More than 85,000 young people from 700 cities participating in more than 1,700 events – all of that within Meet and Code initiative funded by SAP company. As part of the EU Code Week, Meet and Code empowers young people with digital skills by supporting hundreds of coding events organized by nonprofits from more than 20 European countries.
The initiative aims to introduce children and young people between the ages of 8 and 24 to the world of technology and coding. In the context of digital literacy, events such as workshops, hackathons or challenges are designed to show young people, how much fun coding can be and how it can help bring ideas to life.
Starting from 2017, each year nonprofits from more than 20 European countries can apply for a grant of up to 500 Euro to organize one of such events during the EU Code Week. If their idea is approved by the local TechSoup Europe network partner coordinating the initiative in the respective country, it receives financial support. Additionally, the event can participate in Meet and Code Award that determines and awards the most creative and innovative events in categories aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
“Coding and programming is the future, and it is our job to equip children and young people of these skills regardless of their social status.” – says Maja Bostič from Zavod MISSS, TechSoup Europe partner coordinating the initiative in Slovenia.
Just in 2018, Meet and Code reached more than 50,000 children and youth from 513 cities located in 22 European countries, with almost every fourth event taking place in a rural area or in a small town. Nonprofits, as event organizers, admit that without the funding 90 percent of the events would not have taken place or would be organized on a much smaller scale.
The majority of participants of Meet and Code events came into contact with programming for the first time in their lives.
“I thought that coding is something difficult. Here I did not even notice that I’m coding. It’s just fun.” – said one of the event participants.
“It’s an opportunity to launch a new direction in our everyday activity with some basic funding which helps us to take risks and try something new.” – shared organizers of “Labyrinth of programmers” event run by the Charitable Foundation “The Path” from Russia.
The project was initiated by SAP company and is coordinated by the charitable limited company Haus des Stiftens gGmbH and TechSoup Europe Partners. Meet and Code is a great example of cross-sector cooperation between network partners and our sponsor.