In 2015, a young software engineer named Faten Ghriss went to the U.S. on an exchange programme and left as a young entrepreneur. She was inspired to build something that would affect real change in her home country of Tunisia when she saw the stark difference in education standards and accessibility between Tunisia and the USA. Ghriss started Young Tunisian Coders Academy and her passion prompted recognition by the Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa programme.
Ghriss explains: “Tunisia is still behind when it comes to education and access to educational tools. In many cases, we only start teaching children about computers when they’re 16 years old and this is too late. I believe that it is essential that we show them how important technology is to their futures, today. It is a powerful tool will provide them with career opportunities and help us solve challenges in our country.”
Young Tunisian Coders Academy teaches children about coding and technology through interactive and engaging courses and training programmes. It aims to take away the fears and negative perceptions that many children in Tunisia have around technology and coding, instead igniting their interest in a positive and engaging environment.
“The Academy directly addresses this issue by providing coding camps for kids which we have taken across Tunisia,” says Ghriss. “We use Scratch, an interactive coding tool that teaches the basics and logics of coding. We have also developed private classes that provide us with the income we need to develop classes for children in areas that cannot afford these classes.”
Young Tunisian Coders Academy has been running for nearly two years and the recognition from the Obama Foundation is pivotal to its growth and expansion. It is an opportunity for Ghriss to learn from her peers and take her business to new levels and into new markets.
“The Obama Foundation helps us to maintain our initiative and is filled with people who support us through networking and partnerships,” concludes Ghriss. “With this level of support and engagement, we believe that anything is possible, that we can take Young Tunisian Coders Academy to even more children in even more areas that need this level of education.”