Pictured (from left): Milar Zver (Slovenia, EPP), Mary Molony (CEO, Coder Dojo), Seán Kelly (Ireland, EPP), Roberta Metsola (Malta, EPP), Ludek Niedermayer (Czech republic, EPP), Antanas Guoga (Lithania, ALDE)

MEPs to be European ambassadors for CoderDojo

1 Dec 2015

To boost the uptake of coding among the children of Europe, a number of MEPs have created an informal grouping to act as ambassadors for CoderDojo, the coding movement created in Cork four years ago.

Seán Kelly, MEP for Ireland South, today (1 December) launched the CoderDojo Ambassador Initiative, a new informal grouping of MEPs that aims to promote computer coding skills to young people around Europe.

CoderDojo was started in Cork in 2011 by James Whelton and Bill Liao to create a place where kids can band together and learn how to code.

Through a network of volunteers and kids teaching other kids, there are now more than 850 dojos operating in 62 countries worldwide.

Within Europe alone, CoderDojo classes reach more than 25,000 students, and the organisation also runs the annual Coolest Projects Awards.

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.

Phenomenal success of CoderDojo

Kelly said he was confident that the CoderDojo Ambassadors Initiative at European Parliament 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.”

Kelly has been an active supporter of CoderCojo 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”.

Kelly said: “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,” said Kelly.

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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