Thembiso Magajana

Social Coding SA

What does your company do?

Social Coding is a non-profit digital skills training company that recruits, trains and hires unemployed youth in rural communities to run digital literacy and coding programs in their local high school. Our Mission is to use digital literacy and technology tools such as coding, robotics and virtual reality (VR) to expand socioeconomic inclusion among young people (13 – 33 years old) living in rural communities, helping them leverage these digital skills for a better future.

What is your biggest success?

My biggest accomplishment at Social Coding has been successfully running our digital programs through a remote model during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenges, we ensured that rural learners had uninterrupted access to our coding courses. This accomplishment not only made local news but also benefited hundreds of learners in our program. Adapting swiftly to remote learning, we bridged the educational gap and provided vital opportunities to students regardless of their location. Witnessing their growth and success fills me with pride, reinforcing the significance of our mission. We remain committed to breaking barriers and ensuring that no learner is left behind, even in times of adversity. This achievement reflects our dedication and the profound impact we can create when empowering our communities.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Running a digital skills NPO in rural South African communities presents challenges with limited resources, including funding, infrastructure, and technology. Inadequate internet connectivity and equipment hinder effective program implementation, requiring crucial funding and partnerships. Cultural norms and societal expectations further hinder women's participation, demanding efforts to address social barriers and empower them in digital literacy. Despite these obstacles, my unwavering determination aims to bridge the digital divide and empower rural communities. Through community engagement, advocating gender equality, and seeking innovative solutions, we can create an inclusive environment for women in digital skills education. Together, we will overcome challenges, inspire change, and unlock the potential of rural women for a brighter future.

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