Published: Tue, 01 December 2015
MEP for Ireland South and leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament, Seán Kelly, has today launched the CoderDojo Ambassador Initiative, a new informal grouping of MEPs that aims to promote computer coding skills to young people around Europe, in cooperation with the Cork-based initiative, CoderDojo.
Speaking at the kick-off meeting he organised in the European Parliament in Brussels today, the Kerry MEP noted the importance of having cross-EU support for the development of computer skills.
“I’m delighted to launch this new group today and am confident that it will ensure the CoderDojo initiative continues to grow across all 28 EU Member States and beyond by sharing ideas, experiences and best practices. We aim to extend the reach of the Initiative, while at the same time bringing us all closer together as one EU-wide Initiative.”
“We have a great group of MEPs here today and I’m confident that together we will take CoderDojo to the next level.”
The new group aims to put in place an MEP Ambassador for CoderDojo in each EU Member State. Ambassadors from Bulgaria (Eva Paunova MEP), Czech Republic (Ludek Niedermayer MEP), Lithuania (Antanas Guoga MEP), Malta (Roberta Metsola MEP), Poland (Michel Boni MEP) and Slovenia (Milan Zver MEP) have already been confirmed, with more to follow in the coming months. Joining the meeting today were Ms. Mary Moloney, CEO Coder Dojo and Ms. Giustina Mizzoni, Development Coder Dojo.
CoderDojo began in 2011 with the launch of the first free community coding club (Dojo) for young people in Cork and within one year it had spread across the island of Ireland to the UK and then the USA. Today there are over 850 free and active clubs in 62 countries.
Mr. Kelly has been an active supporter from the offset and has helped to publicise the initiative in his role as MEP. He referred to the success enjoyed by CoderDojo up to now as being “phenomenal”.
“When I began working on Coder Dojo a number of years ago, I could not have imagined it would reach the heights it has. We now have 199 Dojos in Ireland, 121 in the UK, 127 in Italy – the list goes on. The initiative I have started today will go a long way towards increasing the number of Dojos across Europe and give young people a greater chance to learn these increasingly vital skills.”
“Today’s launch is just the beginning. I will continue to promote CoderDojo in the European Parliament and encourage more and more MEPs to come on board as Ambassadors. We’ve already assembled an influential group and we’ll use this influence to ensure CoderDojo gets the boost it deserves”, he concluded.