Dr Nadia Al-Aboody is the driving force behind Code Club Iraq, she’s been empowering Code Club children and educators since 2016.
Educator Zahraa and young coders Alaa, Haneen, and Yusuf tell us about the positive impact that Nadia and Code Club has had on their lives.
Dr Nadia Al-Aboody is a lecturer of computer science in Maysan, Iraq, a dedicated Code Club leader, a Raspberry Pi National Partner for Iraq, and an advocate for women and girls in STEM. She tells us:
“When I was a little girl I didn’t find a mentor to help me with electronics, I only heard voices saying I won’t make it. This is why I now mentor girls and female trainers in our Code Club. I want to give them a chance to grow.”
Nadia has been involved with Code Club for five years and is a real role model for many girls and women in Iraq.
Alaa is dreaming big through code!
Meet Alaa, aged 10! Alaa joined Nadia’s Code Club in 2020 when she started to dream big with code!
“I want to be famous when I grow up, the skills and knowledge I’ve gained from being a Code Club member will help me achieve my dreams!”
Code Club is a great space to spark the imagination of young people, to encourage them to explore ideas that interest them, whilst developing their skills. This was one reason why Alaa wanted to join Code Club:
“At the end of the project, I will see something I have made and it will help me make other projects with new ideas!”
If Alaa was to offer any advice to new club members, she says that you should give it a go as you are guaranteed to have a “really fun time there” — thank you, Alaa!
Developing transferable skills
Zahraa is an electrical engineer and is currently studying for a Master’s in computer engineering; she is affectionately called Nadia’s ‘right-hand woman’! She has been a Code Club volunteer for two years. Zahraa tells us:
“What attracted me to Code Club is that the team supports children of different ages, and teaches them how to rely on themselves, as well as the basics for programming and logical thinking.
The training from Nadia has helped me a lot, even outside of club-based activities, and I have been able to use the skills I developed from volunteering at Code Club in other areas of my life too, like public speaking, delivering training, communications and public relations, logical thinking, and of course, coding!
I would really advise anyone who is thinking about getting involved with us at Code Club to absolutely do it. It’s one of the most rewarding things I have done.”
Code Club is supporting future career paths
Nadia and the team have created safe spaces where children are able to explore coding and discuss future career paths.
Haneen (14) and Yusuf (10) are siblings who attend Code Club. Haneen has always been excited by programming, but since coming to Code Club, she is now thinking about choosing it as her field of study at university.
Yusuf wasn’t sure what he wanted to be when he grew up, but his Code Club experience has made him sure that he wants to become a games programmer.
Haneen shares her coding skills in this Code Club Scratch project; have a go and see how you get on!
To find out how to start your own Code Club, head to www.codeclub.org if you are based in the UK, India or the USA or to www.international.codeclub.org if you are based outside the UK.
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