CoderDojo Belgium expands to Wallonia with the support of the Walloon government and Muriel De Lathouwer

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 — CoderDojo Belgium is a volunteer organization that organizes free programming courses for children and young people aged 7 to 18 years. Until recently, CoderDojo Belgium was mainly active in Flanders and a few Brussels boroughs, but that is due to change shortly. In October, the Walloon government announced that it would invest between 130,000 and 165,000 euros each year to make CoderDojo as much of a success in Wallonia as in Flanders. Furthermore, Muriel De Lathouwer, CEO of EVS, will join the board of directors.

With her network, expertise and reputation, Muriel will put the launch of CoderDojo Belgium in Wallonia on the right track and ensure extra visibility. There is a great demand for programming sessions. In Flanders and Brussels, CoderDojo already reaches some 25,000 children each year. It is Muriel’s ambition to make CoderDojo an equally great success in the south of the country.

Time to get to know Muriel better

Where does your passion for technology come from?

When I was a child, I already loved games that required logical thinking. Growing up, I became interested in using mathematical formulae in technological applications. I decided to study physical engineering, and became fascinated by quantum physics, superconductivity and nuclear sciences.

Why do you support CoderDojo Belgium?

The future is becoming increasingly digital. Today, not enough young people are finding their way to technical and scientific fields. If we are to prepare our children for the jobs of the future, they need to embrace technology. That is why CoderDojo Belgium is such a wonderful initiative. We must give children a taste of coding in a fun way. Everyone should get that opportunity. Girls and children from deprived neighbourhoods or families in particular must not be forgotten!

How good are your own programming skills?

From an early age I was fascinated by everything connected with technology. When I was ten, I began attending extracurricular activities such as programming classes. During my studies I explored programming languages such as FORTRAN and Smalltalk. I must admit it has been some time now since I last did any programming. I would compare it with cycling: you never lose it.

What do you want to teach children today?

Science, mathematics and technology can really be fun! Give it a chance and don’t be mistaken: girls can code too!

In 2013, Telenet endorsed the project of CoderDojo Belgium, and has since helped to give shape to CoderDojo in Belgium as a structural partner. This partnership came about through the common ambition to acquaint as many young people as possible with all that the digital world has to offer. We wish Muriel and CoderDojo Belgium every success with their further plans in Wallonia.

Muriel De Lathouwer & Martine Tempels
Muriel De Lathouwer & Martine Tempels @ CoderDojo4Divas