1022. Mahek Vara
Mahek Vara, aged 17, from London, is the founder of ‘Code Camp’, a charity that teaches computer programming to children in India.
Mahek started to learn coding herself last year as part of her A-levels and was inspired to share her knowledge. After writing beginner, intermediate and advanced lessons in coding, Mahek established ‘Code Camp’ in April 2017 at just 16 years old. Under Mahek’s leadership the charity has taught 78,000 children aged 9-16 in India how to code. A team of over 30 volunteers currently train pupils and school staff so that they can teach the course themselves. Her charity has so far provided computer coding lessons to more than 1,800 schools in Gujarat state, and she plans to expand it into the Gulf and Sri Lanka. This award coincides with the United Nations’ International Day of the Girl Child.
In a personal letter to Mahek, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Your work launching ‘Code Camp’ at just 16 years old demonstrates your dedication to improving the learning opportunities of children in India by introducing them to coding and digital skills. You should be enormously proud of your tireless work helping thousands of children to achieve their goals.”
“It is very exciting that Prime Minister Theresa May is supporting this initiative. By becoming the second female PM in Britain, she has shown to a lot of young women that it is possible to reach there and she has truly been an inspiration to many young people out here.
“She has achieved a lot in Office and I am honoured to receive the award from herself! I believe this can truly motivate and promote more people across the world to engage in volunteering activities and help out in the local, national and international community.”