The Codette Project started in 2015 with the aim of providing free coding classes to young, underprivileged Muslim women.
But its founder, Nurul Jihadah Hussain – who started the project with seed funding from self-help group Mendaki – has since expanded the programmes to include social media branding, digital marketing, web design, and even how to excel in the workplace.
She modelled the project after Black Girls Code – a non-profit in the US that teaches African-American girls tech skills to help them enter the industry.
The Codette Project’s aim is simpler – tech can make women’s lives better, and Nurul wants minority women (whether they run their own companies or need a leg-up in their careers) to ride that wave.
She cites teacher and travel blogger Atikah Amalina (popularly known as The Tudung Traveller), as someone who’s been able to garner a large following through her use of social media.
“She’s talked about her experience as a traveller, as a minority woman, and has found an audience that is regional, an audience that has never seen anyone like her. It's incredibly powerful,” says Nurul.
Nurul, who works in business development, oversees a team of nine volunteers who run the project. They enlist industry experts, consultants, and undergraduates to run classes, panel discussions and events. Sign-ups are always free.
So far, the project has impacted some 200 women.
The Codette Project also aspires to be a support system for minority women. “People build genuine friendships, and we’ve built a community very committed to one another’s success,” says Nurul.
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