Attending a Code Week can change your life; just ask Deepa Gujar. Deepa, who came from a large family with a father who had passed away, began working when she was just a young child. The eldest of eight children, she needed to take on more responsibility to help provide for her family but she lacked the education and resources needed to obtain a high-paying job.
“I didn’t receive proper education, so it was really difficult to get a decent job. I started working as a receptionist in a hospital and I was earning about 3,000 rupees a month. That was hardly enough to provide for all of us,” she recalls in a recent interview with The New Indian Express.
That’s when she heard about a digital skills program that was being offered in her village: Code Unnati.
“I didn’t know anything about computers before I took up this training. But after I joined, I was trained in MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and its applications in daily life,” says Deepa. “Almost everything around us functions with the help of computers. So how can one survive in this day and age without knowing how to use it?”
After completing the Code Unnati course with SAP, Deepa was soon promoted to a new job as a data entry specialist at a local hospital where her salary doubled. And she doesn’t plan to stop there; Deepa hopes to continue training in computer programs so she can climb higher in her career and provide better opportunities for her siblings.
“I am so much more hopeful and happy now,” she says. “I’m so grateful to Code Unnati for changing my life.”
Opportunity for All Through Digital Inclusion
If you’ve never been exposed to a Code Week program, you may not know the impact it has or how powerful it can be.
Code Unnati, like all of SAP programs around Code Week events, has the power to create a ripple effect with every life that it touches. In this case, learning a new skill set not only changed Deepa’s life, it changed her family’s life and it changed efficiency in the hospital where she works, ultimately impacting patient care and helping the community as a whole — all because she participated in a digital skills program from SAP.
Code Week events happen in every corner of the world and while needs differ from region to region, the areas where Code Weeks are taking place share the same fundamental need for people to have the opportunity to gain digital skills. SAP is proud to power that opportunity for all people through digital inclusion.
Bridging the Gap for Digital Skills in India
India Code Week is part of SAP’s larger Code Unnati program. This initiative is a collaborative approach to bridge the digital gap and help to build a skilled, employable work force, which in turn can contribute to economic growth.
“With a population over 1 billion, where 90 percent of the population is digitally illiterate, India needs various means and approaches for digital inclusion and imparting digital literacy,” says Gunjan Patel, head of Corporate Social Responsibility for APJ and India at SAP. “India is one of the youngest countries in the world, with around 800 million youth in the 16 to 36 year age group.”
Code Week programs allow SAP to reach large groups of students in communities around the world and teach them IT skills in a straightforward and accelerated manner. And in India, where it is estimated that only 10 percent of the population is digitally literate, this digital empowerment is the way forward for inclusive growth in the country.
Encouraging Young People in Latin America to Consider STEM Careers
Latin Code Week is a program that combines the prototyping tool SAP Build with Junior Achievement’s content supporting creativity, analytical abilities, time management, and an entrepreneurial spirit.
“First, we tailor the program to address the region’s needs,” says Jose Caceres, head of Corporate Social Responsibility for Latin America and the Caribbean at SAP. “Second, Latin Code Week is run by SAP employees and mentors. Lastly, Latin Code Week is a collaborative effort that brings together SAP partners from the private sector, government agencies, and other NGOs to ensure a localized impact.”
With a goal to create more — and better — economic opportunities, Latin Code Week content boosts innovation with a curriculum that includes design thinking and the task to solve a social challenge based on innovative technological approaches.
“For the program’s pilot session, students were invited to develop prototype apps to promote financial inclusion in their communities, a highly relevant issue in many Latin American communities, where one in five people live in chronic poverty,” says Caceres.
Inspiring ASEAN Youth to Tackle Society’s Problems
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Data Science Explorers competition is a data analytics initiative that aims to enhance awareness and appreciation of the ASEAN community among youth. Titled “Today’s Youth for Tomorrow’s World,” it is a partnership with SAP that will allow all ASEAN youth to play a key role in tackling today’s social issues facing the region and help create positive change for a better future.
“To solve complex problems such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, our youth need to be familiar with the latest technology to uncover fresh solutions for current and future problems,” says Eugene Ho, head of Corporate Affairs for Southeast Asia at SAP. “The ASEAN Data Science Explorers is the very first step for youths to work toward resolving the world’s problems by using real quantifiable data and analytics.”
This initiative has recognition from the Heads of States across all 10 ASEAN member states as listed in in the Chairman’s Statement of the 31st ASEAN Summit.
Turning Literacy into Expertise with Digital Skills for Today
Formerly known as Refugee Code Week, the Digital Skills for Today program is addressing several critical regional challenges, including youth unemployment, inadequate workforce readiness, and a lack of digital skills training.
“Especially in and around conflict zones, Middle East and North Africa youth often face limited employment prospects and an inadequate or non-existent education system,” says Batoul Husseini, director of Corporate Social Responsibility for Middle East and North Africa (MENA) at SAP. “The Digital Skills for Today initiative directly improves quality of life for beneficiaries by providing in-demand skills for the 21st-century job market. Furthermore, the initiative has valuable social outcomes, decreasing unemployment rates in marginalized populations, and providing long-term opportunities for digital innovation and entrepreneurship.”
The program is also about helping young people, including refugees, leapfrog their situation through intensive code training that leads to job placement. This is why SAP is partnering with ReBootKamp (RBK) and re:Coded to turn literacy into expertise and expertise into employment.
“The initiative has introduced coding to over 26,000 young refugees and nationals across 10 countries since it was launched in 2016,” says Husseini. “More than 120 graduates have found gainful employment in Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.”
European Youth Get Switched on to Coding
Along with these initiatives, SAP also partners with Tech Soup Europe to offer digital skills and coding programs to more than 25,000 students through its signature initiative, Meet and Code. This event gives children the opportunity to develop the skills needed to bring ideas to life and to thrive in a world dependent upon digital literacy.
Thriving in the Digital World
SAP believes in creating economic stability through the power of education with its digital skills partnerships and programs, which have reached more than 92 countries with over 865,000 participants. Many of these participants are individuals just like Deepa — women, men, and youth looking for a chance to succeed in an ever-changing, fast-paced, digital world. And Code Week events are giving them that chance.