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Educating the next generation of makers

The Creative Coding Project is a partnership between Cultural Capital Haiti and the arts and technology education nonprofit Jakmel Ekspresyon, which will provide a pathway toward employment for motivated young people in the region.

Jakmel Ekspresyon is a continuing education center located in the Haitian city of Jacmel, founded in 2010. JE focuses on student-informed curriculum in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math). Its classes create critical thinking experiences in a joyful environment. JE exists to foster an innovative culture for the youth of the city, offering social spaces for the students to sit, talk, share ideas and create collaborations, in addition to classes in an array of creative and practical disciplines.

JE's newest initiative, a five-year partnership with CCH to radically expand their existing digital arts and creative coding curriculum, will give students professional skills that have the potential to be extremely empowering in the Haitian context. This is because the amount one can earn from offshore coding work far exceeds the median income of a Haitian household. Indeed, for Haiti's youth, gainful employment in any sector at all other than subsistence agriculture is vanishingly rare. This project therefore holds out the promise of uplifting not just individuals but communities as well. The young people who complete the program and find economic opportunity as a result will serve as powerful role models to other young people.

This project is modeled on industry best practices with regard to comprehensive digital pathways, and will consist of age-appropriate sections. Students will be able to enter the pathway wherever they are currently at, and ultimately this program will be able to nurture young kids through a succession of stages into empowered adult professionals.

Learning starts early, with JE's Kid’s Science Summer Camp for ages 6 to 12. The summer camp will be expanded to develop a Lego Robotics Team that JE hopes will be able to compete against other teams across Haiti.

JE's after-school youth program "Robo Klub" serves ages 13 to 19. These teenagers start with the basics of how computers and computer languages work, and then move on to exploring Arduino coding, 3D modeling, video game creation and more advanced electronics. Collaborative projects are developed in response to community interest and engagement.

The Full Stack Coding Boot Camp currently in development will serve students ages 20 and up. This will be a two-year program that prepares young adults for offshore IT teams. This course will not only cover coding languages to create websites and apps, but will also include management styles such as Scrum so that they can be successful as offshore team members. Finally, this course will work to build English-language competency among the students to enable communication with international teams.

You can download JE's five-year budget for this project here:
JE 5-year budget.pdf

An ongoing campus development project –– funded by JE's own independent fundraising efforts –– will allow JE to increase its programming and enrollment, and share their unique educational offerings with more students. Their first new building has a dedicated technologies lab for their digital pathways program, and will include facilities for robotics, video editing, digital music production, mapping and graphic design, which will synergize with the curricular developments funded through their five-year partnership with CCH. At the end of this period, JE expects to be able to rely on its expanded facilities and existing donor base to achieve financial independence for the program.

Creative Coding Project

Creative Coding Project

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