Creating a platform to inspire youth and deliver messages of hope restoration

12 June 2017

"It was such a remarkable experience where we were exposed to a new science of which we didn't know it exists or at least had known it was available," Loulia Hilal expressed the impact of “ChangeMakers” programme, especially the coding boot camp during the graduation ceremony.

“ChangeMakers” group organized the graduation ceremony for the first batch of the coding bootcamp that was fully supported by UNFPA - Syria at Damascus University, during which various ideas and projects were presented and implemented by young people.

In spite of the variety of ideas, it all led to one conclusion of which young people are innovative and have the willingness to create a better world. Ideas presented during the ceremony held motivating messages to other youth who didn't yet found their passion. Young “ChangeMakers” aimed to create a platform to inspire others and deliver messages of hope restoration as well as to encourage them to join future workshops. “ChangeMakers” runs free-of charge programs fully funded by UNFPA - Syria.

Massimo Diana, Representative of UNFPA in Syria congratulated ChangeMakers participants and team saying: "18 young people went through a life-changing experience with “ChangeMakers”. They didn't only gain knowledge but also transformed their potentials into trained skills to spread hope in the midst of pain and they will, no doubt, pave the way to a future full of passion and achievements."

The graduation ceremony concluded after listening to 18 ideas and complimenting on the achievements young people have done during the training course.

UNFPA supported the launching of “ChangeMakers” coding and presentation bootcamp in October 2016 and it continued to fully support it for 15 weeks. The program focused on introducing coding to young participants, aged between 15-18 years old, as well as provide them with the skills they will need to pursue in the field because of the absence of technology at schools. Furthermore, the program aimed to reduce the gender gap in STEM by introducing women role models.

During summer 2016, “ChangeMakers” team worked closely with 18 young people to explore "Ideas Worth Spreading" and learn coding.

"ChangeMakers” program helped me to explore my passion and generate new ideas. I had a dream to share my ideas and it became true," Baraa Al Salem shared his thought after succeeding in developing an idea despite his anxiety of not finding a suitable one worth sharing.

The program also used TED-Education curriculum that focused on improving participants' soft skills, including their presentation and communication skills. “ChangeMakers” believe it is essential for young people to gain the confidence they need to be active citizens in their communities and bring about positive change.