Tag Archives: Community

What can teaching girls to code do for our economic future?

When girls build, they are creating something for their community. In this computerised economy, teaching girls the skills to navigate the digital landscape can have profound effects on our economic future.

Coding is an increasingly important skill to have in the workplace. A growing number of permanent jobs that use information technology rely on coding skills. As we move toward a more digitalised world, understanding computer language will be just as important as reading and numeracy. Coding combines logic, mathematics and algorithms, and helps to uncover a new way to look at the world. When you know how to code, you can create virtual worlds where the only limit to what is possible is your imagination.


Organisations such as Code Like A Girl, Girls Who Code and Code For Cape Town (Code4CT) all aim to teach girls coding, from web development to basic web design principles. These programs empower women to use technology to innovate and create greater diversity in the tech community.

In Code4CT’s “Why I Code” series, Tracy used the coding skills she learnt to build an app that addresses the health-related problems that pregnant women face in South Africa. “I realised that coding could help me to logically address issues which interest me… and to find solutions to some of the problems we face in our country today”, she says.

In Australia, the Department of Employment predicts a 12.8% increase in demand for technology professions by the end of 2018. There is also a rise in new job categories as new roles emerge. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is one of the fastest growing sectors in our economy, with the highest demand for entry-level skills. However, a report by Deloitte claims that women make up less than 20% of the Australian ICT workforce. The lack of female representation at senior levels is even greater, with women occupying a very small percentage of leadership roles.

According to Kaylene O’Brien, Senior Technology Partner at Deloitte; “there’s a huge future for women in IT. Good employers have realised that a diverse workforce is to their benefit and that the value of a diverse workforce is realised by cultivating a culture of inclusion.”

Learning to code can broaden perspectives about career opportunities for girls and shows them that the ICT industry offers many interesting career paths with the opportunity to make significant social impact. By teaching girls to code we can change the world.


Nepal earthquake two years on

Nepal continues to rebuild and recover in the aftermath of the earthquake in 2015. The earthquake claimed nearly 9,000 lives, left many without jobs and destroyed more than 500,000 buildings. Two years on and the devastation lingers, however progress is being made.

Many of our charity partners, including Baptist World Aid, Oxfam, UNICEF, Caritas, and UN Women, responded to the emergency in April 2015 and are still engaged with the recovery efforts.

Just this month, the team taking part in Oxfam’s Journey to Nepal, completed an Annapurna trek to raise funds for the ongoing recovery efforts. They also had an opportunity to visit Virkot, one of the villages heavily affected by the earthquake.

“The devastation from the earthquake was evident as we drove through Kathmandu to the remote Virkot community. Kathmandu was still full of loose bricks, dust, half-collapsed buildings, and scaffolding everywhere but it was inspiring to see just how much progress had been made in this community since April 2015,” says Danny, the Inspired Adventures team leader with the group. “The villagers were excited to show our group around their rebuilt homes which were re-engineered to resist future shocks. Cash for work programs had also provided new road access, water pumps and toilets for their community. We were hosted for lunch outside one of their new homes overlooking the valley below. The whole team felt very grateful for the efforts of Oxfam and the other incredible on the ground NGOs who have aided communities like the one we were in since the earthquake.”


In addition to the International NGOs, there are many local organisations working on the rebuild. For example, local Kathmandu hotel Dwarika’s established a foundation that has managed Camp Hope, a camp for earthquake survivors who lost their homes in the disaster. Many of their residents came from Sindhupalchowk, where over 80% of houses were destroyed.

The project also aims to introduce new earthquake-resistant homes with added eco-features like rainwater harvesting, solar power, biogas systems and organic agriculture. You can learn more about the program here. Tourism has historically formed a large part of Nepal’s economy and you can help by visiting now and supporting local business. And of course, our charity partners’ efforts continue and donations will help those still waiting for their homes and lives to be rebuilt.

Feeling inspired?

Check out our latest adventures to Nepal with Caritas and UN Women and see how you can give back.


Fundraiser of the Month – Mandy Kopelke

Mandy Kopelke

Cause: Plan Australia
Adventure: Plan’s Cycle for Girls
Fundraising Page: http://cycleforgirlscambodia.gofundraise.com.au/page/mandykopelke
Social: @mandycycles

As our Fundraiser of the Month, Mandy has scored herself a $50 donation to her fundraising page. To be our next month’s winner, make sure you’re uploading your journey to social and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired.

