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Sisters of Code launches a Partnership with Liechtenstein Development Service

Sisters of Code is excited to announce our 3-year partnership with Liechtenstein Development Service (LED) aimed at increasing access to quality technology education for girls in Cambodia, empowering them with essential skills and providing opportunities for future employment and gender equality. To celebrate this collaboration, Sisters of Code initiated a partnership announcement event on January 30, 2024, with the honorable participation of Her Excellency Chea Ratha, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Commerce, and our partners—who are representatives from the embassy, schools, NGOs, and a media company.

The event was initiated with an objective to announce our valuable partnership with LED, highlight Sisters of Code's achievements and learning experience, and present our next steps in fostering a supportive community for girls in tech. It started with opening remarks delivered by Mrs. Natalja Rodionova, the founder of Sisters of Code and director of IT Academy STEP Institute in Cambodia. Mrs. Natalja emphasized that Sisters of Code is the first free female coding club in Cambodia established since 2019 thanks to the continuous supports from different local and international partners. Our mission is to grow confidence among female students and share the joy of learning coding skills, empowering for a successful digital future. The impact of Sisters of Code has been recognized on the international stage, earning us prestigious awards such as the MIT Solve Learning for Girls and Women Award, the Digital Skills Innovation Awards from the World Bank, the 2020 Equals in Tech Award, and the Education and Training Initiative of the Year.

Next comes to the welcoming speech delivered by H.E Chea Ratha. As the government actively promotes e-commerce, she highlighted the pivotal roles that women play in this evolving landscape. Drawing from her own journey as a computer science degree holder and the winner of the Women in Tech Awards Asia 2022, she passionately shared her experiences, detailing how she overcame stereotypes and excelled in the field. She also urged all girls to not only pursue tech but also become the advocates for their peers and emphasize the crucial role of parental support in motivating and standing behind aspiring young women in the tech industry. This aligns with Sisters of Code's mission, emphasizing the collective effort needed to create an inclusive and empowering environment for girls in tech.

Mr. Pius Frick, the country coordinator in Cambodia at Liechtenstein Development Service, also delivered an impactful speech about their commitment to promoting digital advancements in diverse communities. He expressed his enthusiasm in partnering with Sisters of Code, praising the noticeable positive impacts Sisters of Code has made in enhancing digital skills within the community. The collaboration reflects a joint vision of empowering individuals through technology, highlighting a shared dedication to creating a digitally inclusive and empowered future.

Ms. Chriv Sokuntepy, a project manager at Sisters of Code, also provided an overview of recent Sisters of Code work. Over the past 2 years the Sisters of Code Ambassadors program successfully accepted 60 students thanks to the support from CBRD Fund by the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, and afterward, motivated and promising students were chosen to establish coding clubs in their communities. In 2022, two offline clubs were launched in Battambang and Kompong Thom, along with three online clubs, totaling 73 students. In 2023, three more offline clubs were established in Phnom Penh, Battambang, and Kompong Chhnang, along with four online clubs, reaching a total of 102 students. Sisters of Code's reach expanded to 16 cities and provinces across Cambodia.

Beyond offering free coding clubs, in 2023 alone, Sisters of Code actively participated in many global events, such as the Scratch Learning Workshop in India and Digital Rights Asia-Pacific 2023 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We also organized events to promote digital skills, including Girls in ICT Day 2023 and a Scratch Workshop for Teachers. The positive impact of Sisters of Code is evident, with 90% of students expressing a willingness to recommend the program to others. We also motivate students to pursue tech degrees and careers, leading to some students receive an opportunity to participate in tech events as well as scholarships for further studies and work opportunities in the IT field abroad. Sisters of Code continues to make a meaningful contribution to the tech landscape in Cambodia and beyond.

Sisters of Code, in collaboration with LED, is committed to continuing our support by offering a 15-week Sisters of Code Ambassadors program and an 18-week Sisters of Code program to female students, ensuring accessibility to quality education for free. To keep students updated with current technology trends, new AI courses will be introduced. Going beyond, we are thrilled to announce the Sisters of Code pre-employment program, offering women over 20 years old the opportunity to study professional skills in digital marketing or UX/UI website development for free over a six-month period.

To wrap up the events, participants engaged in a fun and creative painting activity, symbolizing the inclusive nature of the technology field. The collaborative effort illustrated that everyone's contribution is valuable for further advancements, emphasizing the importance of inclusivity. Each participant was provided with a canvas featuring the Sisters of Code logo, and together, with smiles on their faces, they painted, highlighting the joy and unity fostered by Sisters of Code.

Sisters of Code and Liechtenstein Development Service are at the forefront of building a supportive community for girls. This important three-year partnership represents a strong dedication to providing accessible and high-quality technology education for girls. Recognizing the need for more support in Cambodia's technology field, we're actively taking steps to help. Through collaborative efforts, Sisters of Code and LED are working together to improve the tech landscape in Cambodia, inviting everyone to be part of the positive changes. We believe that by uniting our efforts, we can continue to make a meaningful impact on the technology sector in Cambodia.


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