by unity game engine. Also l have also learned C# programming.

  • What do your family and friends think about CTI?

My parents and friends are very proud of me. They believe that through the skills I have learned at CTI I will be able to reach my goals. They are also proud that I continue to help my friends and stay positive. My parents say that when I am around  I lift everyone’s spirits.

Here is the link to the fabulous story about Code to Inspire by Adele Peters at Fast Company.

Watch this video to see how Code to Inspire is impacting its students and Afghanistan.

Thank you for #givingtuesday

#GivingTuesday was a great success. All the donations, no matter how small, help our organization and help Code to Inspire’s students gain independence and education. Please continue to donate and share our message on social media. Every share and every penny counts!

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We also had our first Annual Graduation Ceremony in New York on the 18th of November. So many people came to voice their support. Through the ticket sales alone we are able to pay for another year of education for providing Internet connection and keep our the coding school safe and warm during the winter time. For those of you who were not able to attend or would like to relive the fun, here are some photos. We hope to see you there next year!

We would like to thank the Afghan Ambassador, Hamdullah Mohib for coming to our event. 

Thanks to everyone who donated items to the silent auction.  Thank you again for your continued support!

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Support Code to Inspire This #GivingTuesday

Today is a day when you can make a big impact on the lives of our students in Afghanistan who are overcoming social, cultural, and security barriers to be empowered through technology, become financially independent and raise their voices.

We aim to enable our and empower our female students to learn how to code and be difference makers in their community. Our female students represent the bright future of Afghanistan.

With your help,we’ll raise funds to educate, inspire, and empower young women of Afghanistan to pursue their dreams in the technology field and to be a role models for the next generation.

How you can be part of it? Here are a few simple ideas:

  • Consider making a donation to Code to Inspire. Donate here.
  • Join us for volunteer activities
  • Help us get the word out on social media by using our fundraiser flyer
  • Using @CodeToInspire Twitter handler and the hashtag #AfghanGirlsCode #GivingTuesday
  • Take photos demonstrating why you love our organization and post on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
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#WOMENCRUSHWEDNESDAY & An Interview with One of Our Female Mentors

#WOMENCRUSHWEDNESDAY & An Interview with One of Our Female Mentors

Today we are one week and two days out from our first annual graduation ceremony and fundraiser! Good news! There is still time to sign up and invite friends and family to this meaningful event.

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We also had the privilege of interviewing one of our female mentors, Nahid Ahmadi to learn more about her experience, goals and why she is investing in the lives and future of our students at Code to Inspire.

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What female leaders / tech leaders do you look up to? 

As today there are many successful women in the world. Everyone has their own features and ideas and achievements. I respect to all of them, but I am also trying to improve my own way.

What inspires you in life?

As I have knowledge of coding, I am able to teach other girls and help them improve their skills to change their life for the better. This inspires me in my life. 

When you were a little girl, what did you dream to accomplish and be one day? 

When I was a little girl in that time for females, we were not allowed to study, but my parents enrolled me in a home school and worked hard so I could continue my education. In that time I had a dream to improve my education and through this way become an educated and successful female so I could help my family and other women who need help.

How did you first get involved in Code to Inspire? 

After completing my graduation from university, one of my university teachers suggested I work at Code To Inspire as a mentor. This was a great opportunity for me to improve my skills and to learn and inspire other females in terms of coding to implement their ideas and change their lives.

What are your future goals and where would you like to see CTI in the next 1-5 years? 

In Afghanistan there is still a lack of security and women women are not able to study and improve their knowledge and work to be able to earn an income as much as they should be able to. CTI is a good environment and safe for Afghan women and all of us to work relentlessly to improve our skills in the part of web development, game development and mobile app development with the goal to become successful tech leaders in near future, to start working, to earn an income, and to help others and our families as well as creating gender equality.

What is some insight you can provide about how innovative and new the CTI concept is for Afghanistan? 

As we know coding is a real career choice which can improve our country in the part of technology, and Code To Inspire is the first coding school in Afghanistan for Afghan girls to take part in solving the country’s challenges and to participate in the local and global economy.

What excites you the most about technology and computer coding? 

It excites me when I solve problems through coding or creating an app that provides options for people to resolve their needs using it from each point of the world. This provides a feeling of intellectual satisfaction for me.

ICYMI: Code to Inspire was featured in the Guardian! Check out this article.

Thank you again for your support so we can enable women like Nahid achieve their dreams and empower other women!

#ThrowbackThursday: Our First Day at School

November marks our first graduating class and our one-year anniversary.

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We could not be prouder of our students and all they have accomplished and learned in the past year.

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That’s why we’re celebrating them at our graduation ceremony at Rise New York on Friday, November 18.

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Join us for an evening with the Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Hamdullah Mohib, and hear his remarks! Additionally, we’ll have an auction with exciting prizes like a hand-signed original LeRoy Neiman.  We will also hear from our Founder, Fereshteh, as well.

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International Day of the Girl & an Interview with One of our Mentors

 

Today, October 11, we’re celebrating the International Day of the Girl.

International Day of the Girl was founded by the United Nations to raise awareness (and enthusiasm!) for girls all over the world to lead better lives and reach their full potential. No one understands the importance of that better than one of our very own mentors, Azita Azimi. Read on for our interview with her!

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

What female leader/tech leader do you look up to?

There are so many successful female leaders in the world that I follow, but mostly I try to forge my own path.

What inspires you in life?

My goals and aspirations inspire me to work hard, and encourage my loved ones to do so as well.

When you were a little girl, what did you dream to accomplish and be one day?

