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Well, here we are in another week and everything in the political world in Ireland is still in turmoil.
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The biggest humanitarian crisis since the aftermath of World War Two has led to an exodus of five million people from Syria since 2012. In an effort to help refugees living within the Middle East, a small number of individuals from Galway in February 2016 became part of an ambitious digital learning programme designed to bring computer coding skills to thousands of children, teenagers and teachers living in camps and districts across the region. Known as Refugee Code Week (RCW) the initiative, led by the German software corporation SAP in partnership with the United Nations Refugee Agency(UNHCR) and the Galway Education Centre, has developed course content and provided teams of IT volunteers from across three continents to upskill teachers from Syria and other Middle Eastern countries in delivering coding programmes to young refugees and the youth of host nations from eight years to twenty years of age. The Galway volunteers taking part in the programme are Bernard Kirk, director of the Galway Education Centre and co-founder of RCW, Nuala Allen (SAP in Parkmore), Niall McCormick (Colmac Robotics) and Brendan Smith (NUI Galway). BRENDAN SMITH, who has through his Outreach projects at the university since 2004 worked with asylum seekers in Ireland, was seconded from the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway to become a master instructor in RCW as well as in a sister programme, namely the highly successful Africa Code Week that has been operating since June 2015. Here is his story.
The Middle East has experienced unimaginable devastation since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. As in all wars, civilians are the innocent victims. In what was once one of the most modern countries in the region, it is estimated that 470,000 inhabitants have died since 2011, over 7.6 millions are internally displaced within Syria and over five million were forced to leave.
Well, as we said last week, a general election for Northern Ireland is now laid out for March 2.
FOUR novels, including a collection of short stories, all set in Galway during the 1980s and 1990s are this week available as an eBook for the first time.