Champion stories: Joel starts a Dojo for refugees in Kampala, Uganda

Meet Mr. Joel Bayubasire. Joel is a Congolese refugee living in Kampala, the capital city of the republic of Uganda. He’s currently carrying out his Philosophy Doctorate (PhD) training and research activities in Economy, at Madison International Institute & Business School. Recently he started his own Dojo in Kampala, Uganda and he wanted to share his story with the global CoderDojo community:

Hi my name is Joel, I am a well-experienced social entrepreneur from the town of Bukavu – part of the Great Lakes region hardest hit by civil and community wars and the ensuing unrest which has plagued the Democratic Republic of Congo for more than a decade. As a result, hundreds of individuals and families are still fleeing it towards the republic of Uganda where they hope to find greater safety, freedom and happiness. Unfortunately, upon their arrival, they are faced with new challenges – extreme poverty, unemployment and homelessness. Sending children to school or feeding a family is a very difficult for refugee households in Kampala. CoderDojo is a good solution for this.

My primary focus is to help these youth create new opportunities so they can have an equal chance to compete in today’s global knowledge based economy. I have initiated and lead a variety of community development programs, namely the Refugee Friends Care (Uganda) and YES DRC – The Jeunes Entrepreneurs Foundation and now I have added championing CoderDojo to that list.

At our Dojo in Kampala, Uganda @ Refugee Friend Care, refugee children (7-17) learn how to create video games, movies, apps mobile, drawings, cartoons, responsive websites, and other lots of interesting things online or offline with Scratch, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, WordPress and AppInventor.

We hosted our first session this April and are training eight (8) talented urban refugee children aged 7 – 16 to be youth mentors for their peers. Our aim is to teach coding to younger people through CoderDojo in order to empower them to develop their digital skills!

I believe that the mastery of computer coding allows talented young people to thrive professionally and enables them to not only be consumers, but, creators of the interconnected world of today!

Learn more about supporting young people in your area by starting your own Dojo here.


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