BrainBasket Foundation, a Ukrainian NGO dedicated to IT education, has launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign with a flexible goal to raise $50,000 for its national education program Technology Nation in two months.
“We want to demonstrate that Ukraine and its potential in IT is a global matter, as the future developments created by our graduates can benefit anyone in the world,” BrainBasket’s PR manager Andrii Petrunia told Ukraine Digital News.
Indiegogo has been chosen because this is “a global, internationally recognized platform open to hosting charity projects from Ukraine,” he added.
Vladimir Liulka, CEO of the BrainBasket Foundation, expects to draw particular attention from the Ukrainian diaspora in North America, he said in an exchange with Ukrainian tech blog AIN.UA.
As of January 26, the amount of $2,260 has been attracted from 27 backers.
Should the entire amount be raised, the foundation promises “to educate 1,000 new IT specialists in only eight months across Ukraine, and launch and equip at least 20 new learning hubs,” according to the information displayed on Indiegogo.
‘Technology Nation’ is a free of charge educational program targeting both adults and children. It was launched in late 2016, combining courses on programming from leading international technology universities, including Harvard and the MIT, with practical exercises led by experienced mentors.
Since its inception less than a year ago, the initiative has attracted 1,250 participants and 67 mentors across Ukraine. As part of the program, 600 computers and other equipment have been donated to 40 local libraries.
“Our goal is to make the IT industry a driving force behind the country’s economy by training over 100,000 new IT specialists by 2020,” Liulka told Ukraine Digital News in an earlier interview with Ukraine Digital News.
Initially, all the mentors agreed to work as volunteers, which allowed the foundation to open more learning hubs than were initially planned, according to Petrunia.
“However, we believe that every work should be paid. That is why right now practically all of the mentors receive a symbolic fee for their dedicated work,” Petrunia explained.
Regardless of the outcome of its Indiegogo campaign, the foundation has ambitious plans for the future. It intends, inter alia, to share its experience with neighboring countries, Petrunia told Ukraine Digital News.
Last year, George Soros supported the program personally through the International Renaissance Foundation.