Eileen Fuchs, Head of Unit of the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community and Member of the Meet and Code Jury 2021, reflects on five years of Meet and Code impact.
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1. What do you like about Meet and Code?
There is a digital skills gap affecting youth throughout Europe. To address this, Meet and Code supports non-profits with the necessary resources to teach digital skills to youth across the continent as well as provides them with grants to assist them to host their workshops. NPOs that successfully hosted creative workshops that meet the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals through coding can enter the Meet and Code Awards to stand a chance to win one of five cash prizes.
It is crucial that everyone plays their part and is assisted to ensure our youth can improve their digital skills, and this is exactly what Meet and Code is doing.
2. Meet and Code turns five this year. Tell us about the importance of the programme and how it links to BMI’s objectives?
At BMI, one of our main focus points is to promote digital civic education which we believe is an essential part of democracy. Our aim is to ensure that individuals have the knowledge and skills they need to form independent opinions and make informed decisions. We also want to enable them to reflect on their own situation, recognize and meet their own responsibilities in society and play an active role in social and political processes.
Meet and Code as a programme is crucial to achieving these objectives at a grassroots level. Young Europeans between the ages of 8 and 24 are encouraged to expand their knowledge and skills which can make them active members of society with their own independent ideas and opinions.
3. How important do you think the awarding of grants is for encouraging youth digital development?
Awarding grants to NPOs is crucial to provide them with the necessary tools to host workshops and expand the reach of digital skills education across Europe. This knocks down the barriers that youth in Europe face when it comes to learning and improving their skills.
4. Meet and Code reaches far and wide, and even the smallest towns across Europe. What do you think this means for the future of digital skills and coding?
This simply means that more youth have the opportunity to expand their thinking and take advantage of opportunities made possible through digital skills and coding knowledge. This can nurture and create a generation of incredible citizens with fresh solutions to many socioeconomic issues.
5. Why does the BMI support projects like Meet and Code?
The BMI wants to increase the spread of digital literacy among European youth. We want to highlight the importance of programming and digital skills for everyone in Europe.