Africa Code Week 2016: Day 1 – Newtrend Primary Schools

“We are the Difference, We are the Change, We are the Future”
…Chibueze Ikedi


DAY 1 – OCTOBER 17

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It’s here again, the time our kids go crazy with delight.

We had an awesome time today; as it marks the beginning of an epic journey: 8 days of amazing fun with about 500 kids and 10 primary schools in the 2016 edition of Africa Code Week, Aba, Nigeria.

I could barely contain myself, the looks of surprise and gasps of utter delight from the kids were absolutely mind-blowing. Today, we had 30 kids and 2 teachers from Newtrend Primary School, a private primary school somewhere along Faulks Road. We started of with some singing and dancing to get them warmed up, and then we dove into Scratch. Having spent the last year working with and training kids in introduction to coding using Scratch, nothing prepared me for the response of this group. There was mass hysteria amongst the kids; most had an initial exposure to the computer but nothing on the scale of what they did today. Their appetite was ravenous; they were like foam in water, intensely soaking in all that they were being taught. A few of them went off the reservation, mastering the rudiments of Scratch so quickly their mates struggled to catch up.

After an eventful 180 minutes of instruction, we gave them a challenge: for 45 minutes, they were to work in teams of 2’s to create something cool. And that was when the stampede started; we sat back and watched as these kids unleashed their creativity.

We did have a couple of challenges, but that didn’t mar our fun. Some of the systems went down during classes, so we had to pair the kids. As it turned out, that made it more fun.

Sadly, after 5 hours of an amazing time (9am – 2 pm), we had to watch them go. They didn’t want to say goodbye, neither did we. Infant, some of them promised to gate-crash the classes for tomorrow, lol.

It’s costing us a lot, in terms of time and money; but we won’t trade this experience for all the riches in the world. We are most privileged to be a part of history helping shape the future of our tomorrow.

I’m blessed to have an excellent team, passionate and committed to kids. Without them, this would have all been a pipe-dream My shout-out to Ella, Matthew, Jephthah, Jacinth, Obese and Mrs Rebecca

We are currently self-funding: we provide snacks for the kids and transportation that brings them to our centre and back to their schools. We want to do more, we want to empower more kids. If you would love to chip in and support, kindly reach out. You could reach me here or through our email. Our email addresses and numbers are on our website.

That’s 30 kids down, 470 to go. Tomorrow, we are expecting 90 kids, 30 kids each from 3 schools: Immaculate Heart Primary school, Chris-Lynn International Schools and First Step Nursery and Primary Schools. There is definitely going to be a tsunami. I can’t wait, will keep you posted.

It’s been a lot of work after the program ensuring out infrastructure can meet the needs of 90 raving kids tomorrow; the team has been tireless at work. We are ready, another crazy day loading. Meanwhile, let me go grab some sleep, the kids can be boisterous and I need all the energy I can get.

What a way to start the week, bringing sheer joy to these kids. #GratefulHeart.