On the summer of 2016, our Civil Innovation Lab, prepared a special Computer Coding, Innovation and Civil Participation workshop for kids from disadvantaged areas in the Dominican Republic.
The 8 weeks program included kids age 6 - 15 from the Andrés, Boca Chica town, 20 miles from Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic. Once a thriving town home to an important sugar cane processing industry, with a significant population of temporary and immigrant Haitian workers, the local economy has been deeply transformed by the sunset of the local sugar industry and the shift to tourism and services.
The children were taught computer coding by Naomi Bonilla Hoshikawa, founder of the tech girls group CLAVE, and received Amazon Fire tablets, backpacks and school supplies fundraised by Naomi and her team.
Marielle Tejada, Sociology student at New York's The New School monitored their participation and facilitated their experiences and exchange at the Centro Tecnológico Comunitario provided by the VicePresidency of the Republic for the camp.
In addition, they had special presentations and interactive sessions with local experts in different fields, including a Google Glass and augmented reality demo by the coordinator of the local Google Developers Group (Noé Branagan), a talk on technology and social impact by a renowned telecommunications engineer (Mitsuteru Nishio), a conversation on crime, public citizen service and social responsibility by an Attorney General representative (Angelo Frías) and a discussion with real success stories on doing good and crowdfunding by a cofounder of Jompéame (Karla M. Castro).