Three years ago today…
….. The CoderDojo Foundation didn’t exist! The movement however had been around for over a year without a formal structure behind it. The organic nature of the movement is a huge contributing factor to its initial success and growth. But without a formal entity there was no one to answer support queries, to guide new Champions, to verify Dojos, to provide a child protection framework, to give children and young people and their parents a centralised point to find their local Dojo, to manage partnerships, or facilitate high impact events.
….. Three years ago today there were 93 Dojos around the world, primarily in Ireland, the UK, Italy, Belgium and North America. Now there are more than 880 Dojos spread across Europe and further afield in Argentina, Australia, Madagascar and Cameroon!
…. Three years ago today I had never been to a live Dojo. Now I have been to countless Dojos and participated in pop up Dojos in interesting and unique locations from the Irish Houses of Parliament, to the EU Parliament and right in the middle of the Web Summit.! I’ve Co-Championed the Docklands Dojo, and am now intimately familiar with the ‘pre Dojo panic’ & the ‘post Dojo relief’!
…. Three years ago today the CoderDojo Coolest Projects had held one event with 19 projects demoed by kids from primarily Dublin Dojos. Now, we are taking over three halls in the RDS and expecting in excess of 800 projects to be demoed by 1,000 CoderDojo ninjas, from Dojos all across Europe!
….Three years ago today, the Ada Awards initiative had ran once. Today, the past two consecutive winners of the Digital Girl of the Year Award have been outstanding CoderDojo Girls, Lauren Boyle (2014) and Niamh Scanlon (2015). Today, Niamh Scanlon even got to meet Will.i.Am and Marc Benioff at Davos.
Fundamentally, CoderDojo has achieved rapid growth globally, because there is a need to expose children and young people to the art of coding, in organic, volunteer led dojos. At the heart of the CoderDojo movement is its connected and passionate community. This community is the lifeline behind the movement, striving to create opportunities for young people to learn how to code and be creative, while also having fun, making friends, learning new skills and challenging themselves. Witnessing the transformative journey a child experiences through a Dojo is inspiring.
Three years is a short time in an organization’s life. When I reflect on how much has changed it makes me incredibly excited, hugely optimistic and a little nervous about what’s to come in the next three years! Being part of this incredible movement is and continues to be an absolute privilege.
If you want to get involved in your local Dojo visit zen.coderdojo.com and enter your location.
For more information about what’s involved in mentoring read our mentor guide here.