29th December 2017
From Córdoba to Coolest Projects
What a difference a year makes. In 2016, I embarked on a journey of a lifetime, working remotely for CoderDojo across 4 continents and meeting lots of our awesome volunteers while on the road.
In June, I returned to Dublin full-time after an extremely rewarding four months in Latin America where I was able to attend the opening of the first CoderDojo in Santiago, Chile, speak to over 500 girls and youth leaders about the CoderDojo movement and the CoderDojo Girls Initiative at Ingeniosas 2017, and of course work towards joining forces with the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
— Programa Ingeniosas (@Ingeniosas_cl) April 26, 2017
In March, it was a pleasure to spend one month in Córdoba, Argentina, which is the home of four CoderDojo clubs! There I met Aldana, a cool CoderDojo Ninja. Aldana is 15 and when I first attended the Córdoba Dojo she had started to research a new project with some other CoderDojo Ninjas in her Dojo which centred around promoting healthy eating and nutrition. As my Spanish was, and still is, beginner at best, Aldana gave me an overview of her project in her second language, English, which was simply incredible.
Four months later, I was able to see the final product at the Coolest Projects Showcase in Dublin. Aldana and many of the Ninjas I had met in Cordoba had spent 2 days travelling to Dublin from Argentina and wowed the 13,000 people in attendance at the event with their projects.
This year Coolest Projects had young people attend from 17 countries including Argentina, Australia, and the US! Having young people travel all over the world from the CoderDojo community to present at Coolest Projects in 2017 made the day truly special for me.
A new challenge
In 2018, I will be embarking on a new challenge within CoderDojo, taking on the role of General Manager, Outreach and Engagement. In the past 3 years I have met and been inspired by our community time after time. In this new role I want to review how we can better engage and sustain Dojos in the movement going forward. I will also be leading on both Coolest Projects and the CoderDojo Girls initiative’s in 2018, and can’t wait to share our plans with you on these projects in the New Year!
As we head into the New Year, I want to thank all the volunteers who have contributed to the movement in any way this year but in particular to the volunteers who opened up their Dojo to me in 2017, both on the road and at home, and of course the hardest working volunteers in Dublin, the Coolest Projects Implementation team who built the best Coolest Projects Exhibition yet!