| Annual Reports *
Welcome to CodeBrave’s
2019 Impact Report
CodeBrave’s mission is to reduce the rates of young people being forced into exploitative work by giving them the skills, confidence and opportunity to obtain safe and decent work through tech education.
“The girls’ confidence increased after they started creating websites on WordPress and building varying business ideas… The course has been a great success at our school and we are hoping that we could implement other cycles at other middle schools. The skills delivered are what [they] need at this stage… the technical and entrepreneurial skill set that would increase their employability anywhere they go..”
– Lamia Masri, Kayany Foundation
In 2019, the Kayany Foundation asked CodeBrave to bring a specially-curated digital skills course to 20 girls aged 14-15 at the Malala School in Saadnayal. Our aim was to inspire girls to be confident in their professional abilities and design their own online businesses.
The girls had barely used a computer before and did not know what a ‘website’ meant. During the 4 week course, they developed their own business idea using design thinking principles, produced two websites on WordPress, a survey on GoogleForms and an Excel budget. They could send and receive emails, and presented a powerpoint business pitch to an audience and got feedback twice. Following that, the Kayany Foundation has invited CodeBrave back to develop a course for three of their schools in 2020.
Our Impact in 2019
Aside from equipping the students with necessary technical skills…, the program instils in them a sense of accomplishment and boosts their self confidence.
CODEBRAVE simply brings forth the best of both worlds: technical skills and personal development skills.
– Alaa Salam, Lamba Labs
LEARNING MATHS WITH A SKATEBOARDER TRAINING BOARD
At Sonbola Centre, 15 year olds Abed and Hassan designed an awesome ‘skateboarder training board’ by coding an accelerometer to give feedback through sounds and lights on how to balance (or not!) you are. At the same time, they learned about the < and > signs, and angles. They also learn about maths concepts like the x & y axis in order to program a game with their own characters and special effects.
The two boys were part of our project at UNHCR’s Sonbola Center in Anjar. Back then, UNHCR were concerned that their students weren’t engaging in their education or learning future-critical technology skills. Their students, aged 7-21, had only had around 6 months of education in their lives and some were illiterate. That’s why they invited CodeBrave to ignite their young people’s interest in STEM education and accelerate their reintegration in the public school system.
CodeBrave designed and delivered a Robotics course to 20 young people. By the end of the course, students had been introduced to key topics like circuits, inputs and outputs, logical thinking, sequencing and block-based coding. Teachers got students to think more deeply about how everyday machines are actually built and start designing their own robots to address different needs.
To deliver our projects, we partnered with…
Lebanon now faces a devastating economic crisis and high unemployment, making these young people even more vulnerable to poverty and exploitation. Moreover, Covid-19 has shown how digital illiteracy can exacerbate existing socioeconomic inequalities in a vicious cycle. In this context, tech education has the potential to give young people the skills to lift themselves out of hardship and secure online work in a growing sector.
CodeClub, an extra-curricular club where older students can come and self-teach was introduced in 2019. Firstly, though only the most dedicated students attended, we see this as essential to them being able to accelerate their learning and for student interns to work on their internship projects. Our teacher Mustafa Kharnoub’s parting advice in his exit interview was: “The more self-learning the better. You need nothing but self learning for your own evolution.” Secondly, we learned that when working with illiterate students like at Sonbola Centre, classes should not overly focus on language-based software and kits like Bee Bot and Robot Turtles give students a break from learning new words.
We learned that it is essential to have laptops for each student to avoid time wasting. We now ensure that each student has their own laptop ready to use at the start of class. This required installing a lock on the classroom door as laptops are left out overnight. We also learned to ensure equipment is kept in secure and organized cupboards from the start and that classrooms are locked and all CodeBrave staff have keys.
In 2019, we learned that it is more important for teachers to be educators than to be technicians. We found that teachers that were skilled educators had the best success with students. Technical skills in coding and robotics are less important.
In response to feedback from teachers, we improved our on-boarding process and developed a ‘Teachers’ Manual’ including key information, teacher responsibilities and links to important documents. In addition, we created an HR policy to detail the steps for on-boarding new staff.
This year, we developed our child psychology training and hold more regular training session with teachers, like Rana, where we discuss challenges and propose techniques to trial in class. This need was highlighted by all teachers.
In 2019, we welcomed three new teachers to our team – Rana, Razan and Hani. We also recruited an Advisory Board – Mounir, Sandy and Fadi – with a range of expertises in the tech, tech education and development sectors to consult on matters related to project implementation. Additionally, our Board of Signatories – Hana, Michel and Stephen – submitted our NGO registration application to the Ministry of Interior.
We are gearing up to reach even more students in the new year with our existing local partners and with new ones!
You can contribute to CodeBrave’s work by donating to CodeBrave Foundation, a registered charity in England and Wales, no. 1188692.
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