How we began....
We're always being asked "how did Project Girl Code (PGC) start?" and "Why coding?".
Let us introduce ourselves and start to answer some questions: We're Lindy Howard (right) and Esty Marcu (left), friends who met at university and co-founders of Project Girl Code. Our passion is fighting exploitation and poverty especially for women and girls.
We both share a personal Christian faith which underpins our belief that every person is infinitely valuable, equal and deserves every opportunity to succeed.
We started PGC in London in 2015. Lindy had just arrived back in London from a year volunteering at an anti-trafficking organisation in Northern Thailand. She met girls and young women who were rescued from sexual exploitation and were now attending a catch-up school program alongside vocational training in jewellery,
t-shirt printing, sewing, barista work and hairdressing.
Working as a digital marketing freelancer herself, Lindy saw the potential for young women with digital literacy skills: there was an incredible opportunity for them to build a career in the digital economy if they were able to learn these skills.
Esty was hiking the Camino trail in Spain when Lindy asked her to come on board and help bring the vision to life, and so Project Girl Code was born: an organisation that came alongside NGOs and taught their rescued girls to code and gave them skills to get jobs in IT. Since we began, we've been joined by Naomi Hall Opiyo (UK trustee) and a dynamic team of international volunteers.
Our first project
Project Girl Code launched our first computer and digital literacy project in Phnom Penh in June 2017, which included 40 girls, most of whom had a history of sexual exploitation.
Working with our NGO partners Hope for Justice and Destiny Rescue, we've given girls and young women the opportunity to gain skills and expertise for sustainable careers.
We're excited to announce plans to expand our program to other anti-trafficking and girl-focussed charities to include over 100 students through 2018, starting in January.