Since childhood, Hortense has a profound sens of social justice specially when talented people can not realize their full potential. Against the odds, Hortense quitted a promising career at BCG to launch Codi, a free programming apprenticeship based in Beirut. Their mission is to use coding and digital skills to enable inclusion and employment, and as a catalyst for social innovation and diversity.
Alongside her time with BCG , Hortense discovered the non-profit sector with UNICEF where she co-founded NEXTGeneration Europe to help educate and fundraise for the world’s most vulnerable children. Her real trigger with Codi was the war in Syria. Millions of families had to quit their home and became refugees. Hortense could not stay behind and do nothing. She had to leverage her business skills and come up with an impactful project.
After 4 months of research in the Middle East, Hortense chose Lebanon as a base for her project. Lebanon mixed two important components: a high concentration of refugees and technology was nascent. She partnered with an existing French NGO called Simplon to benefit from their content and delivery. After obtaining the legal status directly from the minister of interior in Lebanon, she launched Codi back in December 2016.
At the beginning, no one believed Muslims would come to Christian’s neighborhoods and Lebanese would work with Syrians. Codi proved the opposite. Codi is a 6 month program teaching the full stack developer skillset. Diversity and leadership are two major pillars of Codi’s recruitment process and program. Even for established corporates, employing refugees have great benefits. One of their great strength is resilience!
Results are stunning! Before Codi, 70% to 100% of students were unemployed. After Codi, 89% are in employment and 8% are continuing their education. 65% of the refuges who joined Codi got a job. Codi graduates multiplied by 2 to 4 times their salary with an average of over $900/ month. Codi is even planning to develop a revenue sharing model and consulting activities.
🌟At our own pace and scale, everyone can aspire to change the world.🌟