The Raspberry Pi and CoderDojo foundations have announced a merger “that will give many more young people all over the world new opportunities to learn how to be creative with technology”. Philip Colligan, chief executive of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, said: “Raspberry Pi and CoderDojo have each accomplished amazing things over the last six years. Now, we see an opportunity to do even more by joining forces.”
Colligan said bringing Raspberry Pi, Code Club, and CoderDojo together will create the largest global effort to engage young people in computing and digital making. “We have set ourselves an ambitious goal: to quadruple the number of CoderDojos worldwide, to 5,000, by the end of 2020,” he said.
CoderDojo is a global network of coding clubs for kids from seven to 17. The first CoderDojo took place in July 2011 when James Whelton and Bill Liao decided to share their passion for computing by setting up a club at the National Software Centre in Cork. The idea was simple; provide a safe and social place for young people to acquire programming skills, learning from each other and supported by mentors. Since then, Whelton and Liao have helped turn that idea into a movement that reaches across the whole world, with more than 1,250 CoderDojos in 69 countries.
The CoderDojo Foundation will continue as an independent charity, based in Ireland. “Nothing about CoderDojo’s brand or ethos is changing as a result of this merger. CoderDojos will continue to be platform-neutral, using whatever kit they need to help young people learn,” said Colligan. “In technical terms, the Raspberry Pi Foundation is becoming a corporate member of the CoderDojo Foundation – which is a bit like being a shareholder, but without any financial interest.”
Colligan said he would be joining the board of the CoderDojo Foundation as a director, but the merger is subject to approval by Irish regulators. “How will this work in practice? The two organisations will work together to advance our shared goals, using our respective assets and capabilities to get many more adults and young people involved in the CoderDojo movement. The Raspberry Pi Foundation will also provide practical, financial, and back-office support to the CoderDojo Foundation.”
Giustina Mizzoni, executive director of CoderDojo, added: “The CoderDojo movement is powered by more than 9,000 volunteers all across the world that are encouraging and supporting young people to learn at their local Dojo. With this extra support we will be able to reach and benefit even more young people globally by investing more time in resource development, community supports and growth strategies to make it easier for our volunteers to start and keep running a Dojo in their community.”