What inspired you to take on your first Inspired Adventure?

Actually it was very spur of the moment! I am on Plan’s mailing list and received an email from Plan International about the Cambodia challenge that really grabbed me – it just seemed to be the right thing at the right time! I wasn’t sure that we could manage it as a family as my husband is away from home with work often, but when I mentioned it to him he immediately said, “Do it! We can work everything out” … so here I am.

Why did you choose to fundraise for Plan International?

Since the email I received from Plan really grabbed me, I went on to read more about the #becauseIamagirl campaign. The story of how the campaign was started by Marianne Raven hit home and made me think about how lucky I was to be born into a society where I had rights, the opportunity to be educated and make a good life for myself and my family. I want my kids to understand that they too are lucky and that there is much we can do to facilitate change and make the world a better place. It only takes 1 small act to start making a difference.

You are clearly really involved and invested in the art of giving back to the community, what do you think is so exciting about being able to take on an adventure as well as give to a cause you care about?

The whole experience is exciting. I have an amazing challenge on the horizon where I will be cycling 350kms through a country I have never visited, and visiting a Plan International project on International Day of the Girl. But this is only part of the story. I am gaining personal confidence, setting goals, learning new skills, getting fit, bringing together my friends and family and all in aid of #BecauseIamaGirl… we are going to make a difference somewhere that needs it most, and what makes it super special is that I am a girl doing it for other girls.

"I am gaining personal confidence, setting goals, learning new skills, getting fit, bringing together my friends and family and all in aid of #BecauseIamaGirl"

What are your total funds raised so far? Are there any key fundraising ideas that have been the bulk of your success?

The fundraising was the scariest part of the challenge for me – I am exceptionally self-sufficient and don’t like to ask anyone for anything… but I have surprised myself. So far I have raised almost $2,000, mainly through donations and small fundraising ideas. I have decided to achieve my goals through lots of small events through the year – a little soon mounts up. This suits the way I work and think. I believe it is important to raise money in ways that suit your personality and personal network so that it is a fun, rewarding and of course successful experience without the stress.

What have been some of the highlights of your fundraising experience so far?

I am an artist and am using my art as a focal point for my fundraising. Last month I released the first series of my “HeArts of Hope” – hand painted wooden hearts, each one uniquely designed, with all profit being donated to my fundraising campaign. They sold out within the week and I already have a waiting list for series 2 which will be released shortly. I will also be donating 75% of the purchase price from 2 of my latest abstract paintings, “Feeling Flowery” and “Babbling Brook”, to the campaign. At the end of May I will also be attending a car boot (and trailer!) sale, selling lots of items that my friends are donating. I’ve used Facebook a lot to advertise what I’m doing to my friends and their response has been amazing. I have a house full of things already, a borrowed trailer and friends volunteering to help on the day. I am very excited to see how we go and feel blessed to have such wonderful friends!

What have been your biggest challenges in taking on an Inspired Adventure? How did you overcome this?

My biggest challenge is by far the fundraising, but I’m finding that little events along the way and the constant talking to people to raise the profile of what I am doing seems to be working. I’ve also started sharing my experiences on Instagram and am loving the motivational comments that people leave.

Have you noticed any changes or transformation in your life since taking on your first adventure?

I am doing something really meaningful and important, so I feel really great about myself.  Understanding more of the background of the campaign has also put life into perspective in many ways. Here in Australia we take a lot for granted. My family is my support team and having them involved every step of the way is also helping them to learn what is important in life. By the time my #cycleforgirls comes around I will also be fit as a fiddle… that change is still in progress!

"It only takes one small act to start making a difference."

What advice would you offer to other people looking to complete a challenge like this?

Go for it! There is a way to get around all the hurdles. Initially the challenge might seem like an elephant sized task, but breaking it down into bite-sized pieces will ensure that you achieve your goals. Getting your family on board with the excitement is important, mine are my ever loving support crew, my children (and husband!) are proud of me and tell everyone that will listen what we are doing.

Fundraiser of the Month

Become our Fundraiser of the Month to win a $50 donation to your fundraising page!

Take a picture whilst fundraising for your adventure and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired and your adventure hashtag. The most exciting use of the hashtag, with a fundraising focus will be our Fundraiser of the Month – it’s that easy!