DGAP-News: Meet and Code / Key word(s): Miscellaneous
Meet and Code : Meet and Code unleashes digital skills across Europe, one NPO at a time

09.12.2021 / 09:00
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Meet and Code unleashes digital skills across Europe, one NPO at a time

Meet and Code (www.Meet-and-Code.org), Europe's biggest digital skills program, continues to grow in popularity as applications and funded events increased by 15% and 10% respectively, year on year. This resulted in more events taking place in cities across Europe, all in the name of improving 21st century skills to help address and conquer Europe's digital divide.

In support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aligned to EU Code Week, the initiative has concluded its 5th year of igniting a passion for all things digital among Europe's youth. By exploring a broad range of tech-based topics and different ways to code, participants are encouraged to develop the necessary skills needed for tomorrow's digital jobs. This is rolled out at fun and interactive workshops hosted by non-profit organizations (NPOs) across 35 European countries.

To assist the NPOs to host these workshops, Meet and Code provides funding of up to 500 euros per event. This year, 68% of NPOs said that their events were only possible because of the funding provided. Improving digital skills across Europe is vital as according to the Digital Economy and Society Index 2021, just over half of individuals have basic digital skills.

Alexandra van der Ploeg, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP says that the results achieved this year are testament to the fact that the initiative is fulfilling its goal to support the SDGs. "Closely linked to SDG17, which is Partnerships for the Goals, Meet and Code works together with the public and private sectors as well as non-profit organizations to pursue the common goal of teaching children of different backgrounds and locations through the Meet and Code events."

Another SDG that Meet and Code seeks to address is SDG5 - Gender Equality. "Over the past three years, around 50% of the participants at the events were girls," van der Ploeg adds. "It is important that more girls are inspired to improve their digital skills as a recent study by the European Institute for Gender Equality revealed that if more women took up jobs in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) fields, the gender pay gap in Europe could be closed by 2050. This would ensure that our daughters' daughters have better opportunities laid out for them."

Behind the funding operations in each country was the TechSoup Europe network of 26 affiliated country organizations. "By working with NGOs across Europe, all youth, from all walks of life will feel equally important and know that no matter where they come from, whether a small village or large metro, they can have a bright future," adds Anna Sienicka, Vice President at TechSoup. "At Meet and Code, we are already seeing this take place, with 11% of events hosted by NPOs located in small villages and 35% in larger cities and towns."

Gabriele Hartmann, Head of CSR for SAP MEE and Meet and Code board member says, "it is the meeting and gathering of enquiring, and curious minds, and of course the fun they have while learning at the same time, that makes the initiative so impactful." This is reflected by participants who said that following the 2021 workshops, their IT skills improved from 40% to 60%, with 84% of participants saying they would like to learn more about coding in general.

Each year the most creative ideas used by non-profits to inspire young people about coding are recognised at the Meet and Code Awards. Winners of each category receive 2.000 euros prize money. The categories, which are aligned to five of the SGDs include: Girls do IT! (SDG5), Community (SDG11), Diversity (SDG10), Code for the Planet (SDG13) and Code for Europe (SDG17).

"The commitment of the participating nonprofit organizations to upskilling Europe's youth are astounding each year," says Clemens Frede, Managing Director at Haus des Stiftens gGmbH. "Meet and Code brings out the full potential of the next generation who will be instrumental in shaping the future of our European society. We would like to congratulate all the NPOs who participated this year and wish all the awards entrants the best of luck."

Each year, Meet and Code takes place throughout September and October. The founding partners are Haus des Stiftens gGmbH, TechSoup Europe, and SAP with, the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) as the European partner. To find out more about Meet and Code visit www.meet-and-code.org or follow them on Twitter or connect on Facebook and Instagram.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Meet and Code.

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09.12.2021 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
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Language: English
Company: Meet and Code
EQS News ID: 1255745

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1255745  09.12.2021