Code to Inspire just launched an Indiegogo campaign for the first coding center in Afghanistan of women, for women, by women, with the goal of prepping Afghan girls for careers in programming. A chunk of the curriculum focuses on digital currencies like bitcoin.
The girls learn by doing. Code to Inspire provides the girls with books, computers, and other resources to teach them how to code. The girls dream up a problem and then design mobile apps or software that can tackle it.
So where does bitcoin come into play? “Crypto currencies are an amazing and empowering tool for people who are living in societies that are mainly unbanked and can be used to make women and girls financially independent,” said Code to Inspire Founder and CEO Fereshteh Forough.
“[Crytocurrency] allows young women to hold money without the fear of it being confiscated by family members or anyone else. It allows them to participate in the global economy on the Internet either they can find a job online and get paid online without an intermediary such as a bank or government.”
The one-year program will support 50 girls of 15 to 25 years old. Mentors in the computer labs will help accommodate the women, coming from a spectrum of educational backgrounds. This video shows some of the mentors in action:
Beyond learning to program, the girls will build careers from their new skills. That’s one way to empower women in a country where women only make up 15% of the workforce.
Forough also mentioned that bitcoin will be one supported payment mechanism as the girls find coding jobs online—whether mobile application development or software design. One appeal to this is the girls can find jobs from all around the world and can receive payments in bitcoin without a bank or government’s permission, she said.
Forough, who has a Master’s degree in computer science from Technical University of Berlin, also founded Women’s Annex Foundation, another program that used technology to empower women around the world.
So far, Code to Inspire has raised US$4,000 of their US$20,000 Indiegogo campaign goal. The funds will be used for the center, 20 laptops, furniture, and to support the four mentors.