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Month of Service at SAP: Coding as Child’s Play

November 4, 2016 by Corinna Machmeier, Katrin Schneider, Ina Daniela Weber 32

This year’s motto for SAP’s biggest volunteering initiative, Month of Service, was “Show the world your superpowers: volunteer.

The annual Month of Service offers every employee the opportunity to get involved and volunteer. There are many activities — from virtual participation and team-oriented projects to activities requiring SAP employees’ specific professional knowledge. Many of the projects this year were focused on educational and economic opportunities for teenagers.

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During the Rhein-Neckar Code Week, Walldorf-based SAP colleagues introduced school children to the world of programming, teaching them the Scratch and Snap programming languages among other things, taking into consideration their age.

The Rhein-Neckar Code Week is a regional initiative pertaining to EU Code Week and was brought to life by SAP CSR and implemented with the support of the SAP University Alliances program, the fundraising platform Sponsort, and the Hackerstolz association. Students — doers and thinkers alike — were able to submit their creative ideas for events based around the topics of coding and IT, be it robotics, programming games, hackathons, apps, or crafting with hardware. No limits were placed on the possibilities. SAP then promoted the best ideas with expert coaching and a start-up aid of up to EUR 500. Together the 70 projects within the initiative managed to involve approximately 2,700 children and get them excited about coding.

Code Around the Globe

This October, SAP held Code Weeks in 39 countries around the globe. Thirty countries participated in Africa alone. During Africa Code Week, volunteers from SAP and the initiative’s partners taught basic programming skills to children and teenagers aged eight to 24. The Latin Code Week celebrated its premier from October 15-23 in four Latin American countries and focused on equipping 18- to 24-year-olds for the labor market. Refugee Code Week was born out of the challenges presented by the refugee crisis. In collaboration with the UNHCR and the Galway Education Center, the initiative set itself the goal to impart initial coding skills on 10,000 refugees in Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, and Lebanon.

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