The year was 2015, Rudi Maelbrancke was already lead coach in CoderDojo De Pinte when suddenly his daughter Anne addressed him with a question:
“Dad, there’s a girl in my class with cancer. It is not fair that she needs to spend so much time in the hospital. Can’t we organize something with CoderDojo for her to cheer her up?”
They started brainstorming together, figuring out what they could do to bring the joy of coding to hospitals. And thus Clinicoders was born.
Clinicoders wants to reach out to kids with a long-term illness. We all know that coding can be fun, so why don’t offer some of that fun to kids who can really use it. By learning how to create your own videogame or how to steer a robot with code, these kids can temporarily forget about needles and pills.
Because ill kids are between hospital walls most of their days, they do not get to spend a lot of time with their peers. Therefore, all Clinicoaches are kids themselves. They are recruited from kids attending a regular Dojo, giving these coaches the unique opportunity to show what they have learned so far. For the hospitalized kids, Clinicoders is a nice encounter with someone their own age and a unique opportunity to make some extra friends.
With the help of Telenet and X-Care, Clinicoders started out at UZ Gent. They quickly expanded to the UZ Antwerpen and eventually organized workshops at AZ Groeninge. At UZ Gasthuisberg, a first pilot was set up.
|Rudi and some Clinicoders in the back with Inti De Ceukelaire at 'De Warmste Week'.|
In 2019, Clinicoders wants to help even more kids. Thanks to numerous benefactors who raised money through ‘De Warmste Week’, Clinicoders launched a new project. Inspired by the Flemish maker program: ‘Team Scheire’, Clinicoders aims on developing technical solutions for kids that are sick or suffering from a disability.
On top of that, Clinicoders wants to expand to other hospitals, convalescent homes, or any centre that threats kids that are suffering from an illness or a disability.
Are you interested in this project? Is the superman inside of you waking up? Contact them through
Maybe you want to take up the lead of your own CliniDojo. Great! We are looking for volunteers that want to start their own Clinicoders in a new hospital. Organizing a CliniDojo is less intense than you would expect. If you would like more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org