A month ago, NewTechKids received a phone call out of the blue from one of the founders of the Drarija Taalclub, an organization dedicated to providing after-school activities for Moroccan children in Amsterdam West. Operated out of MAQAM, a Moroccan cultural centre in Amsterdam New West, the club’s goal is to offer activities such as cooking, mathematics and singing in the Moroccan language to instil cultural pride and connect Dutch-born kids with the culture of their heritage.

The founder said she had contacted many organizations but none were willing to teach a robotics and coding program. Without skipping a beat, Deborah Carter, our Founder, said NewTechKids would gladly teach a bootcamp.

Bringing computer science education to children from groups under-represented in the tech industry and from low-income families is one of our key objectives. All kids should be exposed to computer science early. All kids deserve the opportunity to learn about technology and develop the tech knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the future. Unfortunately in the Netherlands and other countries, it’s often kids in rich neighbourhoods with rich parents who attend better schools who have this opportunity.

That’s why NewTechKids is actively intervening and balancing where we teach to promote equity and equal opportunity.

It’s a new experience for us. Our teacher teaches and coaches in Dutch and a Moroccan language instructor translates what he says which enables the children to expand their vocabulary and practise their Moroccan Arabic. (Our teacher is also picking up a new language!) We’re trying to integrate Moroccan cultural references in our curriculum in terms of videos, landmarks and culture.

The students we teach may come from different cultures and economic backgrounds and speak different languages but their enthusiasm for computer science, robotics, coding and design is universal.