In 2001 I started giving computer classes in a back corner of a tea room in one of the poorest areas in Mechelen. I was using second-hand computers that companies donated to me. This allowed me to help local kids to learn how to work with computers and also a bit of coding. Their parents had no money or interest to invest in their future.

I meet these kids, now grown-ups, from time to time and hear about the changing impact I made back then. It allowed them to have opportunities they would never had if I didn’t step up.

Today I was reminded that in Belgium still many kids who are not having the opportunity to use the internet to participate in online classes.

Translation: As ICT Woman of the Year I have no choice but to support the initiative of Let us all find 10000 laptops for kids who don’t have a computer at home before the end of Easter holiday!

Now schools are closed and many interactions with teachers are done via email and/or digital learning platforms.

This means that those kids fall behind in their education, which is even more important for them to escape the poverty they live in. That’s why we’re donating to to help them reach the goal of 10.000 laptops to be handed out to kids who need them most.

Michelangelo van Dam

Michelangelo van Dam is a senior PHP architect, PHP community leader and international conference speaker with many contributions to PHP projects and community events.