It’s not any other town that we’re talking about. It’s a town riddled with prostitution, drugs, abuse, and other crimes. Situated in Chiang Mai (keeping the exact location away from the public eyes for safety purposes), this community has a substantial generation of youths and young adults who can be the game-changers of tomorrow. However, they are severely disengaged and at high risk of vices and crime. Of all possible, thinkable solutions, why web design? And most importantly, how?
We don’t have all the answers, but we are willing to try. We hope that with a conducive environment and lots of patience, we can build the strong foundations of a good web developer. We can nurture our future designers that can take anything and make it beautiful. At the end, they can hold their heads high, and have confidence in their skills and their achievements.
We are starting a Digital Skills Training Centre to focus on training youths and university students in the advanced skills of web development and graphic design. The course will be free but on one caveat, which is that they have to volunteer half a day every week to teach basic computer skills to kids in the community.
We will then activate all our advanced skills students to run basic computer skills for kids, once a week. For the kids, it could be a start in their journey of discovering what they like to do with their lives. We hope we can plant the seed of confidence in them even when they are young.
Our End Game
If Pakistan can raise a country worth of Tech professionals, I’m trusting that this community can do it too. In the end game, after 15-20 years of investment into this community, we hope to see the young adults taking charge of mentoring their younger generation, imparting skillsets and walking alongside them.
Chiang Mai is a well-known digital nomad city, so if we can raise a powerful tech workforce, we can enlarge the tech industry in Chiang Mai, and create hundreds of skilled jobs. With a strong hope for the future, we hope that vices and crime rates will also drop in this community. We also desire to see a more balanced gender ratio of our youths and young adults, so that we can teach our boys how to respect women.
Why do all these?
Freely I have received, freely I shall give. I’ve been given the chance to learn Web Design, even when I was at my life’s lowest point. I broke my knee ligament and had to be on the bed for 6 weeks. I loved playing basketball and I knew that I’ll most likely not be able to play competitively anymore. Thankfully, I decided to make the best out of the 6 weeks and started to learn how to build websites. It was from the encouragement of my closest friends that I had the courage to embark on this journey.
I have the privilege of access and finances to acquire this skill, but many others don’t have the equal opportunity as I did. If I can level the playing field, and give interested youths and young adults a chance at joining a learning community, I think I’ll be the happiest to be part of this process. If the skillsets and life skills imparted can help them build a better life, they will become a good role model of hope for the community.
How Can I help?
As part of their learning journey, they will enter a practicum phase where we will give them exposure to real-life projects under strong supervision from us. They will also take home portions of the earnings and the projects will be added to their portfolio. You can help by referring us projects that we can do with our students. We document their learning journey and share updates on our Facebook page!
Due to the sensitive nature of this community (citizenship issues), we will not be revealing any location details online. However, if you are keen to be of support in any other way, do feel free to contact us and we will gladly connect with you! You can do so with the chat button on the bottom left of the screen.
To follow the founders and their journey, check out their blog where they write about community development and cross-cultural challenges!