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Powercoders – Coding Academy for Refugees 2018

Apply HERE to be a mentor

Apply HERE to be a coach

Apply HERE if you are students refugees

Deadline: April 1, 2018.


An unprecedented 65.3 million people around the world have been forced from home. Powercoders is a coding academy for refugees. We believe that, in the 21st century, coding skills will help you to start a new life wherever you are forced to go.

They offer a 3-month coding academy program, followed by an internship of three months to one year. The ultimate goal of the Powercoders is the permanent placement of trained refugees in IT-companies and IT-departments in Switzerland. Participation is free of charge (with additional support for laptop, food and transportation where needed) and includes a mentoring program.

They are looking for:

  • Students: The program is primarily meant for refugees (status B and F) but also other migrants. If you have special talent in IT, fluency in English and are interested in participating.
  • IT Companies: Are you an IT-company in Lausanne and are you interested in supporting us by offering a trainee program? Support us!
  • Coaches: There is a shortage of skilled IT-workers, especially frontend developers. Are you a developer and interested in supporting our program by teaching?
  • Mentors: Arriving in a new country is never easy. Our students have to learn a lot about how Switzerland works as a country but also how we work as a society. Interested in mentoring our students?


As a student refugee:

  • The program is primarily meant for refugees (status B and F) but also other migrants are eligible to apply.
  • Good Basic knowledge in IT
  • English fluency
  • Commitment
  • Full time availability
  • Motivation

As a mentor:

  • Our participants need more than technical knowledge in order to achieve a sustainable integration into employment. That’s why our program includes a mentoring. Each participant is accompanied by one volunteering mentor from the beginning of the coding academy until the end of their internships.
  • Newcomers in Switzerland very often don’t succeed in finding a job in spite of good qualifications. It can be because they don’t know the Swiss German language or French, they don’t know many people or platforms, or they miss out on the informal knowledge about Swiss procedures or mentalities.
  • Spending time with each other, once every week is one of the most important ingredients of the mentorship. Without actually spending time together, on a regular base, the real questions often don’t even come up.
  • So the mentoring can include City tours, networking events, cooking and eating together, Tutoring Classes in IT related subjects or German or English, drinking coffees and chatting, hanging out – whatever it is, where support is needed and wished for.

If you are interested in mentoring one of our students, click the link below and send us an email with your CV.

As a coach:

  • Coaches are developers / IT professionals who would like to be part of our curriculum between April and July, sharing their knowledge & experience with our students and are interested in volunteering and helping in teaching for some days in the afternoons.
  • Our curriculum will be mainly about web development with a focus on “learning by doing”. We are looking for experienced developers who would like to pass on their knowledge – be it in their spare time or supported by their employer during their working hours.
  • Not all of our volunteers have teaching experience – and this is absolutely OK! So if you already have been a teacher in IT and would like to provide a class on a certain topic, please consider yourself a “Teacher”. Teaching lessons usually take place in the mornings. In the afternoons, the students focus on practising the things they learnt in the morning. That’s where our “Coaches” come in, helping them individually or in groups to get their exercises and “homework” done. And – of course: Teachers can also become Coaches sometimes (and vice versa).

If you are interested in coaching our students, please apply on the link below and share it with others.

For more information HERE

Application Process