“Rebooting the lives of refugees”
This is the mission that the Silicon Valley-based non-profit organization in San Francisco, ReBootKAMP, is determined to achieve as it gets ready for its launch just outside (approximately 600 km) Zaatari Refugee Camp, Jordan. ReBootKAMP is the 1st code boot camp initiative in the Middle East. It will be providing both infrastructure and intensive computer training for refugees and victims of conflict at the Zaatari Refugee Camp. As a result, it will empower its trainees with the skills they need “to code their way out”. Particularly, the program will be offered to both Syrian refugees and Jordanian nationals, and 60% of the seats are reserved for women. By applying a boot camp accelerated learning style, ReBootKAMP’s program will render in 12 weeks what would normally require 18 months of training, given the traditional university program.
The program, built on ReBootKAMP’s shared belief of freedom through knowledge, is to be driven by one of the top boot camps in the Silicon Valley- Hack Reactor, ReBootKAMP’s main partner. Other partners include recognizable organizations such as SAP (a major partner), Google, Adobe, Autodesk, UNHCR, and Udacity, as well as the support of the King Abdullah Fund for Development and the Royal Court. It has also recently signed an MOU with Al al-Bayt University in Jordan.
The boot camps will be hosted inside of a facility called a “ZatLAB”, which will be of a portable, durable, and comfortable learning environment that contains an ample supply of laptop computers and other tech equipment.
“ZatLAB is many things: ZatLAB is a building. ZatLAB is a site. A beginning. A safe haven. Normalcy in midst of dislocation. Distraction in the midst of disorientation. Place in the midst of placelessness. A bright spot on an otherwise monochromatic palette. A machine for transforming the massive intellectual potential of the refugees into prosperity. But more than anything, ZatLAB is an ‘Exit’ door into a new beginning.” (ReBootKAMP.org)
ReBootKAMP graduates, in addition to being certified with ‘Nano Degrees’, will have multiple pathways to employment. First, they may be re-trained as facilitators to help train future cohorts. Second, they can be placed in private industry either domestically or abroad. And finally, they can be employed in ReBootKAMP’s consulting studios, providing services for partners in Silicon Valley.
Fundamentally, ReBootKAMP is more than a coding school or consultancy it’s helping ‘a generation that was lost, be found’. With a heavy focus on leadership training, graduates will gain the kinds of skills they need to someday rebuild a country.
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This was edited on 2/2/2016.