It has been more than two years since CoderDojo has enlisted CoderDojo Timișoara as one of the 500+ verified locations in their global network. Back then, a group of four committed people decided to run a CoderDojo club in our city, starting with an inaugural edition with about 30 children interested in learning programming “a la CoderDojo”.
The CoderDojo concept promotes non-formal education, with a friendly and personal approach. Besides learning for free to code, children learn how to work in teams, how to communicate, yet they are not being evaluated with scores from 1 to 10. If they wish, they can enroll in internal competitions and develop projects guided by the mentors. They can mentor other children if they convince grown-up mentors they are mastering a skill. They can simply have a break if they want to. And this is quite different from school, a reason which definitely generates more and more interest.
As time has passed, Timisoara Startup Hub has become rather scanty for the constantly increasing number of children that attended the regular Saturday sessions. Refusing the will to learn has never been considered an option. Thus, in the attempt of offering the opportunity to learn at zero costs has determined CoderDojo Timișoara to search for new location to meet the demand.
Today, Timișoara metropolitan area hosts five independent but collaborating CoderDojo locations hosted in various types of spaces: a coworking or a company training room, a highschool classroom, a canteen or a private villa (partly decorated but still welcoming). The CoderDojos named Timișoara @Startup Hub, @ACI, @Moisil, Dumbrăvița and Moșnița-Nouă are the go-to places each Saturday for more than 250 children.
The best effect of this entire distributed activity is that good ideas gather good people. There are plans to further expand CoderDojo to other five locations in the Timișoara metropolitan area by midyear. There is also the other side of the coin: such an intense activity needs a lot of involvement by multiple parties.
There is something you can do in order to help these CoderDojos deliver its promises with the same energy for all the children on the waiting list. If you are a programmer, beginner junior or seasoned software architect, you can enroll for a volunteer position. If you are not a programmer, you can show this article to somebody else who is.
You will get nothing in return than the sense of fulfillment when seeing those children doing what they love and trying hard to be the best at it. And that should count as a reward, right?
Apply for a CoderDojo mentor position here: coderdojo.ro.
PS: Out of the initial four people that started this, three are still there, each and every Saturday! In some way, through this steadiness, they want to keep alive the memory of the best and most enthusiastic of the whole group, Anca Mitroi, that left much too early this world she wanted so much to make a better place.