Looking back on 2018 – A year in review

It doesn’t quite feel like twelve months have passed since I wrote my 2017 end-of-year blog. Like all years I’ve been involved in CoderDojo, 2018 has been a year of much change and growth across our movement. First things first: we welcomed 660 new Dojos to the community. Now, thanks to the combined efforts of our volunteers, the movement is reaching more than 60000 young people in 110 countries.

 

Some personal highlights

One of my highlights of the year was my visit the Dungarvan Dojo for their fifth birthday celebration in February. Meeting the champions Nora, Eoghan, and all the lead organisers who continue to work tirelessly to create opportunities for the youth in their community really inspired and motivated me. Likewise, hearing how Chinedum Ugorji travelled all the way from Nigeria to attend DojoCon in Kilkenny, Ireland, demonstrates the enormous commitment and passion that CoderDojo volunteers have.

We got things done for volunteers

Starting to give your time to volunteer for a cause you care about is often a significant personal decision. Deciding to continue volunteering week on week, month on month, is nothing short of admirable. That’s why it’s always been my primary goal to ensure that we equip all volunteers globally with the right tools, supports, and knowledge to keep their clubs running year after year as welcoming spaces for new and returning young people. This year we focused on several initiatives to make the experience of volunteers significantly better:

  • We moved our learning resources to an overdue new projects website, providing access to more than 200 educational projects covering multiple technologies
  • To give better support to our volunteers and youth who are not native English speakers, we made translation of our resources a priority
  • We also improved the online experience for both volunteers and parents trying to find a local club

Volunteers got awesome things done!

The achievement I am probably most proud of is that we are beginning to see the impact of the CoderDojo Girls Initiative. Preliminary results from the 2018 annual survey (full results will be published in the new year!) show that 33% of attendees are girls — an increase of 4% from this time last year. Thank you to all the volunteers in the community who are committed to promoting gender equality in their Dojos!

Community-led events continue to play a significant role in the movement, and to help you run more of them, we released a new handbook and suite of support tools in October for community members wishing to run regional DojoCons to connect their communities. In Bulgaria, Belgium, and Milan, volunteers came together to organise regional Coolest Projects, and I’m looking forward seeing many more of these events in 2019.

2019 is going to be great

As we enter the CoderDojo movement’s eighth year, I am faced with a new personal experience: towards the end of January, I’ll be going on maternity leave until autumn. Rosa, our General Manager who has been with the Foundation since autumn 2014, will lead the CoderDojo team in my absence. The team has big plans for next year, and I’m excited for what 2019 will bring for all of us in the CoderDojo community!

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Julie Ball says

Hi I have contacted you before. I am the mother of an autistic boy (11) who is struggling to find any groups for computer skills. his only passion. I have decided to set up a computer club on a Saturday morning for him and offer to others to help socially and develop his coding skills. I do need to hire the venues so will need to charge can I set up a cider dojo group but also charge. Julie Ball x

Amy O'Meara says

Hi Julie,

Thanks for posting!

It’s great that you are planning to set up a coding club in your local community to support your son and his peers. Making friends and having fun with code is what we are passionate about too.

CoderDojo is about providing opportunities to young people free of charge, so unfortunately you will not be able to charge a fee. It might be worth approaching other local venues that could offer you a space for free, for example libraries and community centres. If you still have to pay a venue fee, it is acceptable to engage in some light fundraising for your Dojo, provided that nobody feels under pressure to contribute if they are unable to. You can find more information on fundraising here: https://help.coderdojo.com/hc/en-us/sections/360000044946-Fundraising-for-your-Dojo

If you’d like to reach out to me directly at [email protected] I’d be happy to answer any further questions you may have :)

Amy

Patrick Hurley says

Dear Giustina,
First let me wish you a stress free delivery of a fine healthy baby !

I'm delighted to read that you visited the Dungarvan Dojo. Tell me, other than the Dojo at WIT, has any
other dojo been started in Waterford city ? I was unsuccessful in trying to set up a Dojo in Mount Sion
school, which is centrally located in the city.

Here's wishing the movement every success in 2019

Amy O'Meara says

Hi Patrick,

Thanks for the well wishes!

You can see an overview of Dojos in the Waterford area here: https://zen.coderdojo.com/find?q=waterford&p=1

Would you still be interested in setting up a Dojo in Waterford City? If you’d like to pop us an email at [email protected] I’d be happy to walk through the process with you and answer more questions in depth :)

Best wishes and happy new year,

Amy

mark winstone says

Do you have details of projects in the Birmingham area, please?
mark winstone

Sharon McCarthy says

Hi, could you tell me where and when is your nearest class to Cobh?
Any info on how to sign up also would be great.... thanks

Amy O'Meara says

Hi Sharon,

Thank you for your interest in CoderDojo!

You can see an overview of Dojos near Cobh here: https://zen.coderdojo.com/find?q=Cobh&p=1

Please reach out to us if you have any questions :)

Amy

Amy O'Meara says

Hi Mark,

Thanks for getting in touch!

You can see an overview of Dojos in the Birmingham area here: https://zen.coderdojo.com/find?q=Birmingham&p=1

Please let us know if you have any questions :)

Amy