I wanted to be my mother. Wars and general lack of security in Afghanistan left her uneducated, which motivated her to ensure that her children received a proper education. That really inspired me to pursue my education and employable skills.

Beside that, I want to be successful – no matter what field: teaching, law, engineering, computer science.

How did you first get involved in Code to Inspire?

I was delighted when I learned about CTI because it’s such an amazing chance for girls to learn to program and code. A few months later, one of my professors suggested that I join CTI as a mentor to enable other girls to achieve their dreams.

What are your future goals and where would you like to see CTI in the next 1-5 years?

All of us at CTI are working towards creating a safe community where women have the skills to become programmers to work on projects like web development, game development or mobile application development. That way, they can earn their own money and enjoy their own careers.

Besides that, I need to prove to men that women are just as qualified coders as they are.

What is some insight you can provide about how innovative and new the CTI concept is for Afghanistan?

Technology is so important for any country, superpowers included, to achieve and improve. In Afghanistan, more access to technology only serves to better the lives of its people for generations to come.

What excites you the most about technology and computer coding?

Developing apps. When I can develop my own app and watch as it functions perfectly, I really can’t describe that moment. It feels like victory.

Would you like to see more girls empowered through Azita’s example? Support Code to Inspire today http://codetoinspire.org/donate/

Happy World Teachers Day!

Today marks World Teachers Day and Code to Inspire wants to give a shout out to all teachers around the world!

Was there a teacher who left a lasting impact on you? Perhaps you are an educator yourself! What would a world without solid teachers look like! We cannot even imagine.

We at Code to Inspire are grateful for our team of mentors who go above and beyond in providing instruction and empowering our female students. You can learn more about our mentors here: http://codetoinspire.org/team/

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Behind every good teacher is not just head knowledge or subject matter expertise but a passion to make a difference in the lives of their students and empower their students to do the same.

As our mentor, Aalem says, With the hope to break down the barriers that stand between women and technology in Afghanistan, we put our efforts to inspire afghan girls to code and to prove that there should be no gender gap in the field of technology.”  

Our Founder and CEO, Fereshteh Forough, is a former teacher we are honoring today! In fact, today Fereshteh received the Citris Athena Award!

This #WorldTeacherDay we are thankful for donors who have helped us get to the point of soon graduating our first group of students through providing funding for our exceptional mentors!

Want to help us expand and bring on additional mentors and students? Donate today!

http://codetoinspire.org/donate/

5 Reasons You Should Vote (with your Dollar) for Code to Inspire

Monday night’s presidential debate got us here at Code to Inspire thinking about how change is made on the ground for people who need it. Here is how we’re making those changes:
1. We’re educating some of the 85% of Afghan women who would not otherwise receive an education, especially in STEM
2. Teaching these women and young girls to code will help them increase the alarmingly low percent of women in the workforce in Afghanistan – 15%
3. We provide not just an education, but Internet access to Afghan girls who would not otherwise be able to access the Internet, and therefore, the world
4. The more women who learn to code, the more jobs we can create in Afghanistan
5. In addition to an education and internet access, we create a safe place to these women to learn – something most people take for granted
Show your support and donate today!

Code to Inspire Filled Week

 

With the U.N. in town, we’ve been very busy here at Code to Inspire this week!

 

We kicked it off with a panel at the Blouin Creative Leadership Summit where Fereshteh spoke on a panel with the one and only Nicholas Kristoff.

Fereshteh and Nicholas

 

It was such a thrill to meet him in the flesh and discuss the corresponding and upward trend of women’s empowerment and economic development.

 

If that wasn’t enough to inspire us, Google featured our partner, Made with Code, on their homepage and included us on their blog today. More than that, Google’s Made with Code will promote our work at the roaringly popular Global Citizens Festival. They put together a short film which will debut this weekend at the Festival.

 

Watch Fereshteh shine in this video with other women leaders in tech!

 

 

We’re so exhilarated from all this momentum that we’re pushing our new GoFundMe campaign to raise $5,000. Donate today!

 

https://www.gofundme.com/CodeToInspire

 

Back to School and GoFundMe Campaign

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It is back to school time for most kids across the US, but let’s be honest… how many kids really take going back to school for granted to the point of complaining that summer is over? Most. For many kids, school is a “have to” and extracurricular learning activities like sports, music and coding programs are more of a “need to for a good future resume.” It’s mainstream and pretty much expected in the US for kids to complete primary and secondary education, continue onto college for a higher education and also supplement with extracurricular activities.

Let’s take a look at Afghanistan, though. During the destructive rule of the Taliban, girls were forbidden from entering the classroom. In 2001, at the time of the fall of the Taliban, there were no females students in school in Afghanistan. Over the past 15 years, progress has been made with now over 3.6 million girls in school in Afghanistan.

If we take a look at higher education and the work force in Afghanistan, greater than 50% of female business owners in Afghanistan list computer, accounting or project management as skills they would like to improve. In light of years of girls being prohibited from formal and higher education, progress has been made.

Code to Inspire formed in 2015 to step in and provide a safe place for high school aged girls in Herat to receive additional education and begin to not just learn but dream and be courageous leaders in their communities for entrepreneurship and change.

What a wake up call to most students in the US who again say, “why is summer ending?” Our students CTI are excited for each chance to attend school and even go above and beyond with coding school. This #womencrushwednesday we give a shoutout to our female students and mentors who are taking steps to be trailblazers and get educated to further enable others. Rather than complain about school, these girls want to learn more!

Word to the wise this Wednesday – never take education for granted. It’s a unique opportunity some have dreamed of for a long while.

Code to Inspire just launched its first GoFundMe Campaign. You can check it out here and take the time this back to school season to support girls who are desperate to learn in Afghanistan.

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