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Bucharest, 10.10.2022. Sebastian Burduja, Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitization participated in a unique robotics hour in the CODE Kids club, an event that took place on October 8 at the Titu City Library. The Minister got involved in the work of one of the teams, building a project with the children: the ultrasonic sensor traffic light. This was followed by a robotics demonstration by the club’s technical coordinator, and the Minister talked to club members and CODE Kids alumni about their shared passion for technology and activities in the library.

CODE Kids is the flagship project of the Progress Foundation, awarded in 2022 in Brussels at the Emerging Europe Awards with the top prize in the Future-proof Education category. In 6 years of activity, CODE Kids has grown into the largest national coding and STEM movement, with over 4600 children from 33 counties benefiting from free coding classes held in public libraries. In 2022, we have 110 active clubs nationwide with 1200 kids enrolled, turning public libraries into true community hubs. The programme offers a digital literacy solution for rural and small urban children. Students aged 10-14 have access to cutting-edge technology and specialized training for 2 years and learn to program to solve small problems identified in their community, while developing their math, logic, English and soft skills. CODE Kids operates with a grant from the Romanian-American Foundation and support from Societe Generale Global Solutions Center, Vodafone Romania Foundation and CEZ Vânzare.

“I gladly accepted the invitation from my friends at Code Kids to join the game and team up with the kids to assemble a robot together. I must admit that it wasn’t difficult, especially as the Code Kids trainers are extremely skilled and they immediately aroused our curiosity.

The Code Kids movement needs to become a national phenomenon and they have my full support to make this happen. We can deny the role of technology in our children’s lives and try to keep it out, or we can embrace it and try to turn it into an educational tool. The second option seems wiser and that is what we should strive for. Congratulations, Code Kids and the Progress Foundation! Thank you for changing the destinies of children in Romania.” Sebastian Burduja, Minister for Research, Innovation and Digitisation.

“The Minister’s visit honours us and we believe it sends an important message about collaboration between authorities and NGOs. Our Foundation has shown that there are solutions at hand for community development, that there is a huge untapped potential among rural children. We see that when they are given the attention and resources they deserve, they develop in an amazing way. We have 45% of Romania’s children in rural areas. Guiding them towards the jobs of the future and investing in their digital skills is part of our core mission as an organisation. If the authorities feel that what we have done so far deserves more attention and can be generalised, we are ready to help and support public policies to benefit Romania’s digital transformation.”  Camelia Crișan, CEO Progress Foundation.

About Progress Foundation

Progress Foundation is a non-governmental organization, founded in 1996 in Bistrita, which contributes to the development of community institutions, vulnerable individuals and groups and helps people become more empowered through education, technology, research and innovation. The organisation supports people to evolve, realise their potential and achieve well-being in sustainable and resilient communities. Through its partnerships, Progress Foundation focuses on facilitating lifelong learning, transferring innovation, building IT and STEM skills, and developing new methodologies for participatory design and social inclusion. In achieving its goals and reaching every social group the organization uses public libraries and community spaces in villages and towns as focal points for learning and centers for social innovation.

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