Published: Fri, 29 April 2016
Every child in Europe will soon have the chance to make computer code in their second language, according to Seán Kelly MEP, who hosts the CoderDojo Ambassador Initiative in the European Parliament in Brussels.
Founded by Mr Kelly last year, the CoderDojo Ambassador Initiative runs in the European Parliament in collaboration with the Cork-born community based programming movement, CoderDojo, and aims to put an MEP Ambassador in place for each EU Member State. The goal is for MEPs to get involved, raise awareness of the movement in their home countries, and help to set up new CoderDojo centres – Dojos – across the EU.
Although still in its infancy, the Ambassador initiative has already delivered results, says Kelly, leader of the Fine Gael delegation in the European Parliament:
“Since this initiative was launched last summer, we have seen CoderDojo make its way into numerous parts of Europe that it had not been previously. We have seen the interest and enthusiasm for the movement rise significantly in the countries in which an ambassador has been put in place and many new Dojos have sprung up.
“This is particularly true for Lithuania, where my friend and colleague, MEP Antanas Guoga, has done an enormous amount of work promoting CoderDojo which has led to the establishment of nine new Dojos since the initiative began – it has been a truly phenomenal effort from him,” the Ireland South MEP said.
This week’s meeting of the CoderDojo Ambassador Initiative was attended by MEP ambassadors Ludek Niedermayer (Czech Republic), Eva Paunova (Bulgaria), and MEP of the Year for Research and Innovation, Michal Boni (Poland).
It was also confirmed that CoderDojo will soon celebrate the opening of its 1,000th Dojo since its inception in 2011; 200 of these Dojos are based in Ireland. MEP Kelly congratulated the CoderDojo staff on their huge successes and hailed the significance of their achievements for young people today.
“To reach 1,000 dojos is a tremendous feat and as someone that has been involved since the beginning, I am proud to see how far CoderDojo has come. Not only have they brought a new pastime to children around the world, CoderDojo is equipping our young people with the skills they need to be successful in an increasingly digitalised world,” MEP Kelly continued.
“We must not stop now – the potential is just too great to rest on our laurels. Over the next few months I will be looking for more and more enthusiastic ambassadors to come on board. 2,000 dojos is our next milestone!”