Inspiring

Gaza’s first coding school is an inspiration

By Kitty Knowles 13 January 2017
GazaSkyGeeks crowdfund Gaza's first coding school. Pic: GazaSkyGeeks
Summary

Hope in the darkness.

The Gaza Strip is known for having the highest unemployment in the world, wars and closed borders. Even in 2017, many Gazans only have access to electricity for 6 hours each day.

But now Gaza is embracing technology to change life for the better – with the help of an inspiring coding school and business accelerator that you can help support too.

Gaza’s first coding school

GazaSkyGeeks helps young Gazans to learn to lift themselves out of poverty by starting their own businesses, despite all the obstacles that life throws at them.

Software engineering student Salam Dalloul attended GazaSkyGeeks last year, and is now the CEO of her own business, the Dietii health app:

“We don’t control the situation around us, we have no influence on the closed border or the wars,” she explained.

“My startup gives me the chance to work with something I control, it gives me the chance to have a normal life.”

Help keep the lights on

Now GazaSkyGeeks is trying to help more citizens who feel trapped and powerless amidst the politics playing out around them.

The team originally set out to raise $95,000, but, after receiving $210,000, upped has its target to a staggering $400,000 .

These funds will be used to open a coding academy that’s expected to break even within three to four years, and enable them to buy more generators to keep the lights on at the existing co-working space allowing them to stay open for longer.

Ccoding programmes for teenage schoolgirls will also be expanded, and 22 tech-savvy individuals will be sent off for internships in Europe and the US.

It’s a bold vision, but GazaSkyGeek already has big backers behind it: including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, 500 Startups founding partner Dave McClure, and Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham.

“Gazans are smart people,” said McClure of the project.

“To some extent, they have even more hustle because they’re working in such a tough environment – they may actually be some of the best entrepreneurs in the world.”

Will you help someone realise their best potential?

Donate to GazaSkyGeeks here, and watch their campaign video below…