Now we are present in Chile, where we've partnered up with Fundación Multicolor and Fundación Refugio de Cristo. Together we're working to help children explore the IT world and have the opportunity to choose their future professions in this field.
We are now present in six Latin American countries: Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Brazil. We aim to ensure that as many passionate IT students as possible can access our course.
We talked to Daniela Moncada, the director of the Somos Multicolor Foundation in Chile, about how our project has impacted the participants and what new technologies mean for them.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your foundation.
My name is Daniela Moncada. I am a social worker and the director of the Somos Multicolor Foundation. Our foundation was founded about 3 years ago to respond to the inequalities suffered by boys and girls in our country. Our main goal is to protect the rights of children. We strive to support their physical, social, and educational well-being as much as possible. For this purpose, we have different projects, which, among other things, involve working with families and caregivers. There is a lot of emphasis on community service as well.
2. Please share your impressions of working with BeginIT and our educational programs.
This partnership is essential to us because new technologies are the foundation for the future. Technology is developing rapidly, and children need to get the knowledge in time. Boys and girls from underprivileged families don't have many development opportunities, and our task is to provide them with these opportunities. After all, education is the tool, the key that will open the door to their future.
3. Please describe the BeginIT project in three words.
Opportunity, development, the future.
4. Why do you think teaching students programming is important nowadays?
Today, technological advances are visible to the naked eye, technology is used in almost everything, and this is both our present and future. Unfortunately, with the start of the global pandemic, isolation, and online classes, we recognized the lack of access to these technologies.
It turned out that many couldn't do basic things, like create a PDF file or download something from email. Many didn't have the opportunity to learn how to do it. But it's not easy to live without it in today's world.
Not to mention, learning how to program helps develop mathematical thinking and logic, and that can never hurt.
In addition, this knowledge provides many opportunities for a promising future for children from low-income families.
5. In your opinion, how did the students benefit from the programming classes?
Children were interested in learning, judging by their enthusiasm for attending classes. Those who found it difficult were supported by more advanced kids, so, in addition to the programming knowledge, they learned to support each other and work as a team.
6. How did the programming classes affect the students' daily lives? Did you notice any changes in them?
The students felt welcomed and had a sense of belonging to the group, which is very important given everyone's characteristics. The classes have become a space where they can openly discuss topics that interest them and feel understood.
They became motivated to learn and improve themselves. They understood what it was for and how it would help them in the future.
They learned how to communicate openly, developed social skills, and most importantly, enjoyed the classes.