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​Better Shelter, UNDP and Coders Trust launch a mobile classroom pilot in Bangladesh

Press Release   •   Oct 10, 2016 13:11 CEST

Coders Trust has joined forces with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to create a pilot program, Youth Employment through Skills (YES), to teach young Bangladeshis the technical coding, communication and freelancing skills they need start earning a living in the international digital freelance marketplace.

Better Shelter, a social enterprise which develops and provides temporary buildings usually used to house and help persons displaced by armed conflict and natural disaster, has donated two of its modular shelters to UNDP. Better Shelter will also provide UNDP personnel with the training they need to erect the structures.

With this support from Better Shelter, CodersTrust and UNDP plan to enable 100 000 students over 3 years to become IT freelancers, by providing them with access to education and finance. In order to achieve this they will launch a mobile classroom pilot for 360 students in the Narail district of Bangladesh. The pilot will evaluate the suitability of Better Shelter units as mobile classrooms. The buildings will be fully equipped with desks, chairs, computers and Internet access.

Approximately 41% of Bangladeshi youth are not in education, employment, or in training. The aim of YES is to train students in programming, giving them skills that could earn them up to US$ 300 per month - almost 10 times the national median monthly income.

“We are very excited to be working with UNDP and CodersTrust to provide a more hopeful future for Bangladeshi students. The modular characteristics of the Better Shelter makes it a great option for this type of mobile, temporary classroom and we believe this pilot program will be a great success!” says Johan Karlsson, Interim Managing Director of Better Shelter.

CodersTrust and UNDP have devised a six month ‘Learn and Earn’ program for Bangladeshi students which provides them with world-class content, one-to-one mentoring and peer-to-peer online learning, as well as offering the chance to work on real, paid assignments. In addition, the students will learn how to boost their confidence and gain the communication, negotiation and presentation skills they need to compete in international markets.

UNDP Bangladesh Country Director, Pauline Tamesis, “The Youth Employment through Skills Programme will help the country’s extremely smart, talented young people get a head start in the vibrant global digital economy. It will enable them to gain skills that are in demand across the world, and give them the opportunity to do hands-on work for clients. While they learn, they also earn. This increases their potential, and brings greater prosperity to Bangladesh”.

As part of the pilot program, UNDP and CodersTrust are launching a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo which aims to raise US$ 40,000. That will cover the costs of equipping the mobile classroom units, as well as funding the Learn and Earn program. Supporters of the cause will be eligible for some great perks, including some autographed items by Mashrafe Mortaza, legendary Captain of the Bangladesh Cricket Team and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador.

The pilot program will be rolled out during the autumn of 2016, with 186 mobile classrooms being introduced incrementally over a period of two and a half years. Locations will be selected according to criteria including previous experience of working in particular areas, the proximity of current and potential business partners, the need for poverty reduction, quality of governance, population levels and suitability of infrastructure.

For more information, please contact Märta Terne, Head of Marketing & Communication, Better Shelter at


CodersTrust hacks IT education for the 99%. We believe that everyone has the right to financial independence regardless of their gender or social background. Through our online platform, we provide the path for anyone to become a successful IT freelancer with world class content, 24/7 learning support and 24/7 earning support. Join the world of young believers

UNDP, The United Nations Development Programme, is the United Nations' global development network which works in nearly 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results. Fore more info, please visit

Better Shelter develops innovative housing solutions with a mission to improve the lives of persons displaced by armed conflicts and natural disasters. The Better Shelter is a weatherproof temporary shelter that offers a more dignified home for displaced families as well as a cost-effective solution for humanitarian organisations. Better Shelter is a Swedish social enterprise aiming to achieve social change at scale in a financially self-sustainable way. Every dollar generated in profit is reinvested within the company or distributed to Better Shelter’s philanthropic owner, the non-profit Housing for All Foundation. Better Shelter units are currently housing families and health care facilities in Ethiopia, Greece, Iraq, Macedonia and Nepal. Better Shelter is the result of a partnership between the IKEA Foundation, UNHCR and Better Shelter. For more information, please visit